Supply Chain and the CEO

Supply Chain Management and Logistics need to be a priority in the boardrooms of our companies. To get there, supply chain professionals need to articulate the value of supply chain and logistics functions. The value proposition of Lean Six Sigma Logistics includes cost reduction, increased competitive advantage, and market growth. These topics should certainly attract the attention of any CEO! As supply chain professionals, we need to be talking to our CEOs, and we need to talk to them in “CEO language.” We need to get their attention! The framework of the Logistics Bridge Model will allow us to have these conversations armed with knowledge, vision, and direction for the future.

The supply chain CEO

Any model that focuses on results will be multi-dimensional. With the Logistics Bridge Model, the dimensions are based on the management hierarchy of a typical organization. The model looks at logistics from the point of view of the CEO first and then drills down to the strategic level and lastly describes the tactical areas for successful implementation. This approach follows Lean doctrine by creating a model that can be understood by all levels of the organization. By following the model, the CEO will know what will be accomplished, as will the senior management and front-line managers. The Logistics Bridge Model provides a corporate strategy that can be used to implement a world-class Lean Six Sigma Logistics system.

The CEO’s Perspective

The job of a CEO is certainly not easy. The CEO is the one person who is ultimately responsible for everything, the one person who needs to balance the needs of the customer, the employees, and the shareholders. The CEO’s job may depend on increasing shareholder value, but what does this have to do with logistics? In a word, everything! In fact, logistics may be the single most overlooked area for opportunities in business today. This is very surprising, when one considers that the world’s most successful companies today credit their logistics and supply chain activities as the secret of their success.
Once a commitment is made to embrace supply chain management and logistics from a strategic point of view, the challenge becomes to develop a plan to engage the supply chain functions. Where does a CEO start? The Logistics Bridge Model answers this question. The CEO should be concerned with three key focus areas:

1. Logistics Flow
2. Logistics Capability
3. Logistics Discipline