I interviewed John Wilkerson who discussed Supply Chain Revenue Growth.
It’s nice to speak with you again, John. It’s been a while since we last talked. We’ve done interviews in the past. Today I’m looking forward to hearing your views on this topic. Before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Sure, and thank you for inviting me to share my point of view. Thank you. I’m John Wilkerson; I’m a supply chain and technology executive. During my career, I’ve been fortunate to work for some very well-known and exciting employers, such as Pepsi Cola, Nestle-Purina, and Dannon since the early 1990s, when my professional career started. My background ranges from first-line leadership to executive supply chain leadership for North America, just leadings in the 2000s. In my last role with Dannon, just to give you a very quick background, I successfully managed 50,000 retail-store outlets. Since that time, when I started my consulting practice with a couple other folks, we’ve been a much, much broader and taken a different perspective in several sectors, including financial, industrial, high-tech, pharmaceutical, consumer products, logistics, and health care. That’s basically about me. Just as part of my transformation, I transported myself several years ago to talk about this particular topic and forced myself to become an even broader thinker. I’m excited about this topic and happy to answer your questions.
What have you been involved in since our last interview?
Since our last discussion, one of the things I started to focus on, going beyond that traditional goal of procurement, demand, planning, supply, and operations, one of the things I started focusing on was actually what our organization can do to impact the profit-loss statement of the balance sheet. Investors are concerned about what’s going on in the P and L and also overall balance sheet. One of that things we started focusing on is what supply chain organizations can do. Today what we do now is look for opportunities to make the supply chain more efficient with those basic functions, but we also take a much broader perspective in looking for opportunities to put supply chain to generate their own supply chain revenues. The intent for doing that is obviously to make organizations better, supply chain organizations better but also to improve the balance sheet and look at funding their own internal investment capital. It’s exciting times and we find the industry’s changing slow but is changing.
Can you tell me more about your supply chain revenue-generation concept?
I’m actually very, very excited about the topic. I think that we’re not necessarily in the forefront, but there are others who’ve talked about this, so I can’t claim being in the forefront. What I can do is talk about some personal experience and then relate that to the sticker topic. I recall when I led the supply chain organization for a consumer products company that I had to shift monies around and worked with our CEO to find a way to source an inventory planning tool is an example. One of the things I did was hire a solution provider to be able to help us with order management and streamline our process. One of the things I found in that experience is that it just didn’t create value, and it actually became more of a headache than the long-term value. I took that experience and have taken that to sticker concept of supply chain revenue generation. Just to give you a quick background, I had mentioned that I personally went through a transformation, and what I found is that the view of a supply chain organization, the future supply chain organization is to help develop this opportunity. Once they see the opportunity and see the revenue string, then I see this as a win-win, including for the customer, the supplier, and the entire supplier organization.
Thank you. Can you share supply chain revenue examples or best practices?
Sure, and thanks for asking the question. Let me give you one illustration. The natural gas industry is a very global industry, obviously. It’s striving well here in the U.S., Africa, and a number of places throughout the world. Think about it; there are hundreds of small suppliers, midsize suppliers, and large suppliers. If you're a supply chain organization and you’ve identified a number of small suppliers who you want to go out and develop and help mature them, one of the things you can consider is that the small supplier does not necessarily have the view of the local market. I’ll use Africa as an example. They’re producing tons of natural gas, they’re producing that, but they don’t have visibility of local market. If I’m a supply chain officer for mid- or large-size natural gas provider, I want to help that smaller supplier, help them develop their local market with my own existing technology tools, and then if I can help them, then I can see them the big win-win all throughout. The win for the supplier is that they’ve got visibility of market, they can see what’s there; they can adjust or demand and supply plans according, or they can identify new markets when they, an example maybe they go to a different country, a different region. They have a business profile opportunity.
For the supply chain organization being self-serve is that if they can generate revenue for tools that they currently own today, that’s a win for them and gives them an opportunity to do some self-funding for other events and projects. If I think about the CFO and chief marketing officers, the CFO’s going to be happy, definitely, because there’s additional revenue source that’s unforecasted, which helps. Think about the chief marketing officer that they have an additional story to tell that cutely help separate themselves from the pack. All rev, I see this as a win-win-win for all parties. It’s a good illustration, simple, and I hope it makes sense.
Thank you, John, for sharing today on this topic of supply chain revenue growth.
Definitely thank you and thanks for the opportunity. I hope my short talk created value for your community.
About John Wilkerson
Below is the video that defines our supply chain operational excellence process that was broadly discussed during our talk.
Senior Global Supply Chain & Technology Executive