Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Taking supply management to the next level

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 08, 2011

With young people returning to school this month, we thought we’d say something about on-going education for established professionals. Here’s a book for you to consider in September.

Next Level Supply Management Excellence: Your Straight to the Bottom Line Roadmap, co-written by Robert A. Rudzki and Robert J. Trent, presents a picture of what procurement and supply chain management will look like during this second decade of the 21st century. Given the disruptive nature of the current global economy, many of the views here are prescient.

Rudzki – who contributes blog posts to Supply Chain Management Review – admits that most readers will find some of the ideas here to be difficult to embrace. But it is his earnest belief such change will bring higher-visibility, accountability, risk, and ultimately – reward. Trent, who has contributed guest features to SCMR in the past, shares the opinion that today’s managers must extend their risk threshold if they are to keep pace with the dynamic shift in our supply chain universe.

Besides the fact that both Rudzki and Trent are very fine writers, they also happen to be consultants and educators with very precise ideas on just what constitutes good management. For Trent, it has been in keeping a good supplier scorecard. For Rudzki, it’s knowing when to tap outside expertise for cultural change. He notes that one of the classic reasons for using consultants includes a desire to “jump-start” improvement or to introduce and imbed new best-in-class business processes.

Additional reasons, he writes, include leveraging the prior experiences of the consulting firm and a need to supplement internal resources with outside expertise. But he cautions that the worst classic reason to outsource this function comes about because the organization lacks leadership in a functional area.

Both authors maintain that better decisions regarding use of external resources are possible when a proposed project is “disaggregated” into components. In other words, defining precisely what the long-term objective is.

But it all begins with executive awareness. The Next Level, argues that strategic supply management involves knowledge areas requiring leaders with intelligence and foresight. Those hoping to simply automate the system will ultimately remain stagnant. And that, say Rudzki and Trent, requires the best human resources currently available.



About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Logistics managers have always been under pressure to strike the right distance between specialized intermediaries and the markets they want to serve. That challenge is becoming increasingly complex, however, as mega-brokerage enterprises capture more share.

There are so many ways to analyze the state of truckload capacity, and on top of that there is, perhaps, no other facet of freight transportation that is so directly impacted by myriad moving parts, whether it be driver availability, rates, demand, weather, the economy, and, of course, federal regulations, among others.

The ATA said that the annualized turnover rate for large truckload carriers, which it defines as truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue, increased 3 percent to an annualized rate of 87 percent in the second quarter.

If you want to meet some of the most ticked-off people on the planet, talk to any trucking industry retiree who received that letter from the Teamsters’ Central States pension plan notifying them of their potential financial haircut coming in retirement.

Global express delivery and logistics services provider DHL introduced a new flight geared towards Michigan-based importers and exporters out of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA