Seven Habits of Effective Supply Chain Managers

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Date Submitted: 09/28/2012 05:02 AM

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1.Skeptical : Supply Chain Managers always look for the risks involved in every strategy, plan or move. Being skeptical doesn’t mean that they are averse to risk taking but simply prepare themselves for any eventuality and have a backup or mitigation plan in place. The ability & habit of generating “what-if” scenarios help them to minimize exposure to operational and financial risks.

“What-if my most critical supplier close down shop?”

“What-if there is a strike at the port?”

“What-if the commodity prices shoot up beyond expectation?”

It may sound crazy to expect a person to always imagine negative events all the time. But it is always better to foresee them than to be surprised by them.

2.Eye for Details: Supply Chain Managers don’t go by perceptions or the superficial analysis. They are the one who change perceptions by presenting in depth and unbiased analysis. They are aware that the devil lies in details and they don’t let the devil catch them by surprise. However there is a difference between having an eye for details and getting lost in details.

A superficial Supply Chain Manager will try to solve the problem of increasing backlog of customer orders by increasing safety stocks. Whereas the effective supply chain manager will get into root cause of the problem e.g. forecast reliability or production reliability and attack the right cause.

3.Observant: Supply Chain Managers are astute and inquisitive observers. They are not dependant only on reports and excel analysis to take decisions. They keep an eye on softer aspects, qualitative and informal information to blend it with the quantitative data.

Supply Chain Managers regularly visit the markets and customers they serve. They observe the market reality and ask questions to their customers about demand trends or competition etc. Whereas a superficial manager will always be satisfied with the sales forecast received from Sales or Marketing. Supply Chain Managers are aware of the...