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Expert Exchange

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The technology disconnect within the supply chain

by James Gherardi on 17 Sep 2018

The results of BIE's Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 indicate that there is a disconnect between the use of technology and businesses embracing the potential technological advantages they could be using to optimise their processes and people activities.

Supply chain professionals recognise that having an influence on responsiveness and a high level of efficiency within their supply chain provides a significant competitive advantage, yet also poses one of their biggest challenges. Conventional lean initiatives in the supply chain have focused on improving efficiencies and reducing cost through the elimination of waste.

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How is the finance function investing in people in 2018 and beyond?

by Simon Moore on 12 Sep 2018

Commercial finance and FP&A were the top areas that organisations were looking to invest in during 2018, according to BIE's Finance Succession Planning and Transformation Report

This is no real surprise as we see organisations drive towards an increased use of technology and decision support functions, as well as using analytics to predict and develop decisions for the future. Everyone is looking to the future which naturally means the focus is on planning and commercial support.

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How the supply chain risk profile is changing

by James Gherardi on 05 Sep 2018

There has been and continues to be an increasing perception of risk in the supply chain. In research by BIE, 68% of respondents said their supply chain risk profile had increased over the last three years, and 77% envisage their supply chain risk profile continuing to increase over the next three years.

Yet the biggest challenges that the supply chain has been focusing on are the same big challenges that the business has been focusing on, which is getting involved in the day-to-day activities of looking at customer expectations. The supply chain is not addressing any of the real risks that you would expect to see in an organisation.

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A question of responsibility: The CFOs role in succession planning

by Simon Moore on 28 Aug 2018

CFOs today need to be focused on more than just the numbers. They need to be able to play a central role in enabling the business to operate effectively, especially when going through business transformation.

But how much of a role are CFOs playing when it comes to succession planning and people development within the function? And how much of a role should they be playing?

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It's time to address the supply chain talent shortage

by James Gherardi on 20 Aug 2018

The supply chain is facing a talent shortage. And organisations need to be doing more to invest in succession planning within the function.

Our recent Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 revealed that 71% of supply chain professionals were recruited into their current role from external sources rather than being promoted internally. This suggests that there is work to do in supply chain succession planning strategy and management, with some investigation needed into what is causing the capability gap.

Preparing for the future

The challenge is how do you bring the practicality of managing an end-to-end supply chain operation into the classroom so that you have effective leaders for the future?

It’s very much up to employers and academic institutions to work together to ensure the right set of skills are available in the marketplace. Particularly around the use of technology, IT and innovations such as 3D printing in the supply chain.

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Preparing the supply chain for Brexit

by Omera Khan on 13 Aug 2018

There's no doubt that Brexit will disrupt businesses, bringing both uncertainties and opportunities. As strategic supply chain risk expert Professor Omera Khan tells us - organisations need to transform their supply chain now in order to prepare.

With both business transformation and Brexit, there are three important stages in the journey to implement real change: mapping out a vision, identifying the people and capabilities required, and planning and designing the transformation. Each of these phases calls for time and investment to affect the best possible outcome.

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Are CFOs sponsoring more business transformations?

by Ben Hawkins on 06 Aug 2018

Business transformation is everywhere. An overwhelming 80% of senior executives surveyed by BIE said their company was going through a business transformation of some nature.

Traditionally, the CEO is ultimately responsible for the vision, direction and strategy of the business transformation. Each line manager then plays their part in aligning the business unit to the overall transformation.

However, BIE's annual survey also found that for 41% of organisations, the CEO was the sponsor of their business transformation programme, but that the CFO accounted for 21% of sponsors.

So what exactly is the role of the CFO in business transformation?

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Succession planning: the key to future-proofing your business

by Marty Jaynes on 30 Jul 2018

If we asked you the question, ‘does your business have the next generation ready to fill roles at all levels of your company?’, what would your answer be?

While developing internal talent is a key priority for many organisations, BIE research revealed that 66% of CFOs believe their successor will come from external sources. At least in the finance function, it seems that organisations aren’t taking succession planning seriously.

A forward-thinking approach is critical for ensuring your business is well-equipped to thrive against a backdrop of constant change. And this includes creating a development plan for people to move up in your organisation.

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How can we stop employees becoming disengaged with constant change?

by Ben Hawkins on 23 Jul 2018

Engagement is often the overlooked pillar of successful business transformation. But why does it matter? The clear answer is that people are the ones that make change happen, and if they’re not engaged, the change programme simply won’t deliver.

The trouble is, change is a constant in today’s business environment. Unless people understand the need for organisations to consistently look for ways to improve, they can become tired of always having to flex and adapt.

BIE’s annual transformation survey revealed that this is already a challenge for many organisations. 47% of senior executives who responded to the survey said that their company’s employees were becoming disengaged with change.

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How do you get the experience to become CFO?

by Simon Moore on 16 Jul 2018

As we explored in a recent post, the development of finance specialisms means organisations are at risk of not being able to find someone rounded enough to become CFO.

In a PLC environment, unless you have previously been a CFO of a listed company, the shareholders are wary of anyone being promoted internally because they are worried they don’t have the necessary experience. Additionally, in a PE environment, if you haven’t been the CFO of a PE-backed business, PE houses don’t want to talk to you.

So how can organisations find a better balance between breadth and expertise across all financial disciplines, to allow senior finance executives to step up into the number 1 role?

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