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20 April 2012 | Adam Leach
The CEO’s involvement in a supply chain transformation project focuses the attention of the team and eliminates the “lag in decision making”, according to a supply chain vice-president at Oracle.
Jon Chorley, vice-president of supply chain management product strategy at Oracle, told SM that leadership from the top of the organisation was critical in transforming the firm’s supply chain when the technology firm integrated the operations of the component maker Sun Microsystems, which it bought in 2010.
After Oracle acquired the business, CEO Larry Ellison made the aims clear. He wanted the company to make everything in-house, everything built to order and for all production to work from standard software. The transformation saw supply factories consolidated from 21 to five, Sun IT systems moved over to those used by Oracle and reshaped the manufacturing process to build products to order in just 12 months.
Chorley identified three reasons the firm was able to carry out the IT implementation quickly. “We had clear executive leadership, we had an empowered team and thirdly, we didn’t customise the software. We selected the right vendor and we worked with them to implement best practices enabled by the software,” he told SM at the Extended Supply Chain 2012 conference.
Explaining the benefits of strong leadership, Chorley said: “You eliminate lag in decision making, the decisions are taken much more quickly and people are clearer about the framework under which they take their decisions.”
And the focus and thrust provided by the CEO’s leadership on the integration programme has had a long-term impact on the team. “The lasting effect is the importance of good timely decisions and staying focused, I think we’ve seen that in subsequent projects,” he said.