@Parser: The questions you pose about how to assess skills, develop them beyond supply chain functions, and replicate/expand them throughout an organization or even the industry get right to the core of the matter. I know years ago a number of universities beefed up their cirriculum and began offering masters degrees in various supply chain areas, and organizations offered community outreach and continuing education classes and seminars. I'm not sure what's become of them, but I'd like hear how what the outcomes have been and how companies internally are identifying, nuturing and rewarding people with superior supply chain skills and business savvy.
A very good insight in the article. Someone with supply chain background is leading Apple is really extraordinary but when he has experience in senior positions of HP,COMPAQ and IBM, it becomes easy to understand. The supply chain responsibility looks very simple from far but I agree they are the ones or make or break it. Imagine everything is ready but critical part in BOM is not in store. I have always recognized and appreciated the efforts of good buyers and supply chain executives.
Jennifer thank you for clarification with specific questions. How one can assess skills needed to develop and nurture supply chain? Maybe we can look at the best examples in the industry and see what these people brought to the table. Why Steve Jobs is so good? Who else is there and what kind of style he/she has?
In my opinion the Supply Chain Professionals are the heart of an organization, who are in action 24 hours of the day and keep the pace with the everchanging demands and deadlines. But a technology company like Apple needs a stronger brain which keeps on planning new streategies, new innovations all the time while the companies production machine is run by the Supply Chain professionals. So maintaining status-quo is one thing and taking the company to another height is another!
I knew Mr. Cook had been at the helm of Apple during Jobs previous absence, but was not familiar with the rest of his background - thank you for providing the additional information. If he and Steve Jobs are as astute as I think, they have cultivated an evironment for innovation that encourages others within the company to step up and provide new ideas and technology.
Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Agreed, Cook is not Jobs, and Jobs is not Cook. And, I'll give a double nod to the fact that they each bring different, but complimentary, skills to the table. But, the question "Will Cook be as good as Jobs?" isn't really what has my head spinning.
Regardless of how well Apple fares or falters during whatever transitions come in the near future, the bigger questions are:
- Are the skills being developed and nutured by supply chain professionals strong enough to lead Fortune 500 companies?
- Will we be seeing more Cook-like executives coming up the ranks in the next few years?
- What specific supply chain skills would be most valuable in a CEO capacity (either here at Apple or anywhere in the high tech industry)?
Cook and Jobs work together and they have different skill set. Steve Jobs is on leave and will continue making top-level decisions. As a net result there might be no change in Apple ability to continue success. But if Jobs would have to stop his work it would change Apple totally. As I can see it Apple could remain at the top, but not as dynamic as under Jobs.
i agree with hwong that Cook and Job are different as Job has shown his power as a tech visionary and has brought Apple to the number 1 position. I have no doubt in my mind about the managerial qualities of Cook as he has shown in the past that he can deliver in Job's abscence so there is no problem in short term for Apple.
I think that its only time that will tell whether Cook can keep the growth engine of Apple running.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.