What Type of Year Do You Want 2011 to Be?

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As you look back on 2010, are you able to say that you and your teams achieved all of your strategic objectives? Or, was the year consumed by tactical urgencies and firefighting, leaving little or no time for the new strategic opportunities you wanted to pursue?

If your company is similar to most companies, it’s likely that you spent most of the year battling operational and tactical emergencies, and did not have the opportunity - or adequate resources - to advance the strategic agenda. If that describes your situation, ask yourself this question: why is 2011 going to be any different than 2010?

Specifically, what have you done to change the dynamics for the supply management function in your company? Have you, for example, really enhanced your department’s credibility with your internal stakeholders such that they are enthusiastic supporters of your department and your budget requests? Have you arranged for an independent and candid assessment of your “current state” compared to best practices——and obtained an independent view of the financial opportunity that is possible? Have you designed a credible blueprint or roadmap for change, and an associated business case, for presentation to your senior management? Have you done it all “in the language of the CFO?”

If you do all that, in the manner that I have periodically described for readers and conference audiences, chances are that you will successfully elevate the visibility and importance of supply management in your company, and obtain additional executive support and budget for 2011.

If you don’t take the initiative, chances are that 2011 will be no different than 2010.

And, to answer your obvious question: Taking the preferred path does not require a lot of time or money. Based on our experience, a full assessment and roadmap – including a detailed business case ready for your executive audience – can be accomplished in less than 10 weeks. And, it will set the stage for a much more strategic, rewarding, and fun, future – with you in the driver’s seat.


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 [email protected]

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