Grab a fresh coffee, sit at your computer, and scan through interviews featuring highly successful business people - you might notice a recurring theme that appears in them all: leverage.
The Warren Buffets and Richard Bransons of the world have put in huge amounts of work to achieve their success but they also regularly talk about how they use leverage to increase their results and outcomes.
For these successful business people, leverage is all about multiplying their efforts by drawing upon the wisdom and expertise of their trusted subject matter experts.
You too can use the concept of leverage to achieve better results.
One leverage method is to use the expertise of your specialist supply chain recruiter in unexpected ways.
How? To start with, don’t be like everyone else. Most businesses around the world work with recruiters on a purely transactional basis. They contact a recruiter and say: "Help us fill this role." The job gets done. The role gets filled and everyone moves on with their day.
However, highly successful supply chain leaders do something a little different. These leaders take a leaf out the Buffet-Branson book and choose to leverage their relationship with their recruiters to great effect.
The interesting thing is that much of this leverage has little to do with direct hiring.
Here are five ways you can leverage your relationship with your supply chain recruiters to improve your company's performance and to enhance your own career.
Do you get your industry information in the same way as your competitors?
Do you scan the same industry news reports, Google the same websites, and read the same newsletters?
If so, you’re probably moving in synch with your competitors.
Sometimes that can be a good thing but other times, in a crowded market where you’re trying to stand out from the others, it can be a hindrance.
When you move beyond a purely transactional arrangement and start to develop a more engaged relationship with a specialist supply chain recruiter, you’ll find yourself regularly talking with someone integral to the industry who knows what’s going on and where. Perhaps you’ll talk about a new player entering the market or new software that’s being rolled-out. Whatever the topic, you’ll have a fresh new supply of valuable industry intelligence.
Of course, you won’t get confidential or commercially sensitive information. After all, you want to develop a relationship based on mutual trust and integrity. Nonetheless, having open conversations about where the industry is heading and who’s going to be part of that move is highly valuable and will help you to develop better plans.
These days, we all hear a lot about how much is changing and how we must continue to evolve as people and businesses.
Possible trade wars with China, Brexit, the rise of artificial intelligence - there’s always something new that challenges how we do business.
You might have seen our recent summary of the Deloitte report which revealed that, due to the rapid rise in automation and artificial intelligence, organizations are now looking to their procurement teams (and broader supply chain functions) to act as critical thinkers, to influence business decisions in the use of 3rd party activities, and to focus on innovation.
An excellent way to enhance your critical thinking and innovation focus is to partner with external subject matter experts and leverage their knowledge for better business results.
A true supply chain industry recruitment expert will be fully abreast of these cultural changes and can help you develop a plan that lets you maintain the right balance of skills, talents, and attributes within your team.
Ever heard that famous Wayne Gretzky ice hockey quote?
“I skate to where the puck is going.”
Great managers take the same approach. They look beyond their current team and plan for change. They know that people will leave and new skills and attributes will be required along the way. Rather than fly into a panic when a key person leaves, they wish the employee well and then look to the talent pipeline that they’ve been nurturing for the last few years.
Perhaps it’s a junior internal employee to whom they’ve been giving minor tasks and projects via their supervisor. Perhaps it’s that seasoned expert over at the competition that they’ve been buying coffee a couple of times a year just waiting for the right time to offer them a role.
Either way, they don’t leave it to blind fate. They tend to stay in touch with their expert supply chain recruiter and talk about the best way to keep rejuvenating their team over time.
Do you ever have value-add projects or plans that continue to get sidetracked because they sit to the side of normal work tasks?
For example, maybe it’s doing that research and then implementing new software that would make life easier for everyone in the team? It would clearly add value but it would be a time-consuming project to get finished. Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to completely update your customer database and upgrade it with information that would help you treat your customers like friends rather than numbers?
All side projects take time and effort and, therefore, they often fall by the wayside until ‘someday’ comes around.
This is a classic opportunity to leverage the knowledge and industry contacts of an expert supply chain recruiter. You may find that they can refer you to a local consultant who specializes in the exact project you have in mind. Alternatively, they may be able to help you find someone to come in for a short, intensive placement and just get the job done so it’s finally off your plate.
Think of the satisfaction you’ll feel when you take that big task off your checklist and see it start to deliver value to your business.
Great supply chain managers naturally tend to develop positive business relationships with their supply chain recruiters that improve their flow of inbound sales leads in an organic way.
It makes sense. People like helping other people and if you form a strong, respectful working partnership with someone deeply embedded in the industry, it’s only natural that they might want to mention you or your company to people in the need of a high quality product or service like yours.
Even if you don’t have any direct sales development responsibilities, how do you think your boss (or your boss’ boss) is going to feel about you bringing in new business that helps grow the company? They’ll be impressed by your initiative and by your proactive networking skills and will hold you up as a role model to others in the business.
As Steve Jobs and Apple said, ‘think different’.
When working with a supply chain recruiter, look beyond the immediate role you’re aiming to fill and think about how you can strengthen the relationship so you both gain more from the partnership.
And, who knows, beyond the direct business advantages, you may even gain a new friend.
Like to know more? Contact Scope Recruitment now.
Our expertise in your industry means a rapid, on-target search, resulting in top candidates for your organization.