An efficient supply chain manager is like a good sous chef who expedites dishes and ensures preparation is of high quality. And similar to working in a kitchen, supply chain management requires a considerable amount of planning, quality ingredients, and responsiveness.
Planning. Whether you’re making a balsamic reduction or braising chicken for your coq au vin, it’s important to know what ingredients you need, amounts, and when you’ll need them in the process. You don’t want to run out of butter when you montè au beurre that sauce to make it creamier. For supply chain managers, it could mean a great deal of integration between inventory management systems, their ERP, and LIMS software (if they use them).
Quality. Are you making béchamel sauce? The ingredients and quality of your mise en place will dictate quality of your product and happiness of your customers. Sourcing these raw materials can take a lot of time and require a great deal of understanding. Know the quality of your goods as well as its source.
Responsiveness. Are you trying to prep calamari ripieni or cioppino….in January? Raw material availability and shortages happen all of the time. And similar to the planning aspect of cooking, you need to know how to second source or find proper substitutes for your supply chain needs. If you don’t have the understanding or time to deal with this, you can always relegate that task to someone else.
Supply chain management entails a lot of responsibilities and expertise. Sometimes it’s best to have extra line cooks to help lighten the load or else you end up with customers sending their dish back to the kitchen.