Darrel D. Edwards serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Officer, for La-Z-Boy Inc. With over twenty years of experience holding top executive positions Darrel Edwards is well versed in leading operations for businesses. His academic achievements include a doctorate degree in Business Administration along with a degree in MBA and Master’s degree in Global Management.
As global supply chain leaders, likely at some point within our career, we will lead our organization through some type of transformation. For me personally, I have had the privilege (yes, I said privilege, as I have learned much leading transformations) to be part of more than one major supply chain transformation. For you and your organization, whether it is leading a traditional manufacturing organization into a more contemporary lean manufacturing platform, or transforming a complete supply chain, it can be both exhilarating and freighting. Having said all of this, and having survived my own supply chain transformations, I have a few suggestions about successfully implementing one, and below are a few questions to consider before you decide to embark on yours.
Why Are You Changing?
“You can’t hit a target you can’t see”. I don’t know who said it first, but I believe no truer words were ever spoken as it applies to a supply chain transformational journey. You should ask yourself, what about your supply chain needs changing, and why? What new capability or increased value will your supply chain create as a result of this transformation? Change is hard, but it is incredibly hard if the entire organization is not fully aligned; pulling in the same direction. The uncanny ability to marshal organizational support, top to bottom, increases your probability of success, and knowing what to target is an alignment imperative. The entire organization needs to understand what success looks like and should know not only how they can help to achieve it but also how it affects them personally. In addition, when I say the entire organization must understand, I mean not only the supply chain, but also the greater organization beyond your team, including your boss too. Your supply chain team’s goals must extend beyond its boundaries, aligning to the greater organizational goals, and the entire organization must not only know change is occurring, they must know why.