I interviewed Bill Michels who discussed What Do CEOs Expect from Procurement and Supply Chain.







It's good to speak with you again Bill. This is going to be another interesting interview about procurement and supply chain and about the profession. So my first question is what do CEOs expect from procurement and supply chain?


Thanks Dustin. I think when I talk to CEOs, they really want a lean integrated supply chain that can deliver consistently to all our customer demands. So when I think about supply chains, it's got to be, well, flexible, have a high velocity, deliver innovation, and be integrated. And the other thing I think they're looking for is with the short product life cycle's speed to market. They definitely want a supply chain and suppliers that can rapidly deliver speed to market and make changes in products as quickly as the product life cycle changes. And they also want business strategy alignment so they want a supply chain that is aligned to their business strategy and they also want increasing levels of value as well as lowest cost manufacturing. So that’s what I think they want.


What skills should people learn to be successful in their procurement and supply chain career?


I think they should learn all the technical skills in terms of the inventory planning, demand forecasting S&OP and procurement but more importantly, I think they need to learn relationship skills, so both internally and externally, influencing skills and probably the most important skill is financing skills. They need to understand the speed to language of business to the senior management of the company. And what the senior management wants to know pretty much is what investments are we making, what's the return, and what the risk is. So they need to make sure that when they talk to executives and when they propose things, it's at a business level.


And do you have any advice for people entering the profession?


The one thing that’s really been so helpful for me is to really find a mentor that can help you through understanding how to present things in a business way, what's happening organizationally and really that can coach you through your career. And in my case, I've had several great mentors that have helped and really given me a lot of advice to point me in the right direction for my career.


And then my last question is can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Sure. I've been in procurement and supply chain for a long time. I started my career in manufacturing business products, paper and food. And then went on to become CEO of Radio North America. And for a period of time, I worked for the institute for supply management as a Senior Vice President and President of Radio of North America. And now I'm running a new company called the Airport Consulting.


Well thanks again for sharing today, Bill.


Thank you Dustin.



About Bill Michels



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Bill Michels

CEO at Aripart Consulting

Scottsdale, Arizona | Management Consulting

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