This article was written by Stan Aronow, VP Distinguished Advisor, Gartner Supply Chain. The original article was published by Gartner. You can find the article here.
An executive tug of war is at play between the CEOs and CFOs of many publicly traded companies. Gartner’s annual CEO survey consistently shows business growth as the highest priority for top executives. More specifically, this means growing existing businesses while reinventing and pursuing new markets.
CFOs introduce natural tension with a desire for reliable earnings growth which, beyond new investments, may entail cost cutting and actions to lower enterprise risks. Many supply chain leaders would not be wrong for feeling like the rope in this contest.
Gartner’s latest Future of Supply Chain study highlights a divergence in how supply chain organizations are perceived by the C-suite. Organizations that have outperformed expectations in support of customers, new product launches, operational excellence, employees and sustainability goals (aka “high-performing organizations” in the figure below) are more often seen as equal business partners, as opposed to business enablers or simply cost centers to manage.
It is from this seat of influence that a balance between driving growth and managing risks is best accomplished. At this point, you may be thinking, “This all sounds great in concept, but how are these more advanced supply chains pulling it off?” In response, I’ll share some of the examples we are seeing across our COO/CSCO community, including some shared as part of Gartner’s Supply Chain Top 25 analyst education process.
Across industries, leading supply chain organizations have leveraged relationships, technology and new service models to retain and grow revenue with customers, old and new.
The supply chains I’ve highlighted as driving growth for their companies have also developed sophisticated risk management capabilities. For variety, I’ll highlight leading examples from other industries where supply chains have enabled rapid mitigation and recovery from existing disruptions, as well as the ability to anticipate and avoid future supply risks.
For privacy reasons, I did not name the companies tied to the above case examples but most of them, along with many other leading practitioners, will be participating in our next major gathering of the supply chain community. We look forward to hosting you all in Orlando, Florida, the week of May 7 at our Supply Chain Symposium and Leaders Forum events.