Welcome back to another installment of Whitepaper Wednesday here on the Purchasing Certification Blog. Today, I’ll be reviewing a whitepaper entitled “Supply Management Transformation: A Leader’s Guide” from Supply Chain Management Review and Greybeard Advisors.

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This whitepaper, written by former CPO and current executive advisor Robert Rudzki, somehow concisely details all of the high-level, necessary components of a supply management transformation. Rudzki defines supply management transformation as “the successful conversion or metamorphosis of supply management from a transaction-based, reactive function to a proactive, strategic driver of business performance—whose input is regularly sought by other areas of the company.”

The whitepaper starts out by discussing the strategic corporate objectives and measurements that are important to senior management and pointing out that, in many organizations, the supply management function is generally under-recognized for its ability to contribute to strategic corporate objectives. It says that supply management “is uniquely positioned—more so than most functions—to have a broad and sustainable impact on the business. The sad fact, though, is that most senior executives are unaware of this. A big reason for this lack of awareness is that no one has communicated the supply management opportunity in their
language. Awareness doesn’t just happen by itself. The central challenge for supply management professionals, then, is to take a leadership role in helping their senior management understand.”

After educating the reader on how to impact the things that are important to senior management, the whitepaper introduces six “dimensions” of a successful transformation including objectives, best practices, innovation and technology, and more.

Rudzki offers a few of the type of insightful, irreverent, non-academic rants that get my attention, such as:

  • “Although a poor organization design can impede success, an organization design is rarely a driver of success. Furthermore, the temptation to apply the ‘org chart fix’ to an enterprise ignores an important reality: the informal relationships and networks inside an organization are often more important than hierarchical organization charts.”
  • “Should supply management report directly to the CEO? Direct reporting is really a two-edged sword…[A direct] reporting relationship could result in a diminution of focus on the supply management ball…The key to supply management success is not the lines on the corporate organization chart. The real key is access. The CPO should have regular and easy access to the executive suite and to the heads of the business divisions.”
  • “[Accountability for supply management success] starts with incorporating objectives of the transformation plan into the annual, written performance objectives of relevant employees. By relevant employees, I mean everyone from the CEO to the entry-level buyer—from procurement professionals to internal clients.”

Despite the fact that this whitepaper is only seven pages long, it packs a lot of punch and can serve as an excellent detailed reference for a current or aspiring CPO who is embarking on a transformation initiative. You can get your own copy directly from http://www.greybeardadvisors.com/ and there is no registration required.