Ensuring you remain well networked within the People Supply Chain is key to success for many Supply Chain professionals.
Networking experience and ability should be a no brainer for people in commercial management roles, but what if your whole career to date has been focused on operational management functions in the Supply Chain and you haven’t been making a conscious effort to build your business networks.
The truth is that if you are a Supply Chain professional with a pure operational focus you are probably already an excellent relationship builder and networker as your working week will involve dealing with many stakeholders both internal and external, including people from Government entities to MNC’s, local organizations and SME’s.
You will have been regularly building working relationships as well as influencing, supporting, and also challenging people in order to keep your part of the Supply Chain running smoothly.
I am willing to bet that when a Supply Chain professional has made significant improvements to an organisations Supply Chain it has been largely due to their ability to foster relationships and positively influence people from all walks of life.
Facts, figures, and overall analysis provide the visibility to know what needs to be changed or what can be improved but the only way to successfully implement these things is by winning over the people.
If you take the Supply Chain on a local, regional or even a global level I don’t think we see enough operational Supply Chain professionals actively networking with their counter parts in other organizations including those from their competitors in order to understand if they are sharing the same challenges or can support one another to run more efficient Supply Chains.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Supply Chain focused events and conferences going on constantly around the world where SC professionals get together and briefly network during the breaks between presentations and panel discussions, there are also plenty of steering committees and industry bodies which promise to champion the cause of Supply Chain (Only a few manage to do this effectively).
That’s all good, but my big question is this…
How many people in operational Supply Chain management functions make a point of getting together with their counterparts in other organizations on a fairly regular basis just to catch up for a coffee or a bite to eat and chat about the Supply Chain in general?
For the cost of a drink and some of your time I am sure there will be good advice to share and you might also highlight some challenges which could be overcome through sharing experiences or taking action together.
The more networked Supply Chain professionals we have in the sector the better, and with enough people having these kinds of meetings a bigger picture outcome could well be improvement of global supply chain efficiencies and standards in the future!
So if you aren’t already an avid networker then please don’t just wait for the formal industry conferences and events, I would suggest being proactive and reaching out to some of your counterparts with the aim of getting together for a chat once in a while, if nothing else I am sure you will be able to share some useful information about the market!
The Supply Chain only works because of the people involved!
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