Five questions to ask yourself

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Companies can no longer rely on rising sales for profit growth and are looking for cost savings – all too often in the supply chain. But the supply chain can be a much more effective competitive weapon with a little more constructive thought. Here are five questions to ask yourself about your company:


1. Does your supply chain support your business strategy?


2. How effective is your supply chain process architecture?


3. Is your organisation structured around the skills you need?


4. Are your collaborative relationships providing the expected return on investments?


5. Does your choice of metrics support your business strategy?


I am sure some of you will have recognised in these questions the five core disciplines of strategic supply chain management set out in Cohen and Roussel’s book “Strategic Supply Chain Management”.


Of course, this is no magic wand but it provides a powerful tool for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s supply chain strategy and a route map for improvement.


A prime example of the use of these five disciplines in Nokia Siemens Networks, overall winner in the 2008 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards which are sponsored by PRTM.


Karl Kirschenhofer,  head of operations IDS at NSN, was in London last week to talk about the merger of the Nokia and Siemens network businesses and the creation of a supply chain that integrates service and software in a seamless way.


It’s a strategy that has resulted in impressive cost savings: 50 per cent installation cost reduction per installed system; 20 per cent service installation cost reduction; and installation engineering productivity improved by a factor of two to three.


But perhaps you have a story that is even more impressive. If so, now is the opportunity to enter the 2009 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards. You find full information at our web site:

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