Supply Chain Strategy: Do you now what "North on the Compass" is in your organization?

When I work with folks on supply chain strategy, I typically ask, "Not your business strategy, but your supply chain strategy, please tell me what it is?" There is usually a long pause and more often than not, I get the business strategy back in response. I explain that the supply chain strategy is a formalized plan that defines what the organization's supply chain is going to do to meet the customer requirements over the long term. I then ask how many folks have this and I bet I get 20% who say they do. I then ask of the 20% who say they do, how many people at their organization do you think know the strategy? The response is typically in the 20% range again. My final question to challenge them is, "So how do people know if they are working on the right things if they don't know what north on the compass is?" And what do you suppose it is costing you?


Which way is your strategy pointing?


Your homework: I encourage you to go back and see if you know what yours is and if your folks know it as well. I read a survey that says we lose 43% of our labor dollars, direct and indirect, because we do not know our strategy and thus are working on the wrong things in the wrong way.