How to Create a Logistics or Supply Chain Management Vision?

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How to Create a Logistics or Supply Chain Management Vision?
Ronny Decuyper, Member
I am looking for some examples of a Vision of Logistics. Most companies publish their company vision. But are divisions within big companies also developing a SCM or Logistics Vision? If so, have you got examples of such visions?

How to Create a SCM Vision
Caillaud, Member
The reason I see for not finding examples of vision of logistics, is that it's not relevant. SCM is an approach of management supported by tools and techniques, which is designed to support the company's vision. Where the company wants to go, what markets are targeted, with which competitive weapons are the input to a well balanced operation strategy.
However, a well understood logistics and SC organization, performing reliable and able to react quickly, can provide interesting strategic advantages. One frequent problem is that top management doesn't always understand this, and miss the opportunity to consider this as a valuable input into the strategic planning process.

How to Create a SCM Vision
Ronny Decuyper, Member
Dear Mr. Cailaud, first of all thank you so much for your reaction. I totally agree with your point of view as SCM has to support the company's vision. The point is that we are very aware of the importance of logistics and SCM.
In short, we have a company vision, but we want each function to develop their own vision. HRM is no problem at all to find example visions and tools to develop a strategic advantage. The problem is however that for logistics it seems much more difficult to develop and to find visions since they're mostly invisible.

How to Create a SCM Vision
Caillaud, Member
We are aligned on the principle. This being said, I agree, by experience as well, that without such a clear vision, it's difficult for SC managers to develop a functional strategy without the risk to be out of game. However, I would suggest that the SCM manager, even if not part of the executive committee, can find out enough information from executives to formulate a common sense SC strategy. I would just recommend to make sure through proper communication that this strategy will at least be understood and accepted, and hopefully supported.
I remember a painful personal experience, where I missed to make this check!

How to Create a SCM Vision
van Hooijdonk, Member
A lot of big companies have a separate supply chain vision, derived from the overall business strategy. It is often used to define and supply chain targets. Often, small companies only have a supply chain plan, also directly derived from the business strategy. As long as the supply chain manager is able to determine the source plan, make plan, deliver plan and supply chain targets, there is no problem. A supply chain vision is not necessary, but can be useful to determine and communicate how supply chain management can enrich the total organization.
Consider that the overall business strategy can focus on sales growth, while the supply chain vision can (for example) mainly focus on delivering on time. Often used terms in supply chain visions are pro-activeness, lowering operational costs, flexibility, order-to-delivery reliability, JIT, pull, cross-functionality and more. Look at how supply chain management can ensure the companies vision/mission and use the supply chain vision to determine a clear priority for implementing more mature supply chain management. Key is being able to determine supply chain targets and optimize the supply chain processes.

How to Develop a SCM-vision
Ronny Decuyper, Member
@Caillaud: Sorry for the late reaction. Thank you so much for sharing your insights! I'll pass them on to the new Logistics manager.
As for me, I have a new job in the police. I'm supporting the local police forces in developing their vision and strategy. So your excellent advice will certainly be of a lot of help! Thanks!

How to Create a Logistics or SCM Vision
Shayna Catrice, Member
Transportation, logistics, supply chain management, materials handling, and inventory control continue to evolve. This evolution has created cross-fertilization among these functions, driven by factors both conceptual—matching demand to supply—and technological—an enhanced ability to communicate and collaborate.
Many logistics veterans believe we have progressed from transportation to physical distribution to logistics to supply chain management. Logistics practitioners focus on supply chain applications that interface with immediate customers, suppliers, and intermediaries.


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