For all the talk of the importance of supply chain management in this age of networked organisations, less than a quarter of British companies currently have a supply chain strategy in place. So says a recent study published by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and Andersen Consulting. Furthermore, where supply chain strategies do exist, only one in three is actually integrated with the overall business strategy.
Small wonder then that the report recommends giving the company's head of logistics a seat on the board. But is a chair at the boardroom table really the best way to develop supply chain management skills and strategy?
Brian Scholey, principal consultant with KPMG Management Consultants, thinks so. 'Supply chain management is so central to the whole commercial success of a company that, if it is not represented at board level, the company is probably not paying enough attention to the marketplace or customer needs,' he says.