Supply Chain is the master of the flow.
Supply What ???
When we ask the man in the street what the supply chain is, we are likely to hear the person answer the "Supply Quoi ???", which shows that although born 30 years ago, this essential function of the company is far from having the recognition of 'regalian' functions such as Purchasing, Production, Sales, Marketing, R&D, HR or Finance. When we ask the same question in a company, fortunately we hear less and less in return the "Supply What ???", on the other hand equally, we hear:
- "It's logistics" in companies where the supply chain does not exist,
- "It's the management of material flows" in companies that see the Supply Chain as an "improved logistics",
- "It's the management of material flows and related information" in companies that see the supply chain as an "extended logistics from suppliers to customers"
- "It is the management of flows of materials, information AND financial flows associated with it" in Leaders companies who have understood that beyond its execution function that legitimizes its legitimacy, the Supply Chain has a strategic position that is granted de facto from the moment it integrates financial flows in its 'playground'.
At Big Fish, we summarize these 4 levels of Supply Chain maturity and the topics associated with them, by the diagram opposite.
From the point of view of General Management, it is interesting to note that the Business impact is increasing with the maturity of the Supply Chain, not that Supply Chain Managers are becoming magicians, but simply because their playing field is is enlarged, and because experience shows that the largest deposits of value creation (or waste from the point of view one takes) are at the interfaces between the sovereign functions. This inevitably raises the question of power, because to optimize the whole, the Supply Chain Manager will inevitably 'invade' the territory of others. But all his culture has taught him to be a good obedient soldier, straight in his boots, and not out of line. Like General Sheridan who said that "a good Indian is a dead Indian",
Big Fish's mission is to help the Supply Chain Managers to free themselves from this stranglehold of 'good performer' by acting as real entrepreneurs of their function. Our unique approach is to grow Supply Chain populations by working hand-in-hand with them on a 'Best In Class' or 'Excellence' project located on our Supply Chain maturity ladder, on the one hand because these 'Best' topics In Class' or 'Excellence' are of interest to General Management given their impact, and secondly because these subjects force Supply Chain Managers out of their comfort zone (to be reliable performers) to learn by becoming Integrators. of the company or entrepreneurs of new territories of the company.