Supply Chain Leader Skills (2)
over 2 years ago by Jon Dweck

​Being a Supply Chain leader requires many different set of behaviours and skills. Every organisation is different and have different requirements from their leaders, however these seven tend to be the most valued amongst employers:

1. Leadership        

  • Shows integrity which drives the right action in the best interests of the organisation        

  • Displays emotional intelligence to understand self and others

  • Builds a compelling vision and sharing it with clarity

  • Can build the right organisational structures around them to deliver their vision, delegating effective decision making and activities to others

  • Brings the best out of people

  • Manages upwards, capable of influencing business direction when needed


2. Stakeholder management

  • Builds and fosters critical relationships with peers, internally and externally

  • Able to flex communication style

  • Recognises drivers and goals of other business areas

  • Approaches business issues as one leadership team – no them and us

  • Reverts back to business goals and data when unsure of right path

  • Able to flex to different regional cultural preferences


Download this free guide ‘How to Assess Supply Chain Leaders’.


3. Commercial thinking

  • Shows a clear focus on an organisation’s customers and a desire to understand their needs

  • Maintains a clear understanding of market and business dynamics

  • Understands the clear link between supply chain success and business success

  • Builds supply chain strategy aligned to business need

  • Comfortable with budgeting processes

  • Speaks in terms of the value that their supply chain has brought to their organisation,showing evidence that they seek to maximise that value

  • Maintains a knowledge of supply chain trends and innovation that could add value to their supply chain


4. Analytical skills

  • Understands how to convert supply chain priorities and goals into metrics that drive thosr priorities and goals

  • Shows evidence of a “flexible toolkit” of metrics that can be applied to any supply chain

  • Provides evidence that their supply chain is data driven

  • Displays the ability to interpret data and other inputs into sound business decisions


5. Problem-solving

  • Recognises that their role requires problem solving as well as big-picture strategic thinking.

  • Spots issues before they become bigger problems, whether it is a challenge they have experienced before or not

  • Builds remedial action plans and ensures they are followed through

  • Knows when and how to take personal action when required


6.      Change management

  • Able to build a business case for or against a certain change program within supply chain

  • Builds action plans that convert top level goals into tangible elements

  • Shows the ability to build relevant project teams

  • Mitigates against and plans for operational disruption associated to change

  • Understands the impact of change on different people and enables cultural acceptance of change

  • Maintains communication of change across relevant groups

7.      Continuous improvement mindset

  • A growth mindset to their own personal development

  • Champions continuous improvements mindset across their teams to enable continuous improvement ideas to come from grass roots upwards

  • Displays natural inquisition that gets to the root cause of an issue

  • Constantly interested in understanding why and how things are done

  • Can apply prior experience and knowledge to new situations that lead to improvements

  • Shows creativity and innovation to allow new ways of looking at things

Download the free report ‘What organisations want from supply chain leaders’.

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