If any of you have ever participated in a writing for impact class, the first tenet often taught is to always begin an article or paper with an eye-catching statement that can grab the readers interest. I came across an article related to Procter & Gamble featured in the Business Courier of Cincinnati which had an opening sentence that absolutely drew my attention. “Procter & Gamble Co. is undergoing the most aggressive expansion in its history, with plans to build 19 production plants over the next four years, almost all in emerging markets.” Wow! Not only was this the first truly positive business article I’ve seen these past weeks, but it absolutely reinforces the belief that while severe recession brings caution, it should not stop any company’s strategic supply chain thinking.
The P&G investment plans are a recognition that this company’s long-term growth lies in emerging markets, and that supply chain investments in emerging markets infrastructure lay the groundwork for supporting this growth. The quote from P&G’s global product supply officer, Keith Harrison, is worthy of reflection. “What we’re really creating is a roadmap. What speed we’re driving down that road is a different question. But at some point P&G will be a $120 billion company. When we are a $120 billion company, I want to know what kind of supply network I’m going to have in place.”
This is bold thinking and savvy planning, worthy of a world class company such as P&G.
Readers should also take note that P&G couples a supply chain risk management initiative in support of this expansion. The article notes that P&G already has people on the ground paving the way for risk identification, mitigation, or business recovery planning.
In my mind, a company such as P&G should always be on your radar screen as a benchmark for world-class supply chain management.