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A cultural double-standard in Supply Chain

Supply Chain is hard.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this year it’s: Supply Chain is hard.

Indeed, we’d make the argument that supply chain management is one of the most difficult roles within any company that deals in or manufactures physical goods. There’s a million things that could go wrong. Just a few examples:

“Suppliers can’t ship because their sub-supplier can’t source microchips.”

“Finance says these parts are too expensive. But currencies are down, raw materials are up, and logistics cost changes daily.”

“I’m managing 40 suppliers for 500 parts across 10 categories, and it’s just a lot to keep track of.”

Or as a supplier:

“Their Engineering team just came back with new design drawings, even though the tool is 60% complete and they want to keep unit price fixed.”

There are dozens of ways that supply chain managers are underserved by current software and systems available. However, in this specific blog post we’d like to touch on something more subtle and more pernicious. And it’s cultural.

People expect supply chain to “just happen.”

The Cultural Double-Standard:

Supply Chain is extremely difficult and complex. And when things go wrong, procurement teams are blamed. And when things go right, they’re invisible.

Today when you deliver on-time, on-cost, and on-quality, that’s ignored. Someone can go out and deliver a sourcing at a $100M per year less than it could’ve otherwise cost, and nobody notices. So as a supply chain manager, you can do as-expected or under-perform. Where’s the recognition for the top-performing folks? For the big spenders? For the great relationship managers?

Yes, procurement professionals deserve better software. Yes, procurement professionals deserve better educational resources. But also yes, procurement professionals deserve credit where credit is due.

That changes now. Welcome to LightSource.