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To improve organizational alignment, start with supply chain strategy: New report

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

In a new research report, Techniques to Improve Organization Alignment, supply chain technology analyst Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights LLC examines how supply chain practices can improve both organizational alignment and corporate performance.

"When organizations are aligned, things happen quicker. It takes less effort," Cecere points out in her report. "People know what to do, and there is a greater bias for action. As a result, the organization can achieve higher levels of results and better withstand the pressures of demand and supply volatility."

Unfortunately, Cecere says that line of business leaders lack alignment. While many consultants claim that business results happen through better IT and business alignment, the new study detected gaps in functional alignment within the business roles of sales, marketing, finance, and supply chain that were "far greater than the gaps between IT and line of business," says Cecere.

"In general, the IT group thinks that the organization is more aligned than it really is, and as a result it overstates its alignment with the business," says Cecere, whose report examined alignments among the supply chain, finance, and IT departments. "Of the three groups, the sales group is most out of alignment."

 So, what can companies do to improve alignment? Cecere says when firms take these three steps - and focus on doing them well - they can substantially improve organizational alignment:

  • Clearly Define Supply Chain Strategy. While many companies state that they want to be "agile," it requires definition. Companies need to design a supply chain with this goal in mind. When the organization has a carefully crafted definition of agility, it is able to ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

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