Skills and capabilities for Supply Chain Leaders
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“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest thing. It is the one who gets the people to do the greatest things.” Ronald Reagan.
Which are the core skills you must have or develop to become one of tomorrow’s Supply Chain (SC) leaders?
What skills do you need, and why do you need them? Check which core skills you already have and which ones you might improve with some practical SC education.
— Technology and automation knowledge
Supply Chain leadership is about people using technology as a tool. Still, few SCs can move along effectively nowadays without the support of edge technology, such as Warehouse Management System (WMS) Warehouse Management System (WMS), Transportation Management System (TMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. You require at least a minimum of IT knowledge to work in a Supply Chain environment, mainly if you intend to occupy a leadership position.
Developing workers’ skills are crucial to being a productive Supply Chain leader.
You require to be familiar with the use of enterprise software applications, such as Warehouse Management System (WMS), Transportation Management System (TMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP.) Providers are developing extra features and business models to afford customised services and analytics software, becoming an indispensable source of leadership decision support.
— Enterprise IT skills
Your effort in IT Procurement will be central. Today, leaders expect you to get a hold of your company’s ERP modules and business intelligence applications on your own. In addition, you will need a technological understanding that expands beyond hands-on use.
You must identify your company’s technology requirements to discuss them with suppliers. You will require an understanding of the relationship between ERP workflows and physical processes; for instance, to help prevent typical mistakes, such as operating new technology to out-of-use, inefficient processes. The knowledge of Automation technology will be helpful as more businesses apply automation at warehouses and distribution centres daily.
Solid interpersonal skills even now outdo technological expertise as SC leader’s major strength. However, technology and its role in a company’s SC career are unquestionable.
— Scope of Economics and Market dynamics
The SC world is changing rapidly and varies continuously, following the dynamic market forces of multiple industries worldwide. Due to the rapid modifications in customer and consumer purchasing behaviour, many have become global.
The current SC leaders will need to address what comes ahead, to what extent, and probable forecast it. It will only be possible if you thoroughly understand the market concerning your industry and your business. This comprehension of their industry and niches will allow them to work wherever they please, provided they can understand the market and Economics basic concepts worldwide. Still, there will be times when the employer could demand complete comprehension of the unknown market.
The company leaders see in advance and lead the SC team efficiently, understand what drives demand, supply, and pricing for the goods and services your company supplies, and know its competitors well. By building up a Supply Chain management aspect that encompasses the cost of goods sold and the price to serve your customers.
— Identifying Cost-to-serve
SC leaders play a very active part in their company’s cost-effectiveness. Therefore, when you run the SC process, your decisions significantly affect the cost of supplying your company’s customers. Suppose you can measure how your SC leadership decisions impact your result. In that case, you will be a proactive leader able to make decisions and identify unprofitable customers and products, resulting in an immediate positive impact on the bottom line. These skills will help you stand out from competitors and be regarded as a skilled SC professional.
— Flexibility skill
Flexibility is a soft skill that tells apart a successful Supply Chain leader. SC leaders must have positive responses, support and drive innovation, but it could be challenging without Flexibility. A flexible mindset lets others be involved in creative thinking. Your Flexibility will give those thinkers the self-confidence to bring to the table their thoughts, realising that the leader will implement them if reasonable.
Flexibility opens your mind and helps you perform outside your comfort zone. It will help you cope with SC unforeseen events, a commonplace in SC events nowadays, whilst your team will cheerfully welcome rather than oppose change.
Is changing a plan admission of poor planning? Not at all; work on your Flexibility as a leader and accept that in-progress plans should constantly be monitored when they must be adapted to meet the company’s requirements. It is impossible to plan for every eventuality; while Flexibility is a virtue for SC leaders in general, it is, to no question, central in Project Management.
— Project Management skills
Aside from Flexibility, there are many other Project Management skills that you will need as an SC leader. It will help you and your team do an excellent job if you comprehend the essential principles, downsides, and challenges innate in Project Management.
Crucial Project Management skills
· The skill to negotiate effectively for resources, budgets, and schedules.
· A professional personal organisation.
· A proactive line of attack to risk management.
. Personal organisation is vital for keeping track of numerous projects.
. You might sometimes be called upon to support project business cases, hence the need for negotiation skills.
. When deciding if you will approve a project, Risk Management knowledge helps you ask the right questions about the proposal and business case.
. The ability to get the best from people.
Are these Supply Chain skills workable for your company to develop professional relationships?