Redefining The Supply Chain Paradigm – A New COO Diktat

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In order to remain competitive and secure earnings growth, organisations are looking at both process automation and newer technology systems to redefine their supply chain. The Board of Directors in most organisations expect this change to be led by the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The COO is expected to reduce supply chain complexity, streamline operations, reduce spend on indirect procurement activities and ensure compliance. Twitter_logo_blue

This job is made more complex in countries and regions where the supply chain still continues to be largely unstructured and relatively untouched by technology.

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According to a recent Greyhound Research study titled, Emerging Markets COO Priorities 2016, 68% COOs in the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) region confirmed their plans to embark on a supply chain transformation project in the next 12 months.Twitter_logo_blue

The study also confirms that over 50% COOs in APJ expect to use technology systems as a frontrunner in these projects. Albeit this is a good reaffirmation of intent, Greyhound Research believes this is adding tremendous pressure on the role of a COO. Twitter_logo_blue

At Greyhound Research we address 3000 enquiries per year from Decision makers of global organizations and advise COO teams on supply chain transformation projects. Below are some best practices we share with them.

Harness The Power Of Data. The data collected via supply chain touch points is extremely valuable as each data points comes from qualified business stakeholders i.e. from point of raw material sourcing to final delivery of product/service. Greyhound Research believes COOs need to implement Systems of Insights that will result in operational efficiencies. To share an example, Toyota leverages data to operate its principle of Just-In-Time Inventory. At a Toyota shop floor, raw materials are only brought when an order is received. Real-time analytics is helping Toyota not only predict customer demand but also avoid raw material wastage.

Develop Production Dashboards To Better Plan Production Cycles. As purchasing patterns witness rapid shifts, Systems of Production must be regularly assessed. Greyhound Research believes COOs need to actively monitor production dashboards to eliminate breakdowns and further accelerate supply chain innovation from sourcing to last-mile distribution.

Simplify Transaction Mechanisms. Supply chain covers major business transaction touch-points i.e. from point of raw material origin to point of consumption. From our experience, Greyhound Research is of the opinion that COOs need to enable payment mechanisms that are secure and transparent at every transaction point i.e. from raw material sourcing to distribution/warehousing.

Build Transparent And Responsive Channels Of Escalation. While moving across a supply chain, critical feedback often gets lost in translation. Greyhound Research advises COOs to set up Systems of Engagement like using mobile devices with video capability that provides visibility throughout the supply chain to better manage escalations.

To keep up with new agile models of sourcing and delivery, traditional organisations need to start innovating their supply chain. Greyhound Research advises COOs to assume the role of a technologist and a process champion who will spearhead their organisation through this disruption.

About The Author: Sanchit Vir Gogia is the Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, an independent IT & Telecom Research & Advisory firm. He also serves as Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group that operates under four brands – Greyhound Research, Greyhound Sculpt, Greyhound Technocrat and Greyhound Vivo. To read more about him, click here.

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