McAfee's product portfolio ranges from protecting consumers' home PCs to security interests in the Department of Defense and other large businesses, says Dennis Omanoff, senior vice president. The supply chain organization at McAfee helps the company forecast sales, enhances the customer experience, and provides vital benchmarking and metrics.
McAfee is involved with encrypted hard drives and USBs, web and mail security, products for risk management and compliance, storage, and other areas. Obviously, the company's supply chain is integral to sourcing, procurement and distribution of those products or services. But its duties and responsibilities are even greater, says Omanoff.
The CEO has ordered the supply chain management team to help with forecast accuracy, product support, and customer service. In addition, the supply chain was tasked with developing and improving performance and scalability of those products.
These are areas that Omanoff's department was not traditionally charged with. To help it achieve its goals, the team studies customer, employee and stockholder metrics. It also scrutinizes leading and lagging indicators, to determine where the company has excelled and where it has fallen short.
Moreover, it benchmarks itself against what Omanoff calls the "gold standard" - 10 companies whose supply chain performances are recognized as top-notch. "Benchmarks help us understand when good is good enough," he says.
For instance, profitability and operational efficiencies are benchmarked. "But you have to look at them holistically. We look to see who's the best in inventory turns. But you want also to look at on-time delivery performance or performance against unforecasted orders, and benchmark that as well. You could optimize one of those and have a tremendous advantage in one area but not in another. So you want a balance, say, between inventory turns and fulfillment rates. You want to get them both high, and measure them against best-of-breed companies."
Given the nature of McAfee's business, it looks at the issue of risk somewhat differently from that of most companies. The majority think in terms of supply problems or disruptions from environmental factors. For McAfee, risk is a virus or other problem purposely caused by competitors or other agents looking to harm a company or nation's interests.
"We have to ensure that the product our customers receive is secure, in the sense that a foreign agent has not injected something into the product that will expose the customer's infrastructure integrity."
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