"We communicate our achievements not just in terms of savings, but in EPS impact."
— Lisa Martin, CPO, Pfizer Corporation
Once targets are set and opportunities are identified, it is critical for a Supply Chain executive to build in a process to track progress and benefits. There are many ways to track benefits, but the result of diligent tracking builds credibility throughout an organization and engages Finance as a part of a supply chain initiative. If done properly, diligent tracking will provide a factual platform through which a supply chain executive can tout the performance of all team members involved in the process. Part of successful teaming is celebrating key wins and recognizing all the cross-functional contributors.
"When I meet 'one-on-one' with my CEO, I always bring a team of folks to show off their accomplishments."
— Sid Johnson, CPO Delphi
Whether a supply chain executive is building a new organization or seeking to expand the capabilities of an existing one, identifying talent is yet another technique to engage business leaders. If you are building a new team, it is important that candidates for new positions interview with other business unit stakeholders outside of HR and Procurement. Inviting other business units' stakeholders to interview potential team members will, by itself, help to build the CPO's collaborative reputation and aid in selecting the right candidates. CPOs seeking to expand on existing organizational capabilities can "seed" team members in other areas to build collaboration and cross-functional skill sets. Additionally, CPOs need to make networking part of what they teach their teams, for example, by deliberately creating opportunities for their people to interact with others across the organization.
Building a great team, being a leader in terms of "people development" and exposing talent to great opportunities across the organization earns a supply chain executive a reputation as a net talent creator.
Finally, there's one reason for teaming that does not necessarily map to the CEO's agenda for Procurement — managing one's own personal career. There are literally volumes written on the subjects of networking, cross-functional teams, learning organizations, the wisdom of crowds, never eating alone and so on. But in as much as one's success is linked with the quality of your creativity as applied to the issues above, let us leave you with this thought from Nobel Physicist Linus Pauling: "The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." And for many of us, the best way to have a lot of ideas is to stay connected to a diverse group people coming at similar problems from different angles.
About the Authors:
Mark Clouse is vice president with A.T. Kearney Procurement and Analytic Solutions. He brings more than 16 years of consulting and industry experience to the ATKPAS team. He has held several global leadership roles, established innovative e-sourcing methodologies and techniques, as well as revitalized strategic sourcing practices. His experience also extends to supporting and leading multiple operational and performance improvement engagements in the areas of Lean manufacturing, process reengineering, change management and strategic sourcing.
Chris Windfelder is director at A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions. He has more than 10 years of procurement consulting experience, with extensive experience with U.S. and international clients in the health care, public sector and consumer packaged goods industries.