I like to say that supply chain is a field science. This means that most serious breakthroughs come from practitioners solving intractable problems in the real world, and in the process advancing the discipline. Supply chain as a profession is still crystallizing out of traditional functions like purchasing, materials management, production planning and distribution, and while continuous improvement is great, it’s the breakthroughs that really drive progress.
To help accelerate this progress, SCM World runs an awards program, now in its third year. The Power of the Profession Awards draw on practical cases (>70 were submitted this year) that are subjected to a rigorous two-stage community voting process that picks the best examples of breakthrough performance each year.
Congratulations to the 2017 winners!
One of two major categories considered is the area of talent development. We focus on this because supply chain leaders’ duty includes not only running operations today, but also developing the next generation of leadership for tomorrow.
Six finalists emerged from the first round of open community voting in this category:
- Dealer Tire
- The Clorox Company
- The Hershey Company
- Hilti Corporation
- Kaiser Permanente
This major category includes assessment scoring on three dimensions, each of which is recognized with an individual award:
- Talent Diversity Champion of the Year Award recognizes supply chain talent programs that have resulted in a more diverse and engaged workforce throughout the organization. Winner: The Hershey Company
- Talent Payback of the Year Award recognizes supply chain talent initiatives that have driven tangible revenue growth, cost savings, product innovation or outstanding customer satisfaction metrics. Winner: The Clorox Company
- Talent Partnership of the Year Award recognizes supply chain talent initiatives that have extended capability development across the value chain, quantitatively driving value internally and/or externally with suppliers and partners. Winner: Hilti Corporation
The category is capped off with an overall award for the highest composite score across all three dimensions. In terms Hollywood might understand, this is a bit like Best Director – a trophy for coaxing excellence out of the cast.
Talent Breakthrough of the Year Award is given to the most innovative, impactful and transformative talent initiative of the year.
Winner: The Hershey Company
The other major category focuses on strategic or transformational initiatives that deliver breakthrough innovation for customers, the business and/or the lasting benefit of society. Here, the objective is to celebrate the role supply chain plays as an equal partner to sales, R&D and other business leaders in growing shareholder value while preserving corporate integrity.
The six finalists chosen in our open community vote include:
- Bayer Crop Science
- General Mills
- Mondelēz International
As with the talent category, this award includes assessment scoring on three dimensions, with awards for each.
- Customer Innovation of the Year Award recognizes supply chain initiatives that have created a more valuable customer experience and achieved a positive, quantifiable impact on customer loyalty. Winner: Bayer Crop Science
- Business Win of the Year Award recognizes supply chain initiatives that have contributed outstanding top-line business performance, profitable growth, savings, and/or created a distinct competitive edge. Winner: Mondelēz International
- Social Impact of the Year Award recognizes supply chain initiatives that have achieved a positive, quantifiable impact on society, local communities and/or the environment. Winner: General Mills
The overall winner, reflecting the highest scores from our executive judges’ panel and exemplifying what supply chain excellence is all about, is a bit like Best Picture. It should combine success at the box office with inspirational storytelling that catalyzes innovation going forward.
Supply Chain Breakthrough of the Year Award is given for the most impressive demonstration of how supply chain can create greatness in business.
Winner: Bayer Crop Science
Power to the People
I recently heard a veteran manager at one of the companies above say, “I’ve been working in supply chain for 20 years and never realized until now that I had a profession”. The light went on for this individual because his job suddenly came into focus as part of a much greater whole. Supply chain is a profession bursting with experience, technical knowhow and problem-solving genius.
It’s time to tap the power of the profession.