How-to Guide: New Plymouth District Council

This informative how-to guide was created to help others learn how to adopt New Plymouth District Council's supply chain leadership approach.

Who is this for

Any organisation or procurement team at the head of a supply chain that delivers new construction or maintenance works and is willing to move away from traditional, transactional procurement models to achieve the performance gains from the supply chain leadership approach.

This is a journey – don't rush

Becoming a supply chain leader is a long-term endeavour that shouldn't be rushed. The definition of supply chain leadership differs for each organisation, so it's important to first explore the concept and experiment with small scale opportunities. Taking incremental steps to develop your own organisation's interpretation of supply chain leadership will help ensure that supply chain partners aren't left behind on the journey.

If the pace of change is too fast, suppliers may perceive the new approach to be commercially risky. Part of the supply chain leader's role is to take a supportive approach and help its suppliers navigate change and share and mitigate risk.

Choose the right projects to fail on

During the developmental phase, be deliberate and careful about where and when you experiment, and only select opportunities where it is safe to fail – or where you are prepared to accept the consequences of failure.

This approach creates space to be deliberate and purposeful when prioritising new initiatives, ensuring that aspirations don't outstrip the capability of the organisation to deliver or exceed the risk appetite of its supply chain partners.

It's bigger than just a process

Supply chain leadership is a culture and ethos that cannot be applied by using a formula. It's important to lead the transition with an outcomes-focused vision that engages your people in what you are trying to achieve, rather than telling them how to execute it.

Like any form of culture, the supply chain leadership ethos rests with its people. It's important that wider organisational support functions are designed to support a supply chain leadership approach.

This includes factors such as:

  • Ensuring recruitment practices are geared towards attracting talented supply chain leaders and people with shared and aligned personal values.
  • Putting in place learning and development programmes that support people.
  • Making sure accountability, reward and recognition structures celebrate successes and incentivise the right kind of behaviour.

This also helps to institutionalise the new approach, ensuring it becomes an enduring change and doesn't rely on an individual leader to sustain it.

Last updated: 28 October 2021