Earlier this week, Jason Busch made mention on Spend Matters of our recent Supply Chain Matters commentary regarding the pending supply chain related fallout among Apple and Samsung.  We sincerely thank Jason for his citation of our strategic analysis.

We also will ignore the attempt to leverage our penned supply chain insights as a means to make reference and market Spend Matters’ PRO paid industry analyst services to secure insights.  Our Supply Chain Matters insights are always offered in an open manner.

We feel that Jason’s off-hand comment that our insights tend to be sometimes “in-the-supply-chain weeds” warrants a further reflection.

Today’s global supply chain challenges are complex and varied, and supply chain professionals are called upon to manage decisions with far broader implications and impacts to bottom line business results.  Supply Chain Matters often amplifies the feedback that we pick up from current conversations among supply chain and business executives, namely that the constantly and increasingly complex day-to-day challenges involving the management of today’s supply chains has led to a discernible skills gap in many areas. The gap is increasingly evident and becoming troubling for businesses large and small.

Supply chain professionals can no longer depend on narrow functional skills knowledge, be that supply chain execution, planning, procurement or other functional disciplines.  Current needs and required certification lie in blending supply chain cross-functional, general business, information technology and overall program management skills into a broader based experienced portfolio.

In the case of sourcing and procurement, reaping cost savings from obvious targets of inefficient procurement spending has for the most part been completed.  The tougher challenge lies in fostering strategic supplier relationships, effectively managing increased occurrence of supply chain risk and in understanding the implications of strategic and near-term tactical needs on the broader global supply chain networks. Anticipating what decisions need to be made to avoid any supply disruption, and the business and bottom line implications of decisions when a major supply chain disruption occurs, are the new table stakes.

Supply Chain Matters will continue in our mission to provide supply chain business process and information technology focused commentary and insights that include both strategic and “in-the-supply-chain-weeds” analysis because they are required by our readers to meet their needs for broader functional understanding and future career growth.

Bob Ferrari