We know that sales and operations planning needs to be end-to-end. Meaning, it has to be optimized factoring in the entire operations of the company.
It’s useless to have the “optimal” manufacturing, distribution or procurement process if in the end you’re stocking out more!
But here’s the problem. Who leads sales and operations planning? A lot of times companies don’t actually have a “head of supply chain” type role.
But even with those that do, what influence does the title really give him or her? After all, typically the budgets are owned by the line managers. But even more critical, performance goals are specific to each line manager’s function.
Bottom line, you don’t expect the heads of manufacturing or marketing for example to report to the head of supply chain. So what influence does the head of supply chain really have?
If this is the case then, we in supply chain might as well stop worrying about titles and org charts. Instead, just take ownership of getting the job done.
And when I use the term “take”, it’s deliberate. If you can’t be effective without a title, chances are you’re not going to be effective even with one. Your success as a supply chain leader will depend on many skills:
- Maintaining an unwavering end-to-end view of optimization
- Being fact based
- Nurturing a genuine desire to listen, share and collaborate with people
By the way, don’t even try to fake this last point. Pretending to care might give you a few quick benefits, but seldom works over the long term.
Don’t wait for someone to give you a nice “leader” title. If you want to be a leader, then lead.