If your company is struggling with supply chain performance, what’s the first thing you investigate? Do you look into the state of your physical supply network? Do you take a deep dive into supplier performance? Do you evaluate the effectiveness of inventory management?
At some point, you will probably need to do all of these things but first, how about taking a step back and asking yourself and your executive colleagues if you and your teams are aligned on business, supply chain, and other strategies such as information technology?
The reason I’m suggesting this is because strategic misalignment can still be a common barrier to supply chain performance and as a result, the business success of an enterprise.
Executive Alignment on Supply Chain Strategy
Are you the CEO of your organisation, and if so, who do your senior supply chain managers report to? Do you even have a supply chain management team, or is your company still distributed into silos such as procurement, logistics, demand planning, and so on?
Strategic misalignment is often a symptom of integration problems across the various supply chain functions, along with a lack of executive alignment between the chiefs responsible for those business components. What often happens is that the supply chain strategy is not considered holistically, or a strategy is chosen which simply doesn’t support the overall aims of the enterprise.
However, it’s simply impossible to have such misaligned strategies if the people behind them are in accord with one another. The message here is a simple one: misaligned supply chain and business strategies can only result from an absence of executive alignment.
If this or a similar situation is something you can identify with in your organisation, it’s a people problem and should be addressed as such. Taking any other approach will only result in throwing money at an issue which financial investment can’t solve.
Executive Alignment on IT Strategy
In the course of our consulting engagements at Logistics Bureau, the alignment problem described above is something we still see frequently, along with similar cases of misalignment between supply chain and IT leaders.
What happens when executive alignment between the business leader and the CIO is missing? At best, the consequences can substantially limit supply chain performance.
The effects of misaligned supply chain and IT strategies can include:
- Implementation of multiple solutions, leading to increased complexity, cost and sometimes compromised functionality
- Misdirected selection of solutions, which can’t then be changed without incurring further significant costs
- Conflict and friction between business and IT teams
None of these impacts are easily resolved and of course, are far better prevented. So if you haven’t spent too much time considering executive alignment on business, supply chain, and IT strategies, there’s no time like the present to do so.
Time to Talk in a Common Tongue?
Raising your company’s supply chain game doesn’t have to be especially difficult, as long as you and your fellow leaders can resolve to start speaking the same language and sing from the same hymn sheet. Like anything though, it’s more easily said than done.
Supply Chain Leaders Boardroom was conceived to help you with just this kind of challenge.
Our networking and coaching program connects you with fellow execs, some of whom will be glad to provide you with tips gained from their own experience of executive alignment. In turn, they’ll be glad of your input into their own business challenges and problems.
Sometimes it’s good to get help from outside, before you start to tackle the issues inside. To find out more about how the Supply Chain Leaders Boardroom can help you do that, stop by at our home page and register your interest today.