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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Conradie.

Bain: CEOs Leveraging Supply Chain for Competitive Edge



A Bain & Co report by Global Performance Improvement Head Hernan Saenz, shows that for supply chain professionals, cost control has been supplanted as a top priority by resilience, digital enablement and sustainability.


The global management consultancy firm’s study reveals that today’s supply chains demand more complex trade-offs across a growing set of priorities, including resilience, sustainability and responsiveness to customers.


As a result, says Bain, supply chain reinvention is now a CEO-level concern, and is seen as an opportunity to create unique selling points. The report’s lead author is Hernan Saenz, Global Head, Performance Improvement Practice at Bain.


The primary findings of the report are as follows:

  • Supply chains now demand more complex trade-offs across a growing set of priorities, including resilience, sustainability, and responsiveness to customers.

  • Because of this supply chain reinvention has become a CEO-level concern.

  • Leading companies employ integrated decision-making, guided by an understanding of their supply chain’s unique qualities.

  • Companies that get the trade-offs right outperform strategically and set new standards of operational excellence.


It took fewer than four years of massive global turbulence to upend decades of business dogma about how to design and operate a winning supply chain. Now, the question CEOs must answer is no longer ‘Should we reinvent our supply chain?’ but rather, ‘How should we reinvent our supply chain?’” - Hernan Sainz


New-look supply chains, the report continues, have:

  • More built-in flexibility.

  • Contain a balance between offshore manufacturing and manufacturing closer to customers and suppliers. 

  • Possess greater visibility, thanks to better data, digital tools, and relationships with suppliers and partners. 

  • More circularity, as leaders address resource extraction, wasted materials, and resource scarcities. 


Bain urges leaders to: Take a holistic view to redesign the whole system; assign a cross-functional team to find end-to-end solutions; build the operations team’s skills in strategy and cross-disciplinary collaboration; and work more closely with suppliers, customers, and other partners. 


This is a message echoed in this discussion from July last year with Reggie Twigg from Anaplan (supply chain marketing lead at Anaplan) and Russell Goodman from Supplychainbrain.


Nucleus will point out that all of these are achieved through partnering with a 4PL Supply Chain as a Service provider.


Source: Supplychaindigital

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