Supply Chain Leaders Making The Move To CEO


The metamorphosis of supply chain from a humble collection of support functions like purchasing, shipping and production to true business leadership is huge. Chief Supply Chain Officers (CSCOs) increasingly control 50% or more of a company’s annual spending, with two thirds of all employees directly reporting to the role. More importantly, CSCOs have begun to play a vital role in strategy development, product and service innovation, and even sales.

Why the change? For one thing, globalization blew up the traditional factory-centric model of most product businesses while adding huge complexity to network design. For another, digitization has upended the merchant-driven operating model of most retailers and forced a radical rethink of how planning works across all industries. Finally, a rise in platforming strategies that bake complexity into core product designs and manufacturing process technologies call for supply network decisions that can take years to pay off.

The net effect is that the modern CSCO approximates the thought process of the CEO, balancing risk and opportunity, fighting the near-term battle with an eye on long term strategy, and focusing above all on profitable growth.

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