A Head of Supply Chain can mean many things. The structure, operational and strategic pressures, and challenges associated with the position are unique to each environment. Matching your own niche requirement and interpreting it accurately with an individual’s experiences benefits from a detailed breakdown; identifying the critical areas of the role where competitiveness lies and the skills requirement is greatest.
Selecting the head of a business function is amongst the most important decisions to be made as a business leader – and one of the most challenging. Not least, because of the likelihood that the same specialist expertise that would otherwise have assisted you in the decision is the very reason that you are looking to recruit.
From the initial product forecast to your goods arriving with a customer as planned, the route travelled and the difficulties encountered will be specific to your business. Our experience of providing consultancy for business leaders suggests that the same issues will usually be present to some extent. However, the contribution that individual supply chain elements make to delivering margin and service varies significantly. This has a material impact on the profile of suitable candidates; a number of whom, at first glance, may seem equally qualified.
Translating the key elements of the role to the right candidate takes a keen awareness of the nuances of varying supply chains; and an appreciation of the business models that they work within. In some sectors logistics costs are high enough for even a moderately suboptimal operation to lead to a substantial loss over a short time frame. If, in another supply chain the focus is on managing an operation where a high product value results in relatively low distribution costs, but customers are more prescriptive and space is at a premium, the respective managers’ CVs could look similar. The fundamental tasks that they have performed will be the same, but the challenges they have faced will not.
Although all supply chains have similar objectives how they achieve them varies enormously, and so does the leadership required. Identifying the complexity and challenge of the key areas of the role is crucial to ensure that you not only have the right person for the role, but that it is also the right job for them. An assessment of a candidate can only ever be as good as the accuracy of the role definition.
Davies & Robson conducts senior recruitment activity with a consultative approach that focuses on determining the real challenges of a role. Providing thorough assessment and selection processes to identify the required candidate experience. Ensuring that the successful candidate is both technically suited to the business need and has the character required to lead in a demanding environment.