This is the very last section (3-C-6 Strategic Sourcing also Bridge topic) intriguingly about sales goals within Exam 3 and thus a big day for this blog on this leap year February 29. It took over four years and the encouragement of thousands of visitors for this blog to complete one round of dealing with each of the exam topics (Thank you-dear readers!). We will revisit all topics again in turn, but first to complete the round one of each topic that intriguingly ends with asking the supply manager to become more alert to her/his organizations sales activities.
Perhaps it is this last section that really tries to expand the role and impact of the supply manager as a leader in her/his organization. For, the supply function has sort of been traditionally passive inside their own organization. So the supply manager would wait for production or production planning for placing their requirements before launching an RFP or searching for a set of suppliers.If there was a delay on part of the production folks the supply people would simply shrug and say that they would need more time. In the olden days,without the Internet and a good economy many supply managers got away with this passive silo approach. Production folks would plead with sales to push more of what they could produce and as a result the organization would have overall sub-optimal sales and profitability. Today, in a global connected and tough economy supply managers need to reach out to production,sales and marketing and new products people to keep getting an early heads up on what's going on. And reaching out does not mean just an email but actually trying to make friends with people on the sales and marketing side of the organization so that you are the first to know (OK after the CEO!) about what new orders,markets and supply chain requirements are coming up (see StratoServe for examples). This way the supply management department can be more pro-active towards helping the organization achieve its sales goals.
This section drives the above big idea and also talks about the different data you can get as a supply manager to stay on top of the sales end happenings of your organization. Thus you should try to understand and gain access to draft sale forecasts just to get that extra time for creating great supply arrangements. In addition: sales margins,cost assumptions in the financial side of the organization is very much in your domain of interest. For when you know that the organization has more margins in one type of product and less in another you can plan your supply strategy and efforts accordingly.For example, you would then know that you will need to pay much closer attention to the total cost of the tight margin products.
Thus, in concluding Exam 3 on Strategic Sourcing the syllabus ends on the soaring note of the supply manager looking beyond the immediate connected function to the sales frontiers of the organization. This is tough but required if the Supply Manager wants a place in the C-Suite which is after all the purpose of getting the CPSM .