Supply Chain Management in High School?
Generally speaking, the common person in the world today has no idea about what supply chain management is. Most can’t give a good definition of what a supply chain even is.
Could that be about to change?
According to a post last month by Logisticsviewpoints.com, supply chain management should be under consideration to be taught as early as high school.
Below is an excerpt of an email that supply chain author Adrian Gonzalez received:
There is a real need to make and present “Supply Chain and Logistics” as a very hot, interesting topic and make it relevant to students in school. I would not have thought that all the summer camps we spent growing produce [were] elements of the SCOR model. We definitely planned when to grow, we sourced it at harvest time, and we took it home and delivered it to our mom to manufacture a JIT meal. The Skinny Jeans kids favor today have a process on how they arrive on the shelf at the local mall. The latest Nike shoe everyone is wearing or craving for has a supply chain story about how it shows up at Foot Locker. Even McDonald’s, Burger King, or the movie theater has a supply chain story, [and so does] the phone [students] are using to text a thousand messages.
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So, how do we go about teaching more people about supply chain management? According to another post by Adrian Gonzalez, the system needs to emulate a baseball farm system.
That is, supply chain management material needs to be taught to younger generations of people to prepare them to one day become the leaders of the supply chain industry.
It’s an interesting idea. If some Kindergartens are toying with the idea of teaching Sex Ed, certainly an argument can be made that supply chain management should be offered as a course at the high school level.
Gartner: CEOs Want Their CSCOs to Focus on Cost and Digital
Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) will be expected to double their efforts in cost optimisation and digital transformation if they are to best support the short and long-term growth of their businesses, according to CEOs surveyed by Gartner.
The research and advisory firm surveyed 199 top executives from supply chain intensive industries between July and December 2020. It found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the pandemic has shifted the focus dramatically away from undefined innovation projects towards concrete goals to bring resilience and control to their value chain.
Around a fifth (17%) of business leaders said they want their supply chain chiefs to gain greater control over spend and cost saving, while 16% believe they should dedicate their efforts towards supply chain resiliency - both in response to the impact of the pandemic.
“CEOs are tasking their CSCOs to focus on navigating through the ongoing disruption and ensure business continuity,” said Thomas O’Connor, Senior Director Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “This includes dealing with pandemic-related lockdowns in key markets, supply chain shortages – as seen in the semiconductor industry – and challenges with the global flow of goods and increasing distribution costs.”
Supply Chain Digital Transformation Must be More Targeted
With 60% of those surveyed expecting an economic boom by the end of 2022, CEOs are also tasking CSCOs with redefining their transition to digital. The majority of respondents (80%) indicated they would be increasing year-on-year incitement in technology, but will aim to move away from nebulous digital transformation projects, instead focussing on targeted initatives.
CEOs said they need their supply chain chiefs to identify where and how digital can best support the business within the context of their specific industry or organisation. Areas most commonly cited were ecommerce/ebusiness (16%), customer interactions (9%), data analytics (9%) and customer experience (7%).
CSCOs must Prepare for Pandemic’s Impact on Business Change
More than two thirds of executives surveyed by Gartner said the pandemic had been a pivotal moment in realigning their business, with 79% expecting the outbreak to leave a lasting and transformational impression on the behaviour of society, and their organisation and individuals.
“Already, a range of companies have committed to social responsibility and sustainability goals – a huge integration challenge for supply chain leaders that manage global networks,” O’Connor added. “This means supply chain leaders need to establish metrics and goals for themselves and their partners, and ensure their targets are met across the whole value chain.”
This represents an enormous challenge for CSCOs, who will be at the forefront of managing and defining the evolution of their own organisations, as well as those of their supply ecosystem and partners throughout the value chain.