Supply Chain and Operations Value Proposition
Although supply chains have garnered more attention in the major business news outlets recently, many executives and up-and-coming managers do not fully grasp how important managing supply chains is to their company’s sustained financial health and performance. A high level of emphasis is still placed on top-line growth instead of looking at supply chain and operations. Sales and marketing activities garner much of management’s attention, while supply chain and operations are relegated to behind-the-scenes cost savings and cost containment activities. Why is this the case? Because it is much more exciting to report a 15% growth in sales than to cheer about cost savings of an equal amount achieved through supply chain and operations modifications. Although not always celebrated, the understanding of the importance of supply chain management is growing.
Management consulting firms, including many of the top tier firms, recognize the importance of supply chain management. Evidence of this exists in that several firms have established supply chain and operations consulting practices including:
- A.T. Kearney
- Bain and Company
- Booz & Company
- Deloitte LLP
- McKinsey & Company
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
In addition to consulting in this area, Gartner publishes a much-referred-to ranking of supply chains called, “The Supply Chain Top 25.” This publication provides a ranking of the best supply chains among global manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. Each year, these firms publish many insightful research reports in the supply chain area ranging from managing suppliers, strategies for purchasing commodities, managing risk, sustainability, and the use of big data. The research is important in creating an understanding of the role of supply chain and operations.