Boards must recognise the vital role of supply chain

By Lucy Dixon
It is crucial that the role of supply chain is recognised at board level, according to a white paper produced by Holmes Noble. In the report it is clai...

It is crucial that the role of supply chain is recognised at board level, according to a white paper produced by Holmes Noble.

In the report it is claimed that outdated supply chain processes are keeping many businesses in a performance cul-de-sac. Supply chain needs to move out of the functional and into a sector fit for purpose in the modern global marketplace.

The paper, co-authored by Holmes Noble’s Head of Practice for Supply Chain and Procurement, Rachel McGowan-Kemp, and Andy Birtwistle, Supply Chain Director at Concentra, proposes solutions to achieve greater agility and reduce running costs – with the harnessing of analytics and digital technology at their core.

Holmes Noble believes that investment is central to long-term supply chain improvements: most crucially, continual investment. A lack of focus on supply chain in the board room is resulting in businesses responding to changing economic climates by axing sector improvement programmes.

This stop-start approach to financial support in this arena means that improvements are stagnating and not being realised to their full potential.

Analytics are seen as the next generation in improvements for supply chain. The insights they offer - being able to analyse past events and reflect future scenarios - can not only impact on cost and services improvement, but can also be a valuable tool for marketing, sales and commercial functions across the business.

The opportunities that a joined up, technologically-supported supply chain are vast, but this vital joined up approach will only work if the right people are in place. A historic lack of investment has led to a perception of supply chain as a less-attractive sector challenged by slim budgets and lacking in technology.

Elevating supply chain to the board is the route to secure real investments that will in return deliver vital agility and reduced running costs – outcomes that make strong business sense to any board.

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