Why Supply Chain Efforts Fail - The crisis of internal misalignment

Why focus on external integration in supply chains when companies are not even aligned internally? Despite all their good efforts to improve supply chain contribution to the enterprise, supply chain managers are often frustrated about the lack of internal collaboration and understanding. Peer functions, in particular sales, often limit the results of supply chain efforts and can be real hurdles. An internal survey was conducted within a large European manufacturing group to assess the degree of alignment on existing and new priorities and initiatives across functional groups and geographies. Findings revealed shocking internal misunderstandings and disagreements on opportunities and existing priorities within the organization. Findings were discussed in two internal workshops, one with senior operations and supply chain executives and one with sales and marketing managers from a variety of countries. An agenda for improving alignment was developed that is focused upon improving internal communication and improving the initiative planning process for greater supply chain effectiveness and recognition.

Van Hoek, R. & Mitchell, A. (2005) Why Supply Chain Efforts Fail - The crisis of internal misalignment, Logistics Research Networks Annual Conference, Plymouth, September.

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