[00:00] Radu Palamariu:
This episode is brought to you by Amazon Logistics, a new program for business leaders who want to own and operate their own package delivery business. Get access to Amazon’s logistics, training, and technology and start building a team of motivated drivers in your community. To learn more about becoming an Amazon delivery service partner, go to logistics.amazon.com
[00:23] Radu Palamariu:
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast, I am your host Radu Palamariu Managing Director of Alcott Global. Our mission is to connect the supply chain ecosystem globally by bringing forward the most interesting leaders and topics in the industry, and I am happy to have with us today is Professor Richard Wilding who is the Chair of Supply Chain Strategy at the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Cranfield School of Management in the U.K., as well as the past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport for the United Kingdom. Richard works with European and International companies on logistics and supply chain projects in all sectors including pharmaceutical, retail, automotive, high technology, food and drinks, and professional services. His significant contribution to Logistics & Supply Chain Management has been recognized by him being appointed as the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013. In 2019 he was the winner of a “National Teaching Fellowship”, the most prestigious individual award in Higher Education. I’m very happy and thrilled that Professor Richard took the time. Let’s welcome him and thank you for joining us, Richard.
[01:35] Professor Richard Wilding:
No problem. It’s an absolute pleasure to talk to you all today.
[01:39] Radu Palamariu:
Super. So maybe give our audience a brief storyline in terms of how you started in the supply chain. I know at the very beginning you were in raw materials. At the very early stage of your career, you’re a materials engineer and then for many years you’ve transitioned into very practical academia. Tell us a little about yourself.
[02:07] Professor Richard Wilding:
Yes, of course. I started off my first degree in materials engineering; material science and technology. I started off my career actually working in manufacturing, engineering and production management and I used to make building bricks. I ended up managing a facility that used about 1.2 million building bricks a week and these were the red bricks that you see buildings made out of in England moving forward. But believe it or not, we made 144 different types of standard square bricks but, then you could do all sorts of special things with them on. I was there for a period of time. I then moved into the metals industry, which was actually the copper industry where I was working in that particular area for a while. While I was on that journey, and I was putting technology into copper smelters and copper smelting facilities, doing manufacturing systems engineering that I accidentally fell into academia. I think that’s the best way to describe it because during those previous roles, particularly in the brick industry, you’re managing a whole supply chain. To be quite frank, I didn’t really realize it at the time and I accidentally fell into academia and I joined the Warwick Manufacturing Group, which is based in the university Warwick and I was there for a number of years. I joined when there was 70 staff and left with 500 staff within that particular group under the late Professor Kumar Bhattacharya, who is a very famous figure in the United Kingdom. I then decided to proceed with my Ph.D. in my spare time while working there. The big thing about Warwickwas that we were very much engaged with engineering companies. A lot of my time was actually spent in a way, working with companies, managers in manufacturing environments and supply chain as we know it today was really just in its infancy. I was sort of working with those organizations, many automotive companies, aerospace companies and so on and so forth within that area. I then decided it was time to escape academia, and I failed dismally and ended up at Cranfield University, sort of worked with a number of consultancies and various people, and I was gonna go and work with them. The story goes that one of the professors here was a non-exec director for one of those companies, and he says, “No, you’re not having him. He can come to Cranfield, but you he can work with you for a few days.” So I’ve been at Cranfield now for 21 years. What’s great about Cranfield is everything we do is about turning knowledge into action. All our students are postgraduate students that people like yourself working in the industry. We do a lot of work with organizations around the world. Since then, we’re doing research, but also, what we’re very much doing is trying to embed good supply chain practice within those organizations. Cranfield’s kind enough to let me do sort of private works from an executive director with a number of large organizations. As your introduction said, I was Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport for a number of years, four years and I just had to step down. I’ve done the maximum number of terms you can do and the governance that we put in said that you couldn’t have people on the board and as chairman for too long because that’s bad for a company of that type. For professional institutions, you need a little bit of a change. I’m now the immediate past Chairman. Of course, I still have some connections, but I’m letting the current team get on with things and keeping a low profile for a few months and before I just sort of go back and perhaps do something else.
[06:30] Radu Palamariu:
You seem to have a pattern in doing that and it’s not necessarily uncommon because if you’re very passionate about something, it tends to happen. I’d love to ask you a little bit in terms of the work that you do for multinational corporates, you are purview to and said that you sit on a few boards and see a lot of these discussions are owned by corporate supply chains in action. What do you see as the main challenges that companies are facing when it comes to the supply chain in today’s world?
[07:18] Professor Richard Wilding:
I think if we’re sitting in the boardroom, some of the things that we have to comply with are actually quite challenging. It depends on the companies that you are with. For example, modern-day slavery is a particularly important area that can be severely disruptive to an organization. If you find out that’s going on in your chain, of course, things like conflict, minerals, fiber security increasingly are something which is very much on the agenda within the board. I think what’s actually really important about this is that from a supply chain perspective if you think that competition is not between individual companies, it is between the supply chains that they’re part of. We are all very much connected and if we’re looking at some of the foundational elements of supply chain 4.0, which we’re starting to see taking place within the environment, that starts to create all sorts of challenges because this increased connectivity is also presenting us with great vulnerability and greater risk within the supply chain environment. If you think about the foundations of supply chain 4.0 and industry 4.0 things like systems integration, big data, analytics, simulation, virtualization, internet of things, the cloud, cybersecurity which I’ve already mentioned, autonomous systems, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing. All these things are sort of joining together. In the past, you will talk to supply chain professionals and you say, “Hey, you need to think about cybersecurity,” and they’ll say, “It is not my job, it is the IT Department’s job.” It is not, it is everybody’s job. It is very much the responsibility of a supply chain professional; supply chain director to think and consider the whole cyber security issue. Why is that? Because, if we’re looking at some of the more recent attacks on corporates, it’s occurring through their supply chain partners. In other words, you have a supply chain partner that is compromised and because we’re all connected, then they’re able to get into your systems and compromise what you’re doing as well. I look at the supply chain and what you need to think about is, we all need to think around those particular things and that’s just one example. We also have, if you’re looking at cyber terrorism; supply chain terrorism and that’s another area which is increasing. If you’re looking at some of the latest stats on that, we’re getting 3.7 instances a week now occurring where you know terrorist activities are happening which is actually generating serious issues for supply chains. We’ve got a whole raft of different things that we’re having to deal with consumers demanding great traceability. But of course, we’ve got the whole cost issue as well, which underlies everything. At the end of the day, we’ve got to make sure we can make some money and do that cost-effectively. I think in a way that’s also being a big challenge because if you think about, for example, in retail the world of Omni Channel, where consumers wanting to buy things have it delivered online and everything else. If you don’t understand the cost to serve in that particular area, you lose money very quickly. We’re finding many organizations, many traditional retailers who really just losing everything because they’re trying to play that game and they’re not playing it properly. It depends on the set you’re in but there is a lot of stuff that is in the boardroom agenda at the moment which is part of the challenge of the complexity of what we’re having to deal with.
[11:40] Radu Palamariu:
I couldn’t agree more and also the fact that you are purview to so many industries that also paints a very complex and diverse picture because obviously there are differences between each of them. I was reading recently, the World Economic Forum presented some effect and also they had 44 factories of the future. There’s a list and if you saw that one where they basically highlighted the best manufacturing facilities in the world that are using the different elements of industry 4.0 between artificial intelligence and machine learning and digital twins, big data and everything you want to connect with that. But I’d love to go a little bit deeper because I think the moment you mentioned cybersecurity, it is probably going to be more and more important with IoT, with amounts of devices that are getting connected and interconnected is just gonna get more important. I wanted to get your perspective, how do you see this? Because, still in a lot of organizations, it is pretty broken. You have the IT Department, tech department, supply chain department. Can you give us some examples of organizations that you’ve seen that have done this really well? Because in my experience, in terms of where we come from- the consulting angle or executive search angle. It’s not that common that the cybersecurity aspect sits within the supply chain space.
[13:22] Professor Richard Wilding:
I think it’s something that really needs across the whole of the organization. Yes, you need the I.T. people but at the same time, it’s rather like I came across this early, when we were looking at data standards and information standards to use across the supply chain. You probably know GS1, which is one of the key standards organizations. When working with GS1 we often talk about the language of business. What they’re basically saying is, if you’ve got, like, proof of delivery and so on and so forth, make sure that you have that in the same format. Advanced shipping notice,s make sure that all the supply chain parties used the same format. What they do is they have a standard format. You witness this mostly in the grocery supply chain because every bar code can be read around the world. You have a standard barcode structure, which can then be read by scanners and so on and so forth. If you didn’t have that, you’d have all sorts of problems. Now I remember actually a few years ago now, we were doing events saying, “Hey, look, this is really important to the supply chain.” Having a common language, common ways of working on. We need to actually mobilize organizations to think more carefully about this. We sent that invitation to the supply chain directors and they said, “No, that’s not a drop, that’s map information, an information director’s job”. Then you send him invitations to the information directors and they turn around, say, “oh, no, no, that’s no add-drop, that’s the supply chain director’s job” and last, the problem with Silos is that there are some big gaps in between. So it has to start the thinking process, and it’s the same with cybersecurity. It’s not one function that can actually do with this whole organizational culture that needs to be addressed. You have to make everybody think through what the implications are for the way that they share data, how they manage and protect the system and so on and so forth. And if you look at recent attacks, I mean one which is well documented, it’s probably worth sharing his target. The US retailer, they ended up being hit a number of years ago now. Effectively, that came from refrigeration, heating, ventilation, air conditioning supplier. Who was attacked with phishing emails then they were able to get onto that supplier’s systems from the supplier systems because of the connectivity to heating and ventilation systems. In target, for example, they were able to then get into the target systems, then sat there for a number of months. They basically just harvested 40 million payment credentials and 70 million customer records. Once they got all that, they were able to start, making money out. Their recon of that was actually cost a target of 162 million so far. I don’t know if that is the final cost of actually being worked out and this is a substantial amount of money. Another example, Google Australia, they are building control systems and were actually hacked by some hacktivists according to Google systems. You’re sitting there as a supply chain person, but you’ve got to think about how we secure things. But if you think about the infrastructure of the supply chain directors in charge of might have some responsibility for you. Think about your warehouse management systems and so on and so forth, somebody gets into that and access all the data records. You’re not gonna know what’s going on for a very long time and of course, we’ve recently had some just in the last few months. We’re talking about, we are talking out, we are in January 2020, we’ve had Austria and their government systems have been targeted. We’ve also got Travelex, which is the travel money organization, has also had a big attack on that as well and that’s out of action and the problem is, they offer those services to retailers and other organizations. In the United Kingdom, you can get your money from Tesco, the big supermarkets and they use their systems, but it’s branded as Tesco, travel money or whatever and actually, behind all that, it’s Travelex who are managing it. Nobody can move anything anywhere at the moment, and I haven’t had an update on it recently. But that business is still, I think that happened around Christmas time, and the last time I heard they are still not fully operational. This is severe and it’s increasing, so we need to start thinking very differently about the amount of focus we put into this. That’s one of the things which I think should be keeping supply chain directors awake at night, to think about what they can do to help secure the business. Because, the supply chain if it’s attacked, competition is not between individual companies. It’s between the supply chain they are part of and you could easily lose your competitive position if you don’t deal with these issues.
[19:46] Radu Palamariu:
If we were to think from a very practical and pragmatic perspective, let’s say Professor Richard that you’re the chief supply chain officer of a major retailer of manufacturing company, and you wanted to ensure that your supply chain has minimal risk or even risk zero. What would be some of the first things that you would do and look at?
[20:06] Professor Richard Wilding:
You’re never gonna get into zero but, one of the things that we are looking at with one company is in the United Kingdom, we have something which is actually run by governments and its cyber essentials. It’s like a kitemark that you can have and the interesting thing about cyber essentials is that they talk by reassuring customers that you’re working to secure your IT against cyber attack. You can attract new business with the promise you have cybersecurity measures in place. You have a clear picture of your organization, cybersecurity levels, and some government contracts that require cyber essentials. The cyber essential is an initiative and you can do it on a very much voluntary basis, but you can also get it audited, and you can get a badge for it. One of the things that I’ve been working with companies with is saying, hang on a minute, if you’re thinking about procurement and so on and so forth, is cyber essential something that you’re actually asking of your suppliers? Is this something that you can ask of your suppliers? You can practically do anything useful. I’m sure other countries have similar initiatives. If you google something like UK cyber essentials, I’m sure you’ll be able to find the details of these initiatives. That just really starts to give people the processes and the opportunity to go through. Of course, at the end of the day, you’re never going to completely protect yourself, but a lot of it is good housekeeping. One of my favorite little thoughts, I came across on Twitter it about passwords and here’s a great quote. “Passwords are like underwear. Don’t let people see it. Change it often and you should not share it with strangers.”. If you take on board, I’ve been sharing that within Cranfield, some of the bits with the basics of having more complex passwords, changing one on a regular basis, ensuring that everybody’s aware of these things, that becomes really important. I think from a supply chain perspective when I’m working with companies on supply chain strategy, I generally say this in simplistic terms, a four-building box. There’s this supply chain process design, the supply chain infrastructure, and equipment that you’re using. There are the information systems, but also there’s the organization, the people, and that side of things. If you’re gonna take out a supply chain, you can take out either the processes, the infrastructure, the information systems, and all the people. If you’re thinking about it, sometimes, it is easier to take out the people. If you think about you in your office, it may be that I’m going to Facebook and find out what’s the details about you? Because I’ve got all those details I’m then able to hack into one of your accounts because I’ve hacked into one of your accounts. I was then able to get into your business account. It’s something that you know can be, you know, you might see your work, and the way you operate a home in terms of your IT systems is very different. But of course, everything’s connected at the moment. If you’re disposing of a lot of information on Facebook, there is a better chance that maybe people might be able to get the details of your work. Security is infrastructure, you could target infrastructure which people are having to deal with in order to disrupt this supply chain. That could be vehicles, it could be warehouse management systems, it will be all sorts of things, it could be the information systems, but also you might want to disrupt the processes. These are some of the things that you have to think through. We have time protection in place on all those elements and we understand the resilience of what’s happening.
[24:45] Radu Palamariu:
On the topic of people because now, I guess if I’m to speak metaphorically, you’ve kind of transition from physically building bricks to a more metaphorically building the fundamental bricks of knowledge right in the minds of the students and future workforce. What do you professor, in this age where we are talking a lot about industry 4.0, digitization, robotics, and machine learning, there are a bunch of technologies coming in and they are coming in fast? What do you see are skills needed for future supply chain leaders and professionals to keep them relevant to this very fast-changing world?
[25:32] Professor Richard Wilding:
You have your technical intelligence, this is the IQ of the supply chain and traditionally, the IQ of the supply chain might be around, how do I manage inventory? How do I warehouse design? It is all that technical knowledge which often in Cranfield, we can give you an awful lot of supply chain IQ, that technical intelligence of the supply chain. The challenge to some degree is just the qualifier. Now, that is very much just the qualifier. The winner is the EQ or the emotional intelligence in the supply chain which is how we manage relationships. If you’re looking at all the examples we’ve discussed so far, if you’re looking at cyber, you have to manage relationships across the broad supply chain and within your organization to really deal with this effectively. It’s not just about sitting in your business and doing something very technologically advanced. That’s a part of it but the relationship side of things is also very important to deal with. Part of the challenge that we then got is if you’re looking at supply chain 4.0 and all those elements the technical intelligence and the qualifying technical intelligence elements is changing very rapidly. If you go back and you think that a supply chain professional at one time. If he sort of understood inventory control algorithms and rooting, he is probably absolutely fine. They could do a very nice job with just that level of technical intelligence but for the jobs in the future, you’re gonna need a whole raft of different sorts of skills and things that are required. This is very much part of the challenge. If I’m doing supply chains strategy going back to my processes, infrastructure, information systems and then the people, if for example, we say, “Hey, instead of having a warehouse that just has loads of racking with loads of automotive parts on it, we put in the warehouse a clever additive manufacturing 3D printing machine”. We don’t actually keep any physical parts but we just keep virtual plans of the parts and we print them when we need them. And that will have a big impact on the infrastructure side of things. It might mean the warehouses are smaller. It might mean we don’t need as much racking. It might not have implications or sorts of different things. It also means we can change the process. The process that we used to have for managing inventory of distributing victory may change. It will also have an impact on the information systems because the information systems that we originally have will need to change to accommodate the fact that now they might be holding a virtual design rather than keeping track of a physical product. Things will change there because you’re putting a sort of a small manufacturing facility into a warehouse. Also, think about the people, the skill set to be able to operate in that environment, the technical intelligence is going to be completely different if you don’t have that bit of equipment as it were. This is part of the challenge that we’ve got that as we’re increasingly putting in autonomous systems, robotics within particular facilities, the skill set of people working in those facilities needs to change quite dramatically to accommodate that. We’re already starting to see some of the challenges. You mentioned people talking about the best automated factories. One thing which which was announced by Nike a year or so ago, was that they are wanting to digitize their whole supply chain and the current model they speak about consists of 1 Million workers in 566 factories, 75 distribution centers and 30, 000 retailers in 190 countries. They have this vision of this future model of installing 1200 additive manufacturing machines. They’re saying this is great news because we can measure reducing shipping expenses, import juices and overproduction risks. They also say, what’s great about it is that, there are 30% fewer steps in the process and in the report, there was a little thing which says we can also have 50% less labor within this environment. What we have to think about is if the current models one million workers in 566 factories. Now they’re saying we want 50% less labor, what we’ve got then is we’ve got a situation where half a million people effectively on that supply chain will be out of work. Now, that has significant social consequences. If I look at what they do, doing the reassuring manufacturing is great for the planet. In terms of the planet, the environment, that’s good news. We’re not shipping all this stuff around the world, less CO2, less this and less that and everything else. Profitability, well we will see but I’m sure they’re doing it because it’s gonna save them a lot of money and this is gonna make them more profitable. It’s good for the planet. It’s good for profitability but what about the people, about the social implications of this? At the end of the day, if we’ve got half a million people who haven’t got jobs, how are we gonna manage that? Is that gonna lead to civil unrest? If it needs to civil unrest in those nations, iss that gonna disrupt other supply chains that we’re part of? I think that this is something that supply chain professionals need to consider, is not just about the profits as it were. We are being encouraged to think about the planet. But also, we’re gonna have to start thinking carefully about people because some of the decisions as we’re in a transition at the moment between If you like two ways of working and we’re moving into this new industrial revolution as it were. You will always find if you look up past the industrial revolutions and past ages of industry you go through a dip where you’ve got the old rubbing up against the new and we are at that point now. We’ve got to be quite careful in thinking through our decisions. How will these decisions impact society and does it have an impact on the skills of the people that we need? People who have a skill set like me who know I’m gonna be replaced by a hologram and an artificial intelligence engine potentially which will do everything, which I do. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but you think we need to actually think. How am I going to adjust my job so I’m still going to be competitive in the future? It’s this lifelong learning. Teething on the importance of organizations like the chance of instituting logistics and transport is that we’re very much involved in that lifelong learning and that’s very much what Cranfield’s all about as well. We have our executive programs, we have our master’s programs that people will do. But at the end of the day, what we’re having to train people is that situation where you can come and you can get new skills and retraining your current skills so that you’re able to go, to carry on in your work and think through what’s actually going on. I think that is going to be a pretty big challenge for everybody in the future.
[34:22] Radu Palamariu:
I wanted to also pick on this topic because the education system in itself is very much right for disruption, we have things like they called an MOOC.
[34:40] Professor Richard Wilding:
Yes, Mass online something course.
[34:44] Radu Palamariu:
[34:46] Professor Richard Wilding:
If you think about the traditional model of education is having 30 or so students in a classroom but with the internet, we are now able to communicate with thousands. I’ve got on iTunesU. I’ve got an introduction to supply chain management course there which is being consistent, on the top 10 to 20 business courses on iTunesU, which is iTunes University and that when we tried to track Apple iTunes U, it has over 60,000 subscribers. That’s a collection of podcast papers. What I’m being able to do is to communicate globally to 60,000 people through doing this, and it’s like this podcast we’re doing now.If you think about the number of people who may listen to or download, it probably far exceeds the number of people that I can speak to in a classroom at Cranfield. Things are changing in that way but I think it depends on the type of what you’re trying to achieve in terms of your education and that’s where things were important here. At Cranfield, what we take is very much a blended learning approach. That means, we will use that sort of web based teaching of the more basic elements of what we’re trying to get people to understand. You can do that very well on some of the supply chain fundamentals, as it were. But actually, what’s really important as well, particularly for supply chain leaders and executives, is you do need to get people together to share ideas. I say that innovation is taking ideas, which is new to you and creating economic, social or environmental values. The challenge, then, is if innovation is all about taking those ideas which are new to you and creating value is, how do you get those ideas and share those ideas? And sometimes the best way you can do that is to get people here at Cranfield in the lecture theatre and probably in the bar afterwards to talk through these ideas here. I do think sometimes, actually the learning in the bar afterwards and over dinner, can you see what’s going on in the lecture theatre? And that’s quite right, because what I will be doing is throwing ideas to people and you have to be able to take them away and think about them and discuss them before you can think about how you’re gonna take that knowledge and create action? That’s what all about knowledge and creating action and we do a lot of that. I ran up a one week cool say from Cranfield Management program, which has been running for many years and we get senior supply chain director’s going on that after, I said, “When was the last time you had a one week out of your business to basically think about supply chain?” In a way, it’s like a supply chain retreat in automated. It’s you’re getting out of the business for one week and we take them through the end. When supplied came the key things that you haven’t to think through during that and you see how it all connects. But actually, it’s those discussions on what’s going on around that, because if you want it, refreshes them, and it enables them to take that knowledge and create actions. Part of that we have actual planning workshops every morning where I don’t have them at the end of the day because, at the end of the day, everybody’s still thinking, “oh bloody, what do I do with this?” They need to sleep on things, they need to sort of get in the bar and discuss things. Then in the morning, they’re able to sort of think with more clarity about right. That concept there, I need to apply in my business, this is how I’m going to do it. They’re able to take that knowledge and then say this is the action I’m gonna be taking. We do that every day over those five days and at the end, they don’t have a plan of action for their business, they can go out and trace and change. That’s what really excites me because we’re improving the way supply chains operate globally with we’re helping those businesses in terms of the profitability of those businesses. We’re helping them wrestle through the challenges in terms of the planet when we do things differently there. But also, what I do hope is that we give a bit of a social conscience because, at the end of the day, it’s also about managing those relationships on thinking about society in the long run.
[39:51] Radu Palamariu:
We tend to agree that indeed, the combination between online and classroom based learning is pretty much where we heading and also a lot of things are readily available online Yossi Shefi from MIT in one of the episodes on the podcast and he’s a very big advocate as well, in terms of this blend of learning and against calling it learning agility for students and people of all ages nowadays to be able to pick up information from the online spectrum. That’s great to hear and moving towards the last question that I wanted to address to you, Professor, which is very much to maybe the younger audience or the younger professionals listening to this, What would be your advice to somebody that would want to become a Chief Supply Chain Officer?
[40:46] Professional Richard Wilding:
I think some of the big things around this is just thinking in terms of, you have to think about the process. As early in your career, try and get as much of an overview of the organization as possible. Now, some companies are actually very good at doing this, thinking through the types of skills on things that people need. But other organizations are not so good. You don’t want everybody to be a generalist. I talk about the concept of T shaped people like the letter T you’ve got across the top. You need that process view, but you also need a functional specialism. You don’t want people to become total generalists because they’re less useful. I think the point is from a supply chain perspective, you still need to have that technical knowledge that some specialism. But you also need to understand the process that you’re part of. You still need to have a reasonable understanding of all those various other elements which are taking place and you also need to develop that emotional intelligence, that relational intelligence. I have encouraged people to think through, how can you get back? and you don’t have to do it in your job. It might be that I have to look at the skills that people utilize in their workplace. But what are the skills that people now utilize outside of their workplace? Some of those skills we can utilize. I’ve got colleagues who might be quite junior, but they’re doing fantastic things. Say, working with the guides or other people are working with their local communities in certain projects, so you’re able to learn new skills. Another really important thing is that there is no doubt about it that you’ve got to develop the language of the board room. If you’re gonna be a chief supply chain officer, you’ve got to think through what’s the language of the boardroom and the language of the boardroom is not a load of technical crazy supply chain language generates around shareholder value. One of the things which I have with a number of companies is we talk about the language of profit. How can you, people talk around here is an example and say, Oh, you know, we’ve got availability of 92% and we’re gonna get it to 95%. What does that mean? If you share that with people, it makes no sense at all, they can’t visualize what they’re talking about. You get some crazy supply chain language which is going on which nobody understands. I got a quote, “Unfortunately, your SKU did not arrive within the lead time due to a problem in the safety stock calculation following our recent collaborative partnership moved to production postponement.” What are we talking about? What do we have to do? The language of the prophet says things like, you go to a company and say, “Hey, I can improve availability from 92 to 95 percents.” What does that mean? If the language of profit you turn around and you say how many minute? Of the moment, you’re losing £100,000 in sales per year or whatever. I can help you reduce that loss to £50,000. All that I might be doing is taking it from 92% to 95% but using language that people can relate to. One of the things that becomes really true in this whole area is that you have to start using the right language within the business. You need to develop that language and back off from the supply chain. I think it was a good quote from the founder of Aldi , the founder of Aldi said, “change your language and you change your thoughts”, which I thought, that’s interesting, but I’ve adapted that If you change your language, you change your thoughts. If you change your thoughts, you change the culture. Often, that’s what we’re trying to do with supply chain to create some sort of cultural change. In a way, if we’re going back to the question which is around, what does a chief supply chain officer need? They need that breath of experience. They also need a bit of specialism in certain areas. But you’ve got to also, I would argue, be able to speak the right language. You need to think about the language of the business, the language of the board room in order to make this work. That’s what one of the key things that you do need to think through is you’re doing this.
[46:01] Radu Palamariu:
Thank you very much Professor for joining us. It’s been a great session and really appreciate all the sharing and stories that you had for us today.
[46:09] Radu Palamariu:
Thank you for listening to our podcast. If you liked what you heard, be sure to go to www.alcottglobal.com and click the podcast button for all the show notes of the interview. Also subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates first. If you’re listening through a streaming platform like iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher, we would appreciate a kind review. Five stars work best to keep us going and our production team happy and of course share it with your friends. I’m most active on LinkedIn, so feel free to follow me, and if you have any suggestions on what to do and who to invite next, don’t hesitate to drop me a note. If you’re looking to hire top executives in the supply chain or transform your business, of course, contact us to find out how we can help.