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James Gherardi


Recent Posts

The relationship between working capital and customer service

by James Gherardi on 29 Oct 2018

BIE’s Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 explored the most important areas of focus for organisations to optimise the relationship between working capital and customer service levels. The top three areas were revealed to be S&OP/IBP, demand management and order to cash cycle.

What we’re clearly seeing is there are supply chains recognising the value of sales and operations planning, effective demand management, and optimising the order to cash cycle.

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What role does the supply chain play in driving revenue?

by James Gherardi on 15 Oct 2018

Historically, supply chains have been focused on decreasing operating costs as opposed to driving revenue. And BIE’s recent research found that reducing operating costs is still the number one goal for the supply chain.

You could say that driving revenue growth only comes from the commercial side of the business. A business’ supply chain should without doubt be an enabler to driving that revenue growth, but could an effective supply chain become a revenue generator in its own right? To what extent could something be created that other organisations would want to have a piece of?

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How to overcome the biggest risks for the supply chain

by James Gherardi on 01 Oct 2018

The supply chain is recognising that having an influence on responsiveness and increasing efficiency are amongst their biggest challenges, according to BIE research.

The results of our Supply Chain Risk Survey 2018 revealed that the three biggest challenges faced by the supply chain over the last three years were also the top three challenges anticipated for the next three years;

  • Increased customer expectations
  • Increased volatility of customer demand
  • Increased cost pressure

What strategies does the supply chain need to adopt to overcome these challenges?

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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 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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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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Business as usual in the face of uncertainty

by James Gherardi on 06 Jul 2016

In fewer than seven days, the UK has fallen into a state of political, economic and social pandemonium. The only clear outcome of the referendum on our membership of the EU has been disunity. Disunity within government, between the countries of the United Kingdom, the rest of Europe and within families.

This is intended purely as a statement of fact rather than any political viewpoint. The thing that businesses detest most is uncertainty, something we currently have in abundance. No clear vision of the future is yet to emerge and is unlikely to do so until at least the end of this year.

Both main political parties are in disarray: the Conservative party remains in the midst of a leadership contest; the Labour party isn't providing any form of effective opposition; the SNP are baying for blood, and rightly so. A clear indication has yet to emerge regarding the timeline associated with Article 50, or for that matter, whether Article 50 is likely to be triggered and followed through to full conclusion at all.

Therefore, my last week has been spent in dialogue with business leaders to assess their views on the direction of travel and the associated opportunities and threats identified thus far. It is still very much early days; however, several clear themes have emerged:

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SELLING THE ‘SIZZLE’

by James Gherardi on 09 Dec 2015

There’s an old saying, coined in the 1920s and beloved of the original ad land Mad Men: “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”. Here, BIE Executive’s James Gherardi explains how the sentiment behind that phrase still has relevance today for candidates seeking to get themselves noticed in a crowded marketplace.

Although increasingly under threat from more innovative career selling techniques, CVs remain the principal recruitment currency. But, despite the many thousands of articles written on the subject of CV targeting, some very senior candidates are still missing a trick.

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