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Expert Exchange

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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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Is finance still leading the decision support function?

by Simon Moore on 08 Oct 2018

Companies have more data than ever at their disposal. But knowing how to interpret this data to inform strategic and operational decisions is easier said than done. And organisations are grappling with how to fuse together meaningful data from a plethora of systems.

Often the responsibility falls to finance, because it's numbers. But these numbers aren't just financial - they come from all areas of the business.

It’s here that we can expect the world of decision support to come into its own. This function will be made up of a number of different skills. There will be finance expertise; data specialists who can find patterns and theories in the numbers. But then you need people who can paint that picture and explain the patterns in the numbers to the board.

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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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Where is the next CFO coming from?

by Simon Moore on 26 Sep 2018

The silos of technical, commercial, and shared services in the finance function are creating a problem. In ten years’ time, it will be much harder to find well-rounded finance talent. As discussed in a previous post, this increasing focus on specialisms within the function are hindering succession planning.

Currently, the most common route to becoming CFO is to come up through a group finance role, move into FP&A, followed by getting divisional FD experience, before heading finally towards the number one position. But with the development of specialisms, what does the future path to the top look like? Where will the next CFO come from?

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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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