Six ways CFOs can optimize supply chains

The link between shareholder value and supply chain performance makes apparent the need for CFOs to take a larger role in supply chain leadership, according to Maine Pointe CEO Steven Bowen. The supply chain and operations expert offered six ways that CFOs can help optimize supply chains amid unprecedented risk, in a recent article at Forbes.

According to Bowen, successful CFOs will expand their roles beyond financial data reporting and cost control – and outwards into examining and combating risks and impacts to the supply chain. Supply chains, after all, greatly affect cash flow, growth, and shareholder value.

Bowen’s consulting firm – Maine Pointe – works on helping clients change supply chains from a basic tool for procurement and transportation into a digital, visible, and data-driven process aligned with overall company strategy which also drives greater shareholder value.

There are six ways that CFOs can create greater shareholder value through supply chains, according to Bowen.

Maine Pointe: Six ways CFOs can optimize supply chains

First, they should ensure supply chain leaders work in partnership with finance, sales and marketing, operations, and other functions – enabling greater end-to-end integration.

CFOs should also drive a move to a digital supply chain – which can enable greater visibility and better insights, as well as generate more cash.

CFOs are also in a unique position to establish a common language and culture – aligning organization-wide thinking on profitability, cash and growth, and all functional areas.

Next, Bowen says CFOs should use data to drive deeper insights and performance improvements. The data analysis function will require investing in the right technology.

He also recommends using the Total Value Optimization (TVO) framework, which enables firms to anticipate and meet demand through a synchronized buy-make-move-fulfill digital supply chain. “Through data analytics, TVO focuses equally on procurement, logistics and operations, leader and organizational improvement, sales and operations planning plus new product introduction to achieve sustainable growth,” Bowen notes.

Finally, CFOs should understand and monitor geopolitical risk factors in the supply chain, as the pandemic, trade war, and Brexit have clearly reinforced the need for effective risk assessment and mitigation.

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