As the world’s fastest-growing procurement and supply chain event, Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023 was a disruptive learning and networking event that showcased some of the industry’s top speakers across innovation, thought leadership and strategy.
The Supply Chain Strategies Forum
Speaking at Procurement & Supply LIVE 2023, executives from Siemens and Cushman & Wakefield deep dive into supply chain strategies and best practices.
- Alexander Tschentscher, Head of Supply Chain Excellence and Head of Strategy of Supply Chain and Logistics at Siemens
- Michael Carson, Partner and Head of Supply Chain and Logistics Advisory EMEA at Cushman & Wakefield
Defining supply chain strategy and how to be effective
Kick-starting the panel, Tschentscher and Carson define the meaning of ‘supply chain strategy’ emphasising the move from a tactical to a strategic organisation. The two also highlight that a strategy should align with business goals, manage risk, and consider optimisation across the end-to-end supply chain.
"Supply chain strategy is about moving from a tactical to a strategic organisation," says Carson. "Your strategy has to align with the business. It has to align with what you're trying to achieve."
"You've got to have self-understanding before you even start with strategy,” adds Tschentscher.
Cost and risk mitigation
Turning the conversation to cost and risk mitigation, Tschentscher notes the importance of understanding what the business is trying to achieve and creating a common denominator for measurements.
Carson also highlights the need for honesty and consistency when it comes to assessing risks and costs.
“Honesty in risk assessment is critical. It’s a consistency and a challenge that needs to be continually looked at,” says Carson.
Building the right culture
When it comes to developing an effective supply chain strategy, Tschentscher further emphasises the importance of having the right organisational culture, while Carson highlights the role of leadership in setting and maintaining the right culture including recruiting people that align with the company values.
"Culture is absolutely key. It’s the one thing that will maintain your strategy,” says Tschentscher.
Whilst digital solutions can benefit supply chain strategies significantly, Carson stresses the importance of focusing on the specific needs, commercial viability, and return on investment when considering digital tools.
"There is a commercial viability to everything, and you’ve got to measure the return on investment,” explains Carson.
Tschentscher also discusses the need to view digitalisation in the supply as a lever to optimise and improve strategies rather than a standalone solution or saviour.
"We’ve got to be careful not to look for the saviour because there isn’t one,” adds Tschentscher.
Both panellists discuss the potential of AI to enhance and not replace human roles to improve decision-making and operational efficiency.
"AI enhances, it doesn’t replace. It’s there to support human roles and improve decision-making,” says Carson
Carson goes on to explain that AI was used in Cushman & Wakefield to enrich understanding, as well as enable quicker and deeper conversations. He also emphasises the need to use AI thoughtfully to expedite understanding without assuming absolute accuracy.
To watch any of our other speakers from Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE 2023, click here.
Celebrating exemplary achievements in the fields of procurement and supply chain management, the Supply Chain AWARDS - debuting in 2024 - acknowledges companies, professionals, and projects that demonstrate exceptional performance, innovation, and strategic thinking. Click here, to find out how you can enter.
For more insights into the world of supply chain read the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn & Twitter. Other magazines that may be of interest: Procurement Magazine, Manufacturing Digital
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