Oracle Supply Chain Management Blog

CFOs and Supply Chain Executives: Vastly Different Priorities, But Very Closely Linked

November 26, 2013 By: Paul Homchick

By Jon Chorley, Chief Sustainability Officer and Group Vice President of SCM Product Strategy & PLM, Oracle

With the financial pressures that most organizations have had to navigate in recent times, the role of the CFO has been put under the spotlight. And as our global research study with Accenture pointed out, these pressures have seen the CFO’s role evolve from financial leader to corporate strategist and change agent.

In this expanded role CFOs are wearing many hats, but have you ever thought about how the goals of supply chain executives and the CFO are now intrinsically linked?

It’s this very link that made a recent Forbes article stand out to me. Penned by Ernst & Young, the article explains why the “immediate and lasting impact” of supply chain optimization on “growth and profitability” should put it near the top of the CFOs and other business leaders’ priority list.

To underline the point, the article explains that while the CFO and his or her supply chain counterparts might be tasked with vastly different priorities, they are still very closely linked as they share a key responsibility: gaining an edge on industry rivals. We couldn’t agree more and have seen how our customers have gained a competitive edge by transforming their supply chains into information-driven value chains.

The article also raises an interesting point on the characteristics that will support a successful relationship between the CFO and his/her supply chain counterparts. I can’t reiterate the point any better than how it’s already conveyed, so in the author’s own words:

“This working relationship should be grounded in data and the deployment of technology to mine and aggregate information in order to better forecast demand, manage inventory levels, stay ahead of buyer trends and identify and mitigate risks — from commodity price spikes to hurricanes.”

And again we can confirm this to be the case as we have seen both supply chain executives and CFOs moving in this direction. In fact, in our study with Accenture, fifty-seven percent of CFOs said they believe investments in big data and analytics are a key source of differentiation and competitive advantage.

This trend is one of the reasons Oracle has been expanding its application portfolio with the latest generation of in-memory computing to help customers make smarter decisions, reduce costs and accelerate time consuming workloads. We know it’s all about performance and are committed to helping our customers successfully integrate supply chain optimization into their business.

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