End-to-end supply chain: call for content

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Is it just me or is anybody else bamboozled or even mildly puzzled by the absence in project management literature of any helpful information on dealing with the challenges of achieving an integrated end-to-end supply chain?

Some of the problem is undoubtedly down to language.

All too often I come across people using terms that confuse procurement with supply chain management; and very rarely do I find a supply chain expert using PM terminology or a project manager using SCM terminology.      

My 36 years working in the aerospace & defence sector has taught me that you ignore at your peril the important task of consciously designing a x-functional, end-end, through-life supply solution early enough in a project’s lifecycle to stand a chance of reaping the cost and service advantages that are often on offer. And it’s not just a matter of on-cost and on-schedule performance; how many project managers give any serious thought in the planning stage of their project as to the surge capacity, the speed of response, or the degree of flexibility for future change that is needed from their end-end supply chain?

It’s high time that the PM and supply chain communities got closer together to understand each other’s world, language and thinking. I believe the prize is worth it – an optimised supply chain will often bring win-win-win to customers, suppliers and partners alike.

Does this resonate?

Please let me know your views or where I can find some literature on the subject... or alternatively suggest some useful medical prescription for my ongoing puzzlement.   

Editors' note: Should any specialists in this area be willing to write an article or further blog on this topic, please contact me on kirsten.bird@apm.org.uk

Stephen Oliver

Posted by Stephen Oliver on 13th Jul 2017

About the Author

Steve has extensive PM experience in the Aerospace, Defence & Security sector having successfully led a wide variety of transformation and change programmes in the UK and France.

He started work in Operations Management for a manufacturer of commercial aircraft and quickly broadened his experience into Supply Chain Management, Project Management and Learning & Development in Europe and the Middle East. 

He is currently Head of Supply Chain Capability at BAE Systems, and in his spare time is a Director for a charity in Cheshire that helps 12-25 year-olds find their feet through the provision of counselling and advice services.   

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