Learning Center

Working Across Silos - The Main Challenge of Supply Chain Executives

Posted by ICECORP on Mar 29, 2016 5:14:42 AM

Author: Marie-Charlotte Rouzier

Getting a product from A to B is not easy. That’s why supply chain executives exist. Weirdly enough, the main issues for them is not to get the product from A to B, but to get other business units to understand how hard it is to get the product from A to B.

Be it via organic conversations, phone interviews or internet surveys, the testimonies all converge; working across silos seems to be the #1 priority of supply chain executives.

Why is that?

In the U.S., the concept of supply chain executives has not yet been officially recognised by the DoL. Many refer to themselves as the “logistic guy”, the one no-one really knows about.
As discussed in many presentations, debates, roundtables and panel discussions, the absence of the Supply Chain Guy from the boardroom is a vibrant testimony of the under-estimated value and importance of supply chain cog in the business machinery.


working across silos image 
Image courtesy of Strategic Insights - http://www.strategyinsights.eu

But is it a factor or a consequence?

When I first started working in supply chain, I was informed that supply chain people are mainly “C” on the DISC© spectrum. In plain English, it is an easy way to understand in one glance that supply chain people tend to be conscientious, placing emphasis on quality and accuracy, expertise and competency. This being said, one of the main characteristics of C people is a strong pull towards introversion. This means that the Ideas they have may not always be communicated clearly.

Is there be a correlation between the ability of creating meaningful connections at work and working across silos?

From my perspective, this argument is a drop of water in the ocean of the obvious. The world is changing and one key element is re-distributing the cards in the business-poker game. This element is therefore not just the problem but the solution as well. As one my respondents put it: “They have had an impact on the collaboration between business units in my organisation”.

working across silos image

 Do customer expectations impact the design and implementation of your supply chain?

Yes, customers are changing the game. They expect more, and always more, driven by a fierce competition that allows massive key players to offer incredible logistic-based customer service and brands know it.

The way products are delivered is becoming almost as important as the price and quality of the product itself.

Supply chain based competition is in full swing and it will do the job for you. With boards listening minute by minute to customers’ demands, it is only a matter of time before they open the door and ask the logistic guy at the end of the corridor to step in and give them ways to gain a larger share of the market.

Please note: The content in this article reflects the opinions of the author.


Get Your FREE  Supply Chain  Assessment

Topics: Supply Chain, Team work


Educational Opportunities
White Papers & E-books
One Pagers & Checklists
Presentations & Webinars
Video Series & Podcasts

Supply Chain Dictionary

Supply Chain Dictionary

Never forget an acronym again! Avoid being embarassed in front of upper management & colleagues! Best terminology guide for supply chain executives & professionals!
Perfect for students who are about to enter the industry!

Sign Up for Blog Updates!

Interested in Guest Posting for Us?

We are always looking for new writers to contribute to our blog about the supply chain and logistics industries. To become a guest writer, please submit your articles/ideas to [email protected]