Supply Chain Strategy Alignment: What the C-Suite Needs to Know

Effective management of supply chains is indeed a daunting and challenging task. Arguably, the main goal of supply chain management lies at the core of making overall chain profitability a common goal for all partners across the chain. Executing this task involves a great deal of boundary-spanning interdependent and coordinated efforts.The scope of such efforts includes inter-functional as well as inter-firm cooperation. From an internal function standpoint, organizations can attain cooperation through coordinated efforts and commitment among the staff from all functional areas. However, In order to achieve such coordination, organizations must first learn how to overcome numerous obstacles that get in the way and that may or may not be within their direct control.Where should network constituents start their coordinating efforts? What approaches should be used? A good starting point is identifying and approaching individual internal organizational obstacles. Initiatives should be implemented to align organizational goals and strategies with those of the supply chain partners. To that end, traditional organizational behaviors, activities, and roles should be given a new orientation.Let’s start with sales staff. The sales function is a typical example of an organizational role that needs reorientation. But what exactly does it mean to give the sales function a new orientation? It simply means to evolve from a traditional to a contemporary approach.In the traditional sales function role, salespeople are trained to focus on pre-purchase activities such as obtaining orders and contracts and selling products. They are trained to manage transactions. Under this modus operandi, performance objectives and compensation packages influence salespeople to focus on short-term financial results. For the “supply-chain-untrained” executive, that’s the way sales people should be trained and incentivized, right? However, this traditional approach is completely counterproductive to supply chain management objectives and goals as I will discuss.Consider the case of sales representatives who receives a performance evaluation and quarterly bonus. Near the end of every evaluation period sales representatives will do their best to push sales to customers in order to increase period sales volume. This generalized practice increases inventory levels in the supply chain during the largest part of the following period. And, consequently increases total chain inventory costs and decreases overall supply chain profitability. This cycle will repeat period after period throughout the year thus contributing to the dreaded bullwhip effect. This is the most common example of the type of disconnect between supply chain goals and those of the sales force. In other words, under the traditional sales function view, salespeople get rewarded for doing the wrong thing.Unlike the traditional approach to sales, in the contemporary approach to the sales function, the contemporary sales person is viewed as a relationship manager. Under this framework, the most critical priority of the sales function is to build and maintain strong customer relationships. In their roles as relationship managers the scope of the sales person includes: coordinating andfacilitating the smooth flows of products, services and information, learning about customer requirements and creating solutions that generate value for supply chain partners. Under this approach, sales staff is knowledgeable about basic principles of inventory management and its associated costs and drivers.Under the traditional approach, the sales staff is focused exclusively on generating orders and securing contracts. The sales staff is more concerned with selling products rather than leveraging their companies as a strategic partner with customers. This approach is considered transactional-based or tactical. The contemporary approach on the contrary is more strategic in nature.The goal is to adopt a strategic approach by aligning the sales function with overall corporate supply chain strategy. Under the strategic approach sales executives implement initiatives to help the sales function create value for the supply chain and its partners. Sales managers drive the new approach by assuming new roles and becoming change agents. In this new approach, sales executives see the sales function from a relationship management perspective. The sales force is by all means well positioned to assume new roles such as implementing, coordinating, and facilitating supply chain management activities. In order to be successful in these new activities, salespeople need to develop expertise in logistics and supply chain management practices. Sales managers must of course re-engineer existing sales training programs to focus on the development of competencies that help salespeople understand supply chain partners logistics operations, systems and capabilities.Under this new orientation a redesign of performance objectives and compensation packages for both sales managers and sales force should also be implemented in order to achieve alignment with overall network strategies. Lack of alignment among performance measurement, compensation packages, and supply chain management goals could jeopardize the achievement of chain profitability.A similar disconnect occurs with the logistics function. Under the traditional approach, a logistics manager’s performance and compensation is directly linked to the reductions obtained in transportation costs. To enhance his performance, the transportation manager will strive to exploit economies of scales that result from pushing larger orders. As a result, the organization increases its inventory levels, which in turn compromises chain profitability. It is evident one more time that in order to achieve overall supply chain profitability or chain surplus, it is imperative to align performance and compensation measures with overall corporate supply chain strategy.Undeniably the roadway of change to evolve from a traditional to a contemporary approach is plagued with many bumps. Interestingly enough, in many instances those obstacles are found in the most valuable asset of any organization, its’ people. Change-resistant employees make it hard for the change agents to assume their new roles and responsibilities.For instance, personal perceptions create a psychological dynamic called a competing commitment. A competing commitment is an unacknowledged, internalized commitment that conflicts with expected performance standards and functional roles of change-resistant employees. Effective managers should learn how to help employees identify the conflicting assumptions that create the competing commitments hindering change and productivity. Doing so can create significant employee contributions to the organization.In the current era of supply chain management, organizations are more and more realizing the strategic value of overall coordination as the main value creation driver. In order to achieve coordination, organizational leaders across the board should be cognizant of the implications of disjointed functional strategies. Overcoming the internal and external impediments that get in the way of supply chain coordination requires change agents with clear understanding of organizational alignment and its impact in the bottom line.

Are You Choosing the Right Stock Market Advisory Company

What do you do if you want to learn driving a car? You will try to find an expert teacher, isn’t it? You do not want to avail the services of a novice individual to help you out, but a professional person can provide you the vital tips and most importantly guide you efficiently. Similarly, when it comes to investing in the stock market for the first time, you require a knowledgeable advice to attain your financial goals and get profitable returns.

If you are a beginner, then it is quite obvious that you may be having no information about the process of buying the right shares in the market. In such a situation, getting the right tips from an experienced financial advisor or a registered advisory company will truly prove to be a great blessing in disguise. However, there are some of the important things that have to be kept in mind while choosing the top stock market advisory company, which are as follows:

How much assistance do you actually require?

Before you make up your mind to hire an advisor, it is imperative that you must first decide about the kind of service you require from them. You may need their help at the beginning or during the time of any issues. This is because an advisor has to formulate a map according to your requirements. Hence, it is suggested to ascertain your needs first and then take further action.

Choose a top ranked advisory company

It is a very important point that has to be taken into the consideration. Availing services of the well known advisory company or a financial advisor is an absolute necessity. Make it a point to carry out a proper background or research work about the company. Check out their credentials, reputation, experience, etc before hiring them.

Asking for a sample financial plan initially makes sense

When hiring a financial advisor, then do not forget to ask for sample plan first. It is imperative to note that there is no such thing called the perfect plan. A sample plan will help you to determine whether an advisory company is actually making sense according your requirements or not.


The financial planners or advisory companies can really turn out to be the greatest asset for you if you choose the best one. They are just like the professional sailors who can help you out to sail through stock investment related problems quite efficiently.

Deepak is a financial advisor who likes to provide quality tips to the people facing any issues with regard to investing in the stock market. He likes to keep himself updated about the stock market by reading articles, news and blogs, etc.

Fear and Greed in the Market

Greed and Fear.

Two Emotions that play a bigger factor in the success or failure of humans than any other emotion we experience. Both fear and greed refer to an intrinsic emotional state. Tens of Millions of dollars have been made and lost based on these 2 emotions alone. In trading, in business and in relationships. So why do so many educational courses, stock trading books and online courses avoid this topic all together?

Perhaps they are not avoiding the topic of emotions, Perhaps by teaching certain methods and skill sets to their readers they are in fact dealing with the emotional side of trading head on!

It is well known that emotions create a certain amount of pleasure or displeasure. It is also known that emotions are networked with mood, frame of mind, desires and passions. The list goes on… So how do we as individuals develop a skill set to navigate these emotions in business in trading and in life?

Charles Darwin argued that emotions actually served a purpose for humans and rightfully so, If our emotions have been evolving for over 2 million years. Should we not be using these amazing skills to our advantage rather than placing blame on them for poor decision making? It is my belief the poor decision making has nothing to do with emotions and everything to do with laziness and lack of planning.

A Lesson From One of the Greats!

I would be doing my readers a disservice if we did not mention the strategy of Warren Buffett. One of the most successful investors of our time. Warren Buffet stuck to his strategy and profited greatly. Warren Buffett showed us just how important and beneficial it is to stick to a plan. When deciding whether or not to invest in a company himself, Buffett and his partners follow a few simple guidelines, one of which involves trying to determine the company’s longevity.

As the market becomes overwhelmed with greed, the same can happen with fear. When stocks suffer large losses for a sustained period of time, the overall market can become more fearful of sustaining even further losses. But being too fearful can be a grave mistake. It is precisely at this time successful investors and traders alike make their move. This is where the real money is made.

Just as greed dominated the recent Cryptocurrency boom or fear dominates the headlines on potential trade war outcomes, investors quickly move around from one “secure” investment to another. It becomes a constant game of cat and mouse.

This flooding in of money to the stock market shows a complete disregard for many technical indicators that continue to scream a correction is inescapable. Retail Investors seem overjoyed with the flooding in of headlines that read ALL TIME HIGH. Should retail investors be overrun by fear of a major correction?. Granted, losing a large portion of your retirement portfolio’s worth is a tough pill to swallow, but even harder to digest is the possibility of missing out on the massive gains the market is currently offering investors of all experience levels.

Having a clear understanding of my own personal goals, a understanding of my success and creating a list of my OWN wants and needs rather than taking dreams of others and trying to reach them has been a colossal factor in putting out the greed flame in my own trading and daily decision-making.

I have also added a link of “Must Read” Books that have been advantageous in my journey of reigning in my emotions on decision-making. I will update this as I see fit..

One method I have found to be helpful is to be careful on how I measure success, wealth, goals and most importantly happiness. It is far to easy these days to allow outside influences affect our happiness and success. Social media blasts us day in and day out with the success of others.