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未来这项业务里会诞生很多CEO

Nader Mikhail 2018年12月27日

供应链专业人士有可能成为世界上最强大的管理者。

 

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“两天送达”,如今消费者对此已经没有什么感觉了。实际上,这已经成为他们愿意等待的最长期限。这样的“亚马逊效应”重置了经营执行标准,而且在让产品如何于恰当的时间到达恰当的地点方面,公司领导人现在必须做到尽善尽美,否则就有可能把客户拱手让给速度更快的竞争对手。受这种趋势影响,未来的CEO将集中来自一个传统上不那么受重视的业务环节,那就是供应链。

上述的亚马逊效应已经重新定义了消费者的预期和经营行为,也改变了企业对新一代CEO特质的需求。董事们越来越多地转向在职业生涯中能将全局规划和数千“零部件”落实到具体执行的管理者。今后,除了首席收入官和首席财务官,首席供应链官也将走上CEO岗位。公司价值的动力将越来越多地来自满意回头客的数量。这一点不光体现在有效管理百万美元级别的损益表上,还体现在有效管理10亿美元级别的销售成本以及企业社会责任项目对品牌的关键影响上。而所有这些都将受到严格管理的供应链的影响。

作为一家供应链软件公司的创始人及CEO,我有幸跟许多这样的高管合作过。大家可以想像一下麦当劳的首席供应链官弗朗西丝卡·德拜尔斯需要的经营控制力,她得跟数千家供应商打交道,而且每年都需要制作出数以10亿计的可回收纸杯、吸管和包装纸。大家还可以想想星巴克的首席采购官凯莉·本斯顿,她负责以合乎道德的方式从世界各地战略性采购超过5亿磅的咖啡豆,然后每天都通过全世界的2.4万间星巴克咖啡店为1200万顾客提供服务;或者强生的首席供应链官凯西·温格尔,她管理的销售成本超过250亿美元,她的工作是为全球消费者和病患提供逾35万件医疗保健产品。在服务客户的速度和持续性决定企业存亡的环境下,供应链负责人正在成为全世界力量最强大的高管。

要理解像她们那样的运营高管每天都要解决的问题,关键就在于弄明白大多数全球性业务的本质,那就是它从组织角度讲很笨重,各部门相互独立,而且不适于快速执行。最终推出产品的企业通常只能控制供应链的20%左右;它们大多都会跟外部供应商、运输公司以及承包制造商合作。尽管在工作中面对的是分崩离析的系统和大量公司间摩擦,他们团队每天的“英雄行为”,或者说为达到客户日益提高的预期而不断“灭火”的事迹却从未得到过认可。供应链专业人士处于连轴转状态,他们要和数千名合作伙伴打交道,要克服产品意外短缺、巨大自然灾害以及不可靠的经销网络等问题。供应链跟潜力无关;它是实实在在的,它是不屈不挠地执行,是稳定的表现,也是为了让客户满意而处理数以千计复杂而又不断变化的细节的能力。

在这个需要立即得到满足的时代,随着供应链的运营状态成为首要考虑因素,企业走到了生死攸关的十字路口。所谓的经营者是他们保持竞争优势的秘密武器。在这样的环境下,供应链专业人士显然要成为世界上最强大的管理者,他们照料着全球商业的心脏和灵魂,而且正在改变公司运营的方式(财富中文网)

本文作者纳德尔·米哈伊尔是供应链指挥协调软件公司Elementum的创始人及CEO。

译者:Charlie

审校:夏林

We live in a world in which customers are no longer impressed by two-day delivery. In fact, it’s now the longest customers are willing to wait. This “Amazon effect” has reset the bar for operational execution, and business leaders must now perfect how they get products to the right place at the right time or risk losing their customers to faster competitors. Because of this dynamic, CEOs of the future will disproportionately come from a traditionally under-appreciated business function: the supply chain.

The Amazon effect has redefined customer expectations and business behaviors, changing the nature of what corporations need from up-and-coming CEOs. Board members are increasingly turning to leaders who have made careers out of translating the big picture and thousands of moving parts into executional reality. The ranks of future CEOs will be filled with former chief supply chain officers (CSCOs), not only former chief revenue officers or chief financial officers. Corporate value is increasingly driven by the volume of satisfied and repeat customers. That’s reflected not by effective management of millions in P&L, but by effective management of billions in cost of goods sold—COGS—as well as the critical brand impact of corporate social responsibility programs. All are impacted by a tightly managed supply chain.

As founder and CEO of a supply chain software company, I’ve had the privilege to work alongside many such executives. Think of the operational mastery necessary for McDonald’s CSCO Francesca DeBiase to work with thousands of suppliers to produce billions of renewable cups, straws, and wrappers a year. Consider Starbucks’ chief procurement officer Kelly Bengston, who is responsible for the strategic sourcing processes of more than 500 million pounds of ethically-sourced coffee beans from all over the world to serve 12 million customers each day at 24,000 stores worldwide. Or look to Johnson & Johnson’s CSCO Kathy Wengel, who manages more than $25 billion in COGS to bring more than 350,000 healthcare products to consumers and patients around the world. In a world where companies are made or broken by how quickly and consistently they serve their customers, supply chain leaders are becoming the world’s most powerful executives.

In order to understand the challenges that operations executives like these overcome on a daily basis, it’s crucial to understand the nature of most global operations: organizationally cumbersome, siloed, and not designed for rapid execution. Product companies typically only control about 20% of their supply chain; they mostly work through external suppliers, carriers, and contract manufacturers. And despite working with broken systems and immense organizational friction, they are never recognized for the daily heroics of their teams, who are constantly fighting fires to meet growing customer expectations. Supply chain professionals work around the clock and across thousands of partners to overcome unexpected product shortages, catastrophic natural disasters, and unreliable distribution networks. Supply chain isn’t about potential; it’s where the rubber hits the road—relentless execution, consistent performance, and an ability to juggle thousands of complex and constantly changing details to deliver customer delight.

As the operational dynamics of supply chain become top-of-mind in this age of instant gratification, businesses are at an existential crossroads. Their so-called “operators” are their secret weapon to maintaining a competitive edge. Given this environment, it’s clear that supply chain professionals are poised to become the most powerful executives in the world, overseeing the heart and soul of global commerce and transforming the way companies run.

Nader Mikhail is the founder and CEO of Elementum, a supply chain orchestration software company.

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