Next Practices Xchange (NPX)


As most of you have heard by now, NPX is being re-launched and the Advisory Board has been formed, the initial topics have been chosen (see below) and the date for the 1st meeting has been picked – September 14th. Please mark your calendars because that date was picked to help those travelling to enjoy a great weekend in Chicago (best time to visit!!).

Please click here to learn more about NPX which is a very successful yet small Community of Practice of senior leaders in Supply Chain, Procurement, Sourcing etc. The two topics chosen were:

1. Going Beyond TCO and becoming a Strategic Partner – not just a cost cutter
2. Talent Development – How to crack the code

We will deal with the second topic next week but let me share some thoughts on the 1st. In surveys of CEOs across industries we consistently hear the same feedback: It’s no longer acceptable for Sourcing and Supply Chain organizations to pursue incremental cost savings. Corporate executives now expect differential value and strategic results that were once thought beyond the purview of these functions. The problem is that despite hefty expectations, few corporate executives have REALLY understood how to leverage the full strategic potential of their Sourcing and Supply Chain groups. The good news is that now it’s changing. More and more CEO’s are expecting, nay demanding even, that these functions not focus on just costs. We recently met with a senior supply chain executive who is trying to get his organization to focus on the top line and expects them to make a direct impact to it for this national retailer (Hi Robert W.). Those familiar with our thinking will recognize it as something that we have long talked about as well. Supply Chain executives should play a very active role in sales calls – who else to better convince the head of Sourcing for a customer than the Head of sourcing for the supplier – it just seems to make too much common sense.

What does this mean? The role of the Sourcing and Supply Chain executive is still evolving. Their organizations – whether brand new or long established – must find creative, innovative ways of doing business. Defining and impacting enterprise strategies, product design, sales, and supplier relationships, are a few areas where these functions can create competitive differentiators for the enterprise to leverage. Sourcing and Supply Chain leaders must facilitate real changes that redefine the nature of their roles within a company, or be left behind.

The NPX session will explore this topic with leaders from across the globe on September 14th. While we don’t promise to solve this problem – after all it’s been a hot topic for almost 30 years(now there’s an oxymoron)-we do intend to take a deep dive and find out where we are today and what progress we have made so far over the last 30 years. There will be a Next Practices benchmarking survey conducted prior to the session and the results will drive the discussion. The Mpower Group will share its own research and some current trends. But most importantly, NPX will develop a set of action items that the Community of Practice that is NPX will then try and adopt and exchange thoughts and ideas on how to make it work. The session is nothing but a start of the conversation – the value will be in the follow up. Mark your calendars and get signed up as quickly as possible. And if you are coming and want to play some golf – let me know soonest 🙂 .


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