Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Jan-Feb 2016 Contents of engagement leadership, raising levels of self-
awareness within the workplace about what is
possible through more effective engagement
of self and others. The challenge for many
businesses is that this process requires
modifications to the ‘command-control’ model
so successfully applied in previously different
economic circumstances. Often, the challenge
is relinquishing antiquated cultural attitudes.
It is the ultimate form of delegation through
Such cultural shifts have been most evident
in firms in high value-added and knowledge-
based industries, where there is a high level of
information complexity embedded in production
processes. Inevitably, however, the competitive
forces that bring about these changes will work
their way through all businesses in all industry
sectors, even in those such as iron ore production
where there is fundamentally little potential for
adding value to the final product after extraction.
Transport and logistics is undoubtedly
the sector being affected in a significant
way by these dynamic processes. It is the
final link in the modern economy’s supply
chain. It represents the final source of as
yet barely explored and largely untapped
efficiencies and value-adding. The transport
and logistics industry is, along with energy
and communications, what economist Jeremy
Rifkin calls one of the three basic drivers of
economic change through the ages (Jeremy
Rifkin, The zero marginal cost society, Palgrave
McMillan, 2015). Importantly, the transport and
logistics industry is where changes in energy
and communications are given extra momentum
by competitive forces to create the need for
systemic and fundamental change. It’s the final
frontier in the evolution of leadership through
In today’s society we are constantly
redesigning supply chain networks. An effective
supply chain results in:
A) Increased customer satisfaction.
B) Reduction in overall inventory holding.
C) Lower supply chain costs.
D) Greater employee satisfaction and
The opportunities & challenges
The challenge is the need for more efficient and
effective supply chains. So, some of the natural
questions we might ask include:
A) How does our team up its game and value
proposition to our clients?
B) What does it look like to be strategic to the
organisation or company we service?
C) What are the new skill sets (competencies)
and mindsets needed for future success?
Business leaders today need to be strategic
thinkers and great communicators.
Complexity, speed and change have
accelerated more than any time in history, so
agility and adaptability will be key traits for
supply chain leaders to cultivate if they hope to
keep up with the accelerated pace of change.
The ability to manage across all these
elements pictured in Figure 1. requires suppliers
to become more dynamic and match it equally
with interpersonal skills and strategic thinking.
Lead with courage
Leading and being a part of the change
suggested doesn't come easy. Enter the leader
who is willing to stand on principles, build
strong coalitions and break the necessary
glass when needed. It starts with your people.
The people component of the organisation
trumps all other organisational assets. Invest in
your most precious resource through training,
education, empathy, mentoring and mobility.
Further, don't forget about the engagement of
the people across your broader value network.
Take some initiative. Seize the moment! Supply
chain organisations have attracted the spotlight
as companies have sought to impact the bottom
line. Leverage this window of opportunity, and
deliver on new, stronger forms of value. The
opportunity is just that: an opportunity. We have
no right of inheritance, so we must either seize
the moment or it will seize us.
It’s not all bad news for women
Many transport and logistics employers are
now looking to recruit staff from industry
segments that haven’t been previously seen as
key or high priority. Employers have focused
on strategies to improve the ratio of women
working in their organisations.
As well as being honoured to be on the
SCLAA Board as a national director this
year, I had the pleasure of being invited as a
foundation board member to the Australian
Women’s Network by CEO and founder Fran
Thorne. AWN’s mission is to inspire greatness in
women in all areas of their lives and to provide
the resources and tools to empower women,
families and communities throughout the
world. AWN was created by women for women,
and encompasses the ‘Five To Thrive’ areas
of success: business, community, financial,
physical and social.
By joining this global partnership, women
will have access to experts in all areas of
business, including entrepreneurs, corporate
business, small business, mastermind groups
and community leadership programs. No
matter what stage of business each Australian
Women's Network member is at, there will
be another member of this network who can
offer support and advice from their business
experience to enable members to leverage their
The Australian Women's Network runs
annual, face-to-face, online and networking
events throughout Australia. On the 2nd of April
it will be hosting its annual business summit
and the Blue Frost Gala Ball, which is working
alongside the Safe Futures Foundation that
works to protect victims of domestic violence.
With the challenges leading into 2016 for the
transport & logistics sector, it is encouraging to see
women participating, enhancing and continuing
to make an impact in a perceived non-traditional
industry. Taking action is just the beginning!
Amanda O’Brien is director and CEO of
Australian Worldwide Logistics Pty Ltd T/As
To book tickets for the Australian Womens
Network Business Summit and Gala Ball please
got to www.australianwomensnetwork.com.
Distribution and Logistics
Figure 1. Source: Jim Goodall.
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2016
Links Archive MHD Nov-Dec 2015 MHD Mar-Apl 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page