Executive Briefings

Aligning Your Supply Chain with Business Strategy

Linking supply chain and finance is vitally important at MeadWestvaco, says Brian McClure, the company's director of global procurement and supply chain. It helps boost operational excellence, which drives productivity.

MWV is a $7bn global leader in packaging and packaging solutions. It serves a wide range of industries, including beauty and personal care, food and beverage, health care, tobacco, home and garden, commercial printing, media and entertainment.

The supply chain there is at a certain level of maturity, McClure says, moving from a tactical arm of the business to a more strategic one. "We're focusing now on driving productivity and delivering end market solutions."

Linking the supply chain to the finance department is one way of becoming more of a strategic player within the company. "There are obvious metrics for that, but there are also productivity targets we've set around value generation and cost savings."

Operational excellence is the framework designed to drive productivity, with Six Sigma and lean initiatives under team leaders and facilitators.

Far-flung production, spread across a number of countries makes for a complex network and a highly matrixed organization, according to McClure. Obviously, tying everyone in the the company together is very important.

In defining the markets that MeadWestvaco serves, there are several questions that supply chain can help in addressing, including: what's important in those markets, where does the organization need to distinguish itself, who and where are its partners, how to close gaps. "It's a structured approach," says McClure. "Focusing on the noise of the day only keeps you from understanding the broader picture of company needs."

To view this video interview in its entirety, click here.

MWV is a $7bn global leader in packaging and packaging solutions. It serves a wide range of industries, including beauty and personal care, food and beverage, health care, tobacco, home and garden, commercial printing, media and entertainment.

The supply chain there is at a certain level of maturity, McClure says, moving from a tactical arm of the business to a more strategic one. "We're focusing now on driving productivity and delivering end market solutions."

Linking the supply chain to the finance department is one way of becoming more of a strategic player within the company. "There are obvious metrics for that, but there are also productivity targets we've set around value generation and cost savings."

Operational excellence is the framework designed to drive productivity, with Six Sigma and lean initiatives under team leaders and facilitators.

Far-flung production, spread across a number of countries makes for a complex network and a highly matrixed organization, according to McClure. Obviously, tying everyone in the the company together is very important.

In defining the markets that MeadWestvaco serves, there are several questions that supply chain can help in addressing, including: what's important in those markets, where does the organization need to distinguish itself, who and where are its partners, how to close gaps. "It's a structured approach," says McClure. "Focusing on the noise of the day only keeps you from understanding the broader picture of company needs."

To view this video interview in its entirety, click here.