Supply chain professionals reaching the top table

18 January 2018

Supply chain professionals are increasingly being seen at the top table in business, according to a leading headhunter.

Jorge Gouveia de Oliveira, who leads executive search firm Russell Reynold’s supply chain practice, told SM supply chain strategy was becoming more important to businesses. He added that senior executive management, such as CEOs and CFOs, are often now directly involved in the recruitment of supply chain chiefs.

“Supply chain has been core to a variety of businesses because it’s core to the way [businesses] differentiate themselves,” he said. “Take brands selling directly to consumers, that’s a mega change and has a huge impact on the design of the business. It means supply chain becomes core to the business in making it very successful.”

He said this was particularly true in the online retail space, where companies are redesigning their business models around supply chain strategies.

“It has a direct impact on the importance of your head of supply chain,” he added.

The pool of potential candidates with experience in running supply chains in internet retail is “narrow”, Gouveia de Oliveira said. 

“You need a strategic mindset combined with classical supply chain skills, combined with e-commerce and digital skills,” he added.

He advised that CPOs should be playing a role in the design of the supply chain end-to-end, in order to take advantage of supply chain’s elevation within organisations.

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