#15: Dr. John Gattorna Executive Chairman for Gattorna Alignment

#15: Dr. John Gattorna Executive Chairman for Gattorna Alignment Featured Image

John is the Executive Chairman of Sydney-based specialist advisory business, Gattorna Alignment and he is one of the most respected supply chain thought leaders globally.

He has spent a lifetime working in and around enterprise supply chains, in many different capacities – line executive, researcher, consultant/adviser, teacher, mentor, and author. He is passionate about the subject – some might say obsessive.

In the late 1980s, John became disenchanted with the lack of conceptual depth in the ‘logistics’ field; and as it turned out this did not improve much as logistics thinking morphed into ‘supply chains’ in the 1990s. So he started to search for a new model/framework that would better inform the design and operation of enterprise supply chains, seeking to satisfy customers and consumers, at the appropriate cost-to-serve. And he found it in dynamic alignment.

For the last two decades John has been working with major blue chip corporations around the world to take his new model from the conceptual stage to a finer level of granularity; companies such as Dell, Unilever, Teys Australia, and Schneider Electric. It has been a complex task, involving learning about, and combining, several disparate disciplines – consumer/customer behavior; internal cultural capability of the enterprise; leadership styles; and of course the operational aspects of corporate logistics networks and supply chains. The unique quality of John’s perspective is that he presents a multi-disciplinary whole-of-business approach to the design and management of enterprise supply chains, and this requires an eclectic mindset.

He has written several books along the way as his thinking has evolved, but his three (3) most recent titles have been seminal: Living Supply Chains (FT Prentice Hall, Harlow, 2006); Dynamic Supply Chain Alignment, (Gower Publishing, Farnham, 2009); and Dynamic Supply Chains: How to design, Build and Manage People-Centric Value Networks, (3rd edn., FT Publishing, Pearson, Harrow, 2015.) Another book is in the works, due to mid-2020.

John also has a strong academic pedigree having taught undergraduate, post-graduate, and executive programmes at the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University in Sydney; Oxford and Cranfield Universities in the UK; and Normandy Business School in Le Havre, France. He currently holds Adjunct Professorships at Cranfield School of Management and Macquarie Graduate School of Management and is Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Institute of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Victoria University, Melbourne. He also teaches on the M.Comm programme at Normandy Business School, Le Havre, France.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Guest:

Dr. John Gattorna: Linkedin | Company Website

Stay tuned as we cover:

  • The Gattorna Alignment
  • Most successful projects you have been involved in with your clients?
  • 3 things you ask the client to quickly identify the root issue?
  • Most advanced tools we can use in SCM, in order to have visibility of the future
  • What is the future of Supply Chain with Blockchain
  • What’s the essence of the term, “Supply Chain Resilience”
  • Shape the culture to achieve high performance in their supply chain?
  • Top 3 attributes that a Chief Supply Chain Officer needs to have?
  • Leadership principles that you follow in your day to day work?

Show notes:

Part 1 – Industry Trends:

  • [02:53] Tell us a bit about the Gattorna Alignment – how you came up with the concept and maybe a specific example of how you applied it with great success for one of your clients
  • [07:21] As far I know you were also one of the pioneers who coined the term 4PL. Can you give us the history of how that happened?
  • [10:15] What is one of the most successful projects you have been involved in with your clients? What made it successful and what are some of the principles other companies can use to transform their supply chains? (maybe Unilever or Dell or Schneider Electric)
  • [21:38] When you start working on an assignment, what are the top 3 things you ask the client to quickly identify the root issue?
  • [22:18] You work with big multinationals worldwide, are there some common challenges they face around their supply chains? Any specific differences linked to each continent/country?
  • [25:07] What are the most advanced tools we can use in SCM, in order to have visibility of the future and minimize (or eradicate) risks, while moving forward?
  • [31:25] Organizations can not invest in all the technologies at the same time. How should they prioritize the areas of their investment to counter the volatility?
  • [33:59] What is the future of Supply Chain with Blockchain, if there is one. (Taking into consideration we have a learning curve and an adaptability curve with regard to the varying complexities in a Supply Chain.) And if any trends more specific to South East Asia
  • [39:00] Digitization is shaping and will reshape the landscape where communication, IT is concern, how do you see the physical movement part will change, to cope? Is better inventory, BTO the answer?
  • [41:57] What’s the essence of the term, “Supply Chain Resilience” for a 3rd Party Logistics like us. How does a 3PL become resilient? What do you think the role of 3PLs will be in the future?
  • [47:00] What is your view on the structure of our industry going forwards: the evolution of uber-type organisations in road transport, and digital freight forwarders like Kontainers and Freightos will fundamentally change our industries structure – think of the holiday industry in the last 20 years and the development of online booking.
  • [49:15] Data is key to us all and is our unique IP. As a shipper should we be in-sourcing data and outsourcing transactional processes? If so does that mean the end of Provider driven 4PL are solutions and the development of internal shipper 4PL’s?
  • [52:39] On blockchain, with so many players coming up with its own blockchain, do you see the possibility of a true total connected blockchain network happening?
  • [54:00] What do you thinks is the future supply chain target operating model? Will there be best in class models for different industries or the future target operating model will largely be standardized?
  • [55:35] Many organisations hoping onto adopting these AI related technologies at a rather fast pace and there is already several reports on possible huge talent crunched in coming years, do you think it’s really true and what would be your advice to organizations to ensure the employees are ready for the impact of industrial 4.0?
  • [58:16] What is the common characteristic of resistance that he meets and how does he deal with this enabling people to overcome their disinclination to change?

Part 2 – Talent and Recruitment:

  • [59:55] How can an organisation shape the culture to achieve high performance in their supply chain?
  • [01:03:32] How about leadership – how can an organisation develop, groom and retain top leaders?
  • [01:05:16] What are the top 3 attributes that a Chief Supply Chain Officer needs to have?
  • [01:07:32] In some organisations, Supply chain still doesn’t have a seat at the table with the sales and marketing teams – how can supply chain leaders change this and show to CEOs their value?

Part 3 – Personal success stories and habits:

  • [01:11:01] Are there some leadership principles that you follow in your day to day work?
  • [01:11:23] In your career you made the switch from consulting and working for Accenture to becoming a global figure and recognised thought leader. How did you manage to do that and what were your key learnings?
  • [01:14:52] Any personal habit that contributes to your success?
  • [01:16:28] If you  could give some advice to a 23 year old graduating university and wanting to achieve a great career in supply chain, what would it be?

Related Episodes:

Episode #06: Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux

Episode #08: Matthias Heutger SVP Marketing and Innovation at DHL

Episode #14: Erik Cheong Co-Founder & CMO of Park N Parcel

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Chief Executive Officer, Greensill​

Lex is the co-founder and CEO of Greensill, and a Senior Advisor and Crown Representative to Her Majesty’s Government on Supply Chain Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to the British Economy in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley, and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi.

Lex holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland.