Three weeks after I started in the job, I had completed my analysis document. This allowed me to do two important things. Firstly, I could give specific input on spending, the risk profile and the contracts that had been signed with (or, more importantly, had not been signed with) supply chain partners. Secondly, I could give specific advice to my employer on how best to set up his organisation. The aim was to create a skilled workforce that would enable the supply base to be suitably managed and challenged in line with the wishes and requirements of the internal client. The approach I always take in these situations is to understand the client’s requirements and to use them as a guide throughout the operational process. This provides greater insight into the extent to which your internal processes are in line with the client’s requirements, which gives you a clearer idea of the feasibility of sales orders. In turn, this allows the production and/or sourcing strategy to be adjusted accordingly. One of my recommendations was to establish an ad hoc multidisciplinary team to assess the RFQs that had been received, which I set up and chaired.
Obviously, results can be measured in terms of euros saved, using the savings tracker that had been installed. However, the employer was far more interested in the insights gained around the management of procurement processes and the relationship between these processes and the other disciplines within his organisation, such as production, work preparation and sales. The role of quality in high-tech production processes and the related supply chain in particular led to new insights.
At board level, my work mostly resulted in new ways of doing things. I helped middle managers understand the board better, and taught them to see the value of the decisions made by the board and place them in context. I showed colleagues involved in operational processes that things were definitely changing.
At the end of the assignment, I got a heartfelt handshake from the MD, a product welded in-house using in-house production skills and a bottle of fine wine from middle management. This just goes to show how much my approach and the results that it achieved were appreciated.