Speaking at supply chain consultancy SCALA’s annual debate at Coombe Abbey in Coventry, Bottle listed the types of people who can trigger change within a supply chain business.
“A huge range of different stakeholders can trigger changes in your network,” said Bottle. “From customers, suppliers or wider stakeholders like government, pressure groups and the media.
“Ultimately, all solutions from supply chain or customer service problems come from people. Some have vision, some have experience, and some have enthusiasm and it’s inspiring when you can harness that and collaborate together to drive change.”
Play a leadership role
Bottle called on big brands to play a leadership role in attracting talented people into the supply chain sector, from children to potential apprentices and university graduates.
“Maybe [that could include] people who are fed up with the career they first thought of or high-flying executives looking for international opportunities,” added Bottle. “People returning to the workplace after a career break – we need all those talents to drive development in the supply chain.
“All sorts of things could trigger a development in your supply chain – your own data, a trigger from retailers or IT considerations. Whether it’s incremental, continuous improvement or radical transformation, change is here to stay.”
The potential for talented people to drive change could apply to all supply chain businesses, said Bottle, no matter how traditional or automated the company might be.
“Whether you’ve got a supply chain of traditional labour-intensive factories, a conventional trucks and sheds kind of model in your logistics solution, or maybe you’ve got state-of-the-art, integrated ERP systems – it’s always people who drive change.”
The SCALA supply chain debate is held each year, bringing together captains of industry to discuss the issues and challenges facing the sector.
Speakers at this year’s event included Sainsbury’s head of logistics strategy and development Darren Jones, Wincanton director of home and eFulfilment Paul Durkin, and tech firm Microlise product director Stephen Watson.