Organisation Design and Management of the Supply Chain
The notion of having to be a customer-driven company is widespread, however, realization of this concept on the ground is not without its difficulties. In Chapter 2 we introduced the concept of strategic alignment. It will be recalled that the thesis of the strategic alignment approach is that to be successful the ‘logics’ of the marketplace and of the strategic response should be aligned. The alignment concept extends beyond this into corporate culture and leadership style and the discussion of these issues and the linkages with the marketplace and the strategic response are dealt with in this chapter. The chapter commences with a discussion on the issues involved in achieving a customer focus in the organization. It will argue that the customer orientation is not easy to implement. The discussion considers the problems of overall implementation, not simply those functions of the business that are in contact with the customer. The chapter also discusses issues in labour relations. Clearly, the nature of labour relations tends to be country specific and it follows that the chapter can only address international trends; however, some of these are of common concern to all supply chain managers; for example, the trend among many businesses to focus only upon core activities has led to the divestment of ‘service’ functions such as the distribution service activities of transportation and storage. So too information technology has led to the restructuring of many tasks, and in some situations has resulted in considerable labour redundancies.
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