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ASCM Insights

At ASCM CONNECT, Supply Chain Moves the World

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Day 2 of ASCM CONNECT was full of inspiring presentations from the best minds in the business. Read on to learn how to become an impactful leader and how to make your supply chain one that truly creates a better world. 

3 Ways to Become a Transformative Leader

Do you have “hidden saboteurs” stopping you from showing up as the transformative leader you’re supposed to be? Amir Ghannad, founder of The Ghannad Group, assured ASCM CONNECT attendees that there’s a transformative leader within each and every one of us — it’s just a question of discovering them. He shared a series of habits that can help people overcome what’s holding them back and then “courageously pursue and abundantly achieve the extraordinary.”

Here are three takeaways from his educational session:

  1. Declare a future that you can get excited about. “If I wake you up at two o'clock in the morning, you ought to be able to tell me in 20 seconds flat what you're excited about,” Ghannad explained. Transformative leaders know how to talk to people about what excites them, which gets others excited about it too.
  2. Treat your commitments as binary: 100% or 0%. And it’s possible to be 100% in on multiple endeavors; it just requires being honest with stakeholders. “You have to say to them, ‘Look, for the next three weeks, I'm not able to do anything with this.’ The problem comes in when we say yes to a lot of people, but we’re not in communication. Then they're waiting for us to give them something or to communicate something, and we’re missing in action.” If you have 50-50 commitments, it’s time to go all in or eliminate them.
  3. Show up with enthusiasm. “Find the connection between what you do and the purpose that your organization is serving, and latch onto that,” he said. “You’ll see an immediate positive shift.”

A Game-Changing Supply Chain Maturity Model in Action

ASCM is supporting African ministries of health to solve critical supply chain challenges through the Global Health Supply Chain Maturity Model (GHSC MM), generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal is to build the community and orchestrate a series of small projects that lead to incremental public health supply chain improvements. Today at ASCM CONNECT, Glenda Maitin, SCOR-P, program director of public health initiative, spoke with ASCM’s John Stults, director of customer experience, about how far the undertaking has come.

“We're continuing to make very, very good progress,” she said, noting that the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model has shaped strategy and encouraged supply chain professionals to view their networks in a whole new way. After two years in action, 136 facilitators have been trained to help with assessments at the regional, subregional and national levels. Importantly, the program is also advancing African health care supply chains’ response to COVID-19 and improving access to life-saving products for better outcomes.

“Supply chain leaders can analyze the performance of the supply chain. They can identify targets for improvements,” Maitin explained. “The energy and excitement of utilizing SCOR is amazing. If you give people the tools, they can do so much.”

The program is built upon a free, cloud-based maturity model. The assessment uses data visualization to drive ongoing improvements, organize and prioritize changes, identify constraints as they emerge, and advance overall performance. It also teaches team members how to plan and collaborate effectively with partner organizations. The GHSC MM provides a roadmap to supply chain gaps and opportunities for improvement, whether in a developing region or an established market. Learn more at ascm-ghsc.org.

As the World Slows Down, Supply Chains Speed Up

During the pandemic, being able to support customers and patients with both everyday conveniences and critical healthcare needs has been the focus for supply chains across the globe. Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS; Jim Townsend, chief procurement officer for the Walgreens Boots Alliance; and Brian Jamison, national director of strategic procurement at PulteGroup discussed how their organizations have strived to achieve this goal, while protecting team members.

“As the world slowed down, it felt that the business really sped up,” Townsend observed. “Everybody in the United States — and I suspect in many countries around the world — was surprised at how quickly this came upon us. ... The pace that this happened was truly surprising.”

The panelists agreed that there are four key steps that have been shared by successful supply chains during the pandemic:

  1. Stabilize supply and make sure stores and facilities can operate effectively.
  2. Achieve “commercial containment” to align costs with revenue.
  3. Manage associated risks. “Comfort managing ambiguity is not a common skill,” Jamison noted. “And you’ve got to be able to communicate supply chain risk throughout the organization — not only upward to the C suites, but you have to be effective at the local level.”
  4. Plan for the future by figuring out what needs to change and what needs to be built.

Moving forward, the panelists agreed that communication and collaboration with partners will continue to be vital. “We’re speaking to our manufacturers more than we have in the past four months — and probably we have in the past year,” Jamison said. “We want to understand more about the supply chain and manufacturing process, more about their business and how it affects ours, and continue that collaboration between the two for that symbiotic relationship moving forward. That’s something we don’t want to lose.”

Take a Virtual Walk Through the Expo Hall

ASCM annual conference attendees have come to expect the best from the expo hall when participating in person. This year, they’re enjoying the opportunity to see and engage with the latest offerings from industry-leading organizations in the virtual Solution Center. Complete with a map of exhibitors that makes you feel like you’re right on site, the Solution Center helps people update their knowledge of the latest technologies, discover new solutions to immediate and long-range business needs, and uncover emerging trends.

During Day 2, attendees connected with the supply chain solution providers to learn more about products and services designed specifically for aerospace, aviation, automotive, consumer products, electronics, food and beverage, health care, retail, pharmaceuticals and many more.

How to Network Virtually

ASCM CONNECT is offering networking from anywhere so attendees can develop the same kinds of valuable relationships that they would while on-site. Through the ASCM Events App, participants can grow their networks and connect to the global ASCM community by messaging fellow attendees, posting about the conference’s industry-leading content, and much more.

About the Author

Elizabeth Rennie Editor-in-Chief, SCM Now magazine, ASCM

Elizabeth Rennie is Editor-in-Chief of SCM Now. She may be contacted at editorial@ascm.org.

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