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The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

Common Characteristics of Supply Chain Leaders

Terri Hiskey
Director, Product Marketing

Recently, leading supply chain researcher SCM World announced that they have selected five finalists for their Supply Chain Breakthrough of the Year 2016 Award. Those finalists are AstraZenica, The Dow Chemical Company, Ecolab, Intel and Schneider Electric. While these five finalists represent different industries and projects, SCM World recognizes that they also share four distinct themes that define the way supply chain management is changing. Those four characteristics are:

  • Customer Centric: Each of these finalists understands the needs of their different customers and the value that their customers attribute to things such as price, service and quality.
  • Data Driven: With the advent of IoT and big data, leading supply chains are not only demand driven, but also data driven. The amount of data collected across the manufacturing and supply chain is mind-boggling, and technology is catching up to the point that that data may be more easily analyzed and acted upon.
  • Innovative and Collaborative: Supply chain leaders constantly challenge traditional ways of working and actively solicit customer and supplier suggestions for improvement. Sharing information and promoting transparency across the supply chain are key to a successful, collaborative relationship.
  • Sustainable: Many supply chain initiatives can not only help improve company performance, but can have a greater impact on society. SCM World asked supply chain professionals last year what impact they thought their companies had on the global challenges of sustainability and more than half thought their supply chains were having a substantial impact on environmental stability.

What these characteristics reveal is that companies have to consider what their customers want and value, and it isn’t always the lowest cost. Investments that are made need to take into consideration the advancements that technology is making in analyzing and enacting on data. Visibility, a problem that has continued to challenge supply chain professionals, is not going away, and in fact is needed for companies to be collaborative and agile. Finally, companies are considering their impact on the world by understanding their impact on the environment.

For more information on these awards, check out SCM World. Are you seeing these characteristics in leading supply chain companies? Let us know in the comments.

Learn more about Oracle Supply Chain Cloud solutions at www.oracle.com/scm.

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