I hope that you enjoyed the article “Big Supply Chains, Big Social Responsibility.”
One of the dangers about writing about the supply chain practices of big companies like Microsoft, Levi Strauss & Co., and American Airlines is that supply chain professionals from smaller companies may think, “Ah, those things are for the big guys. I don’t have to do that stuff!”
The “stuff” I am covering about those big companies isn’t exactly new. Those supply chain programs had been conceptualized years ago and took a long time to implement. It’s not like you can say “Let’s address the HIV epidemic in our supply chain” and -voila! – you have a program.
Instead, I would say that the supply chain practices that those big companies have in place today are exactly the types of things you should be working on now. Because, by the time you get those types of programs running, it may be three years later and the “big guys” are onto even more advanced stuff.
When you work for an organization that is smaller than the gargantuan businesses mentioned in the article, following the lead of those giants can help your organization get a competitive advantage against your same-size competitors. After all, they may be saying “those things are for the big guys” when, unbeknownst to them, your organization is building a strategy that will help to capture market share right from the clutches of those competitors.
It’s better to follow the lead of the leader. If you wait to follow the lead of a follower, you’ll be way behind.