25 February 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Linking the supply chain plan to your firm's wider strategy is one of six steps to drive supply chain success, according to consultancy McKinsey.
The firm interviewed more than 60 companies in Europe and North America for its quarterly update.
The six steps are:
•Linking supply chain strategy to company strategy, including translating corporate strategy into supply chain targets.
•Segmenting the supply chain to master the product and service complexity.
•Ensuring end customer service requirements are considered in supply network decisions.
•Using lean tools to improve supply chain from end to end.
•Creating integrated and robust sales and operations processes, with sales, finance and supply chain teams actively collaborating in planning activities.
•Finding top talent and using training programmes to fill capability gaps.
The report's authors said none of the companies studied had mastered all six of the broad practices. But those that displayed strength across the areas appeared to outperform competitors in service, inventory, distribution and logistics costs.