Background and Introduction

The Supply Chain Council (SCC ), which is sometimes referred to as SCOR, announced its new slate of Board members and Officers in early July to carry on leadership of the organization through 2012.  Supply Chain Matters was pleased to have the opportunity to interview with David Malenfant, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Alcon Labs, the new chair of the Board for the SCC.

Dave is no stranger to the Council, having served many years in the organization, and most recently as chairperson of the organization’s North America Leadership Team (NALT). In my role as a volunteer member of NALT over the past three years, I have come to appreciate the supply chain practitioner and leadership experience that Dave provided for our team.

The following are Dave’s thoughts about the direction of the Council and the state of the supply chain profession. Due to the length of content, we are dividing the commentary of this interview into two different posts.

 Q: How do you foresee the vision and mission of the Council evolving over this next period of Board leadership?

I view the Council as one of the very few organizations that provides an end-to-end view of the entire supply chain.  If you take a look at many of the existing professional organizations or trade associations associated with supply chain today, many had their genesis from a functional perspective, whether it is procurement, planning, operations, service management, logistics and distribution. The value proposition of the Council, through its evolution of the Supply Chain Operations Model (SCOR) and SCOR process is to provide a perspective of supply chains made up of a fully integrated process vs. any one particular function. We understand that there are multiple functions that make-up a holistic supply chain process.  We want to work with individual companies’ members, and the supply chain professionals that reside in those companies, to transition thinking from an individual functional perspective, to an integrative, end-to-end process perspective.

Moving forward, I would desire Council members to view Council activities and the SCOR model not just as a tool or methodology, but as a means for member companies to dive deeper into supply chain processes, to identify both value as well as opportunity for more efficiency and cost savings. 

Where we have not done a good job in the past is how we position Council activities such as SCOR or DCOR as tools rather than an overall process objective that addresses integration. SCOR in itself can be a process if it is utilized properly. To that end, I would see our organization redirecting its efforts toward helping member companies identify the supply chain as a process that can be fully integrated within a company or service organization.  I’m looking to our strategic committee to identify or expand our efforts for helping member companies’ drive deeper toward either the end customer, or lowest tier of supply, and to look at the supply chain as an overall process that can be fully integrated within the company or organization.

 

Q; What role and/or benefits will the Council continue to provide for its members?

When you view the supply chain as an integrated whole, it can represent a significant aspect of total cost.  If you are a retailer, 80-90% of value-added costs are associated within supply chain activities.  Consider, for example, Wal-Mart It is a very, very good distribution company that understands its entire supply chain structure. If you extend that to a consumer product goods company, that number may be upwards of 50-60%, and the same holds for automotive and other industry sectors. 

Companies are focusing much more attention to understanding the composition and make-up of their various supply chains.  I speak often with executive recruiters, who are being bombarded with requests to hire experienced supply chain people.  In this economic environment, companies understand that in order to remain profitable, they have to have a full understanding of their cost structure as well as be able look across the whole of their supply chains for cost savings opportunities. They are seeking experienced professionals who can help to quickly identify opportunities for efficiency, but, at the same time, responsiveness to customer needs. I sometimes push back on these requests, because these skills must be developed from within the organization. This is where the Council has an opportunity from a professional development standpoint.

 

Q; Should existing or prospective Council members expect any changes over the coming months?

Over the coming months as the Council becomes more focused, member companies should expect the organization to have a clearer mission statement and value proposition and clear strategic thrust.

Our organization has already reached out to other supply chain professional organizations such as APICS (Association for Operations Management) to provide broader benefits for both companies and individual supply chain professionals.  Members of the Council are now eligible for member pricing on APICS certification exams and educational events, and APICS members will benefit from access to SCOR’s various training and benchmarking activities. We hope to expand this effort and work with other organizations as well, such as CSCMP or ISM. We all work together in the same space and should collectively be focused on providing additional value for both individual functions, as well as the overall supply chain process.