I interviewed Andreas Jones who discussed The Value of Supply Chains to Organizations
Andreas, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Great.Absolutely.So my supply chain background started in the military.I served nine years in the US Army, did a plethora of supply-chain-related activities, including inventory management, supply chain operations, contracting, and transportation. And so my time in the military gave me a 360 view of supply chain, as far as niche-ing out into supply chain to figure out what's going on at each point.
With that experience, it allowed me to be uniquely qualified, once I got out of the military, to then go into the corporate world where I've branched out into sourcing and procurement and also supply chain project management.
Can you share with us what is the value of supply chains to organizations?
That's a great question. The value of supply chain... Supply chain is really a value-add organization. Normally what happens with supply chain organization is that it's only seen as a tactical organization versus a strategic unit within the business. So the value of a supply chain is allowing the business to have a unbiased strategy of purchasing and delivering their service or product to their end-clients or customers. And so what supply chain is built around is, first and foremost, building relationships. With those relationships, you're able to drive value and derive value from those relationships as your strategic partners get to understand your organization and the goal of your organization. And so when it comes to things like saving for the organization, you're able to do that because you have these strategic partners that you have built relationships with who understand what your business needs are and understand how to help you achieve your goals.
How is value created and delivered?
So value is created first and foremost in understanding the business requirements. The supply chain activity starts with the business units have a need. And then once you understand the business need, then you can go out and start looking for solutions to that need. So the value you get is that you now have multiple opportunities to get the same result in that you have formed these partnerships with your suppliers and you know that for that need, they would be the best suited to handle and meet the business requirements. Before you go out and do any supply chain related activity, it means you've got to make sure that you have absolute clarity in what the business requirements are and what the end-goal is for that project or initiative. And so value delivered is then done on the back end where you could show tangible savings — either soft or hard savings — and you can show how partnering with that company now allows us to have better transactions going forward and continuity in support after the project goes over and stuff like that.
Do you have any success stories you could share?
One success story for me would be, in one of my corporate roles, I went in and basically they were going through a lot of changes. They had acquired a couple other companies. So they were in the process of merging those companies. So what I was able to do was to go in and meet with all the company that they acquired, meet their leaders, meet their business units and figure out how to bridge the gap between all three so we would have a seamless supply chain operation that could support the business as we were growing and acquiring more companies. So that entailed looking into their contracts, looking for the overlaps of the companies that had the same supplies and stuff like that, so a lot of deep work and a lot of details. But the end goal was that we were able to bridge the gap. We were able to consolidate the three supply chains of the company to one global process, which really worked out and helped us position the business better off.
Do you have any final recommendations for supply chain managers and executives?
For supply chain managers and executives, I'll say the number one thing you want to establish in your organization is definitely leadership. And leadership and the fact that supply chain is not a one-man operation and a business is not really a one-man operation. It's a lot of dependencies there. So as a manager, as an executive, you have to be able to cast a vision and get buy-in from all parties, from your workers, from your teams, from your suppliers, and everyone in between. You have buy-in to what the vision is. So as management and an executive, definitely you want to have leadership. You want to have clarity. You want to have focus, and you want to have good execution and adjustments along the way.
Thanks for sharing today, Andreas.
About Andreas Jones
Global Procurement and Sourcing Leader I Supply Chain and Logistics Leader. Army Combat Veteran.