OC Reilly Blog: Supply Chain Heroes

By Bill O’Connor, President and CEO, OC Reilly Inc.


(Dec. 13, 2014)–Supply chain management may never sound as exciting or exotic as some other parts of the business world, like breakthrough technologies, international finance, or research innovation.  But without supply chain management done effectively and done well consistently, the whole enterprise can suffer.

That’s why, as 2014 reaches its end, we want to thank our clients, the C-suite of each of those organizations for their business and support.  We ask the executives of those organizations to join us in saluting the unsung, unheralded, yet indispensable heroes of their organizations – the supply chain executives and managers! 

In his column, which appears in the November 2014 issue of Supply Chain Management Review, Editorial Director Bob Trebilcock offers some thoughts along these same lines.  The story, in part, reads:

“Supply chain management isn’t often thought of as controversial.  Yet, our departments are the foot soldiers in the battle to deliver sustainable and ethically sourced products to our customers and business partners…Welcome are Key Performance Indicators that allow (supply chain managers) to demonstrate the quantifiable value that they deliver.  At the same time, Murphy’s Law may intervene or they may be called upon to put out fires or come to the rescue and make good on the promises sales and marketing have made to customers – regardless of the cost.”

Nobody said effective supply chain management would be easy.  But those of us in the thick of it, day in and day out, know that the positives far outweigh the negatives.

At OC Reilly, it remains our great privilege to share our first-hand, hard-won, and battle-seasoned experience and perspective with our clients handling supply chain issues in the health care and many other industries.  Knowing that we have the chance to provide meaningful, tactical, and practical counsel and guidance to our “foot soldier” friends makes our jobs that much more fulfilling.

As Mr. Trebilcock affirms, supply chain managers create quantifiable results for their organizations.  Yet, as we see every day, in working with supply chain managers across many fields and across many parts of this country, they also enhance brand value – that intangible spark that keeps their organization on firm financial footing and peak customer satisfaction.

Supply chain managers, in other words, are more than important decision makers and problem solvers for their businesses.  They’re heroes.  And we not only thank them for a very successful 2014, but also look forward to another strong year of partnership, leadership, and friendship in 2015.