Celonis recently held its second Business Execution CEO Council roundtable with three business leaders focusing and a virtual audience of C-suite leaders on the recent supply chain woes plaguing economies.
The invitation only panel, moderated by Celonis co-CEO Alex Rinke, operated under the Chatham House Rule, which encourages frank and open discussions that are off record. Celonis formed the Business Execution CEO Council to surface the execution issues that matter to customers and the ecosystem.
While we can't tell you who was on the panel, we can highlight a few takeaways to ponder for global business leaders trying to execute through the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages, inflation and a global supply chain crisis.
Among the key takeaways from the panel:
New supply chain frameworks are needed with flexibility and "planned spontaneity built" in. Pre-pandemic supply chains revolved around costs and efficiency. However, these supply chain models were fragile and later exposed by unpredictable supply and demand disruptions. The post-pandemic supply chain will revolve around flexibility and resiliency and more simple models.
Supply chain efficiency will give way to flexibility, sustainability and resilience and that means more inventory. Pre-pandemic supply chains were laser focused on squeezing costs and keeping inventory to a minimum. Today, companies will need to balance costs with inventory levels in the name of resiliency.
The supply chain crisis didn't start with the COVID-19 pandemic. Geopolitical tensions, weather events and shortages have been sowing the seeds for supply chain disruptions for years.
Supply chain needs to be a board-level issue. Supply chains are critical for some industries, but not others. Retailers as a group lacked a strategic approach to supply chain needs with the exception of a few players such as Home Depot.
Create a Black Swan process. Enterprises need to continually think through what could go wrong and how they would deal with the unexpected. The extra modeling and process planning will pay off since the only thing that's guaranteed is that unpredictable events will happen.
Don't assume your extended supply chain and ecosystem is prepared. Outsourcing can be very useful but may have also exacerbated disruptions in the supply chain.
Supply chains have to be rethought through the lens of a "beginner's mind" as data, technology, processes and cultures need to be revamped going forward.
Enterprises need to develop a whole company approach to supply chain engineering that includes suppliers, production, sales and other corporate functions so there's a playbook for disruptions. In other words, companies will need to adapt processes and pull multiple levers since supply chains are likely to be volatile for years to come.
Our next Celonis CEO Council meeting will be in 2022, on the theme of sustainability — not only in supply chains but for businesses as a whole. After this discussion, it is more evident than ever that sustainability is a top priority, and we will look forward to diving into that topic.
If you’re a Celonis customer and you’re interested in learning more about the CEO Council, please reach out to your Celonis account manager.