Are you the weakest link in your company’s supply chain?


If you’re disengaged from supply chain management, you run the risk of sabotaging partner strategy and customer relations – and leaving money on the table now and for the long term. Written by Reuben E. Slone, John T. Mentzer, and J. Paul Dittmann.

The answer to the supply chain executive’s question is a surprisingly common one: He was not being pushed to move faster because his CEO didn’t appreciate the business-critical nature of the supply chain operation. This lack of awareness was almost  incomprehensible to the executive – yet there it was. (Perhaps, he thought, it was a failing of his own skills as a leader and advocate.) He knew, of course, that many worthy
priorities compete for the CEO’s attention and that not all of them manage to gain it.


A turning point

Still, in an industry where supply chain excellence is decisively important for operational efficiency, working-capital management, and ultimately the bottom line, a CEO ought
to be fully engaged in this part of the business. Naturally, in some industries, supply chain excellence doesn’t matter nearly as much. “But this isn’t one of them,” the executive thought. Every conversation with the boss has the potential to be a turning point,
to produce a long-awaited eureka moment. So, armed with the rich and
persuasive vocabulary of business opportunity, the supply chain executive
proceeded into the CEO’s offi ce, ready to make his case.


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 HBRsept2007 weakest link.


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