We’ve seen articles saying that during 2020, Supply Chain has been the only area of growth for the global consulting firms. Here in South East Asia, we saw interest growing in the 2nd half of 2020, but it has only been in Q1 2021 that things have really taken off.
Businesses are definitely now looking for better supply chain performance, for robust solutions that will protect them going forward and, always, for lower cost!
Great news for supply chain consultants – and we’re confident that demand for our services will continue because the new business environment is both forcing and facilitating change:
- Consumer spending has been put in flux
- Technology is growing cheaper and more easily adopted
- Disruptors are in play, undermining businesses that fail to adapt
- External funding is available for transformational developments, easily repayable from the savings achieved
- Businesses run lean – leaving few internal resources to drive development
So, we’re building our resource pool – both in permanent staff and in project-based associates.
Resource mistakes are expensive and painful, so we’ve taken the time to contemplate on what is it that makes a successful supply chain consultant. There is no definitive answer, but these are the top 6 characteristics that we’ve come to value most. (I’m not mentioning smarts, integrity and the ability to work hard…those are givens.)
- Passion for the job
You’ve got to delight in helping clients find better ways to achieve their goals. It’s not enough just to achieve project deliverables…you have to want to leave the client feeling “Wow!”
- Taking a holistic approach
Supply chains are, by their nature, interconnected. We endlessly hear, “We tried that, and it didn’t work”. Most supply chain project failures occur because the designers did not step back and visualize the impact of a change on the broader supply chain. On the flipside, people also miss the (sometimes massive) opportunities that can be uncovered when you take this perspective.
- Always listening and always learning
Every client is unique and there are always lessons to be learned from these clients. It’s painfully obvious when a consultant has grown too complacent or too tired to keep their eyes and ears fully open.
- Being likeable
It’s important that client staff (at all levels – top to bottom) feel comfortable to open up and share their issues, challenges and ideas with you. It’s equally important that your colleagues feel that you are on the same team as supply chain projects need to pull on multiple skillsets, so we need to rely on one another.
- Using information without being paralysed by it
Comprehending how a business’ supply chain works and analyzing the data is the starting point of most projects. The flair to use the information to rapidly visualize solutions and then the collaborative talent to build on those solutions are a core skill of the best consultants.
- Being organised
Whether on a design project or a solution execution project, we are always under pressure to deliver an excellent result within a limited timeframe. The ability to work methodically within a team environment is essential.
As mentioned above, we’re on the lookout for talented people to join us at a truly exciting time to be a supply chain consultant. So, if you want to try consulting, either full-time or as an associate, and you feel that you tick the boxes above, do get in touch with us.
Right now, we’re actively searching for supply chain analysts that, over time, we can nurture and build into supply chain consultants.
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org