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Supply Chain Management Is Too Big a Job for Just One Person, No Matter What Their Title Is

To drive robust supply chain performance, many companies put one individual in charge, either a chief operations officer (COO) or a chief supply chain officer (CSCO). With the right leadership agenda these positions can make a major impact on performance. In some organizations, however, the appointment of a COO or CSCO may unintentionally lead other senior executives to view the supply chain as "somebody else’s problem."

A supply chain consists of a vast range of activities and interactions that touch virtually all of a company’s functions, as well as those of suppliers and customers around the world. No executive—however skilled, innovative, or persuasive—can drive top supply chain performance single-handedly.

Because the supply chain is critical for revenue growth, it should be the concern of the entire senior management team, not just the COO or CSCO. This includes the head of sales and marketing, who relies upon the supply chain to deliver products in a way that is consistent with the overall customer value proposition; the head of strategy, who depends upon it for expansion into new markets; and the head of product development, who relies on the supply chain to achieve time-to-market and time-to-volume goals.

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