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Getting the balance right

Jack Loo | March 23, 2011
Top global companies benefit from strong supply chains, says DHL executive.

SINGAPORE, 23 MARCH 2011 - With supply chains located across multiple locations and goods speeding across the world, from manufacturing hubs in Asia to end-consumers in the US, Europe and Africa, there is a growing demand for better information flows and visibility of goods in the supply chain, according to Richard Owens, CEO, global customer solutions, DHL Asia Pacific.

Therefore it is vital that companies are able to balance operational excellence with innovation excellence, he added, as he listed some of the global brands that have been recognised in analysts firm AMR's Top 25 Supply Chain Ranking.

Ranked top is Apple for "transforming its supply chain into a value chain, starting with the consumer experience and designing its network to serve that master first and foremost", said Owens.

In second place is P&G, which established new leadership footholds in other areas, including its use of innovation networks to tap external expertise for at least 50 per cent of its new product ideas.

"The company's recently released supplier sustainability scorecard is a model of practical but still ambitious target setting for a supply base that impacts many key environmental resources, including water, energy, emissions and waste," said Owens.

These top companies seemed to consistently exhibit the following three themes, he added.

1) Think outside in - Customers define value and not the executives. If you do not know what customers want, stopping asking the questions within the company and find out directly from them.

2) One size does not fit all - The success of technology in another company or product does not meant that it will fit you. Define your product and its supply chain and fit the right information to it.

3) Good management practices - IT is an enabler in most cases. It is usually a success in a company with good management practices.  


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