Growing a supply chain design practice requires more than just technology smarts
What skills are important for new hires to possess in order to manage this increasingly critical area of the business? How do you continue to develop your valuable supply chain staff and keep their job satisfaction and performance increasing? Supply chain design teams require the right people, skills and organizational relationships to thrive. Here are some ideas to consider, and how LLamasoft can support your efforts.
Industry Insights for Supply Chain Design Teams
Many of the best practices LLamasoft has advocated related to supply chain design as a repeatable, sustainable process within the business have been highlighted in a recent article, Companies See ‘Massive Shift’ in Search for Supply Chain Talent, Wall Street Journal, May 22nd, 2015, Loretta Chao. Here are a few implications for supply chain design teams.
You can’t hire just anyone to be a supply chain design analyst
In the article Chao states that, “Industry experts say an understanding of technology and an ability to work in a global environment are increasingly important in the supply chain, forcing managers to look for people with a rare mix of specialized skills to manage this crucial aspect of their business.” The large global businesses we work with every day are attesting to the importance of the people and process aspects of developing supply chain design teams. The people side of supply chain design cannot be underestimated, and that means you can’t put just anybody into the role of supply chain analyst. Unlike execution systems, you can’t rely on a software system to simply “give you an answer”. Leading businesses understand that, with a given set of inputs and distributions there could be a range of outputs that business leaders will review and then decide on the best course of action at the time.
Design thinking is core to supply chain team capabilities
Developing analytical skills and the ability to understand the growing complexity and interdependencies of cost, service, risk, capacity, tax and demand make the analysis of the end to end supply chain a demanding position and one that needs constant development. Chao also cites the huge volume of global enterprise data businesses are generating which is both an enabler of more detailed and accurate analyses and a potential pitfall if not managed and understood. This can allow for greater granularity and accuracy when modeling. LLamasoft provides training and coaching for supply chain professionals to ensure they are maximizing their use of this wealth of data, using capability such as demand classification, inventory optimization and simulation that can incorporate large data sets and include end to end modeling of SKU level flows. COEs are shown to perform better with greater industry and technology experience (see image).