Supply Chain Chiefs Primed to Disrupt


Agenda | August 26, 2019


The Agenda article, “Supply Chain Chiefs Primed to Disrupt," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Ben Shrewsbury on the dynamic role of the CSCO. The article is excerpted below.

So far this year, Macy’s, Ralph Lauren, Avon Products and U.S. Food Holding Corp. are among the companies that are appointing chief supply chain officers — executives who can be responsible for spending up to two thirds of their firms’ operating budgets. Experts say that boards and chief executives are elevating former vice presidents from the supply chain, logistics or procurement groups into the C-suite because of a growing realization that operations excellence can be a crucial source of competitive advantage.


“It’s really the marriage of speed of disruption, technology and complexity in an enterprise-wide leadership that hasn’t existed before,” says Ben Shrewsbury, a consultant who heads up the supply chain officers’ practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. CSCOs “may have grown up on the factory floor, but they’ve gone on to broader areas.”


In many ways, CSCOs seem to be doing the same tasks as chief operating officers (COOs). But Shrewsbury maintains that the job is different than the COO’s. He says the CSCO role is more specialized and focused on integrating operations.


Shrewsbury says that organizations that want to enhance the supply chain should empower the
CSCO to not only weigh in on changes in commodity prices or manage vendors, but also to plan the
manufacturing operation. He or she may work with sales, marketing and operations to manage
shifting inventory. They will be in charge of blending third-party service providers into the
manufacturing and facilities mix, including at so-called smart factories that are using advanced
automation. They are also responsible for distribution via either third-party transport providers or the
company’s own fleet.

To read the full article, click here.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.
Supply Chain Chiefs Primed to Disrupt