Supply Chain Excellence: Mastering Cross-Functional Driver Management

Dr Vijay Sangam, 06:36, 14 Jul 2023


Efficient supply chain management requires effective coordination and alignment of various organisational functions. Managing cross-functional drivers in key areas, such as sourcing decisions, pricing and revenue management, information technology, and coordination, is essential for optimizing supply chain performance. This article explores the significance of these drivers and offers strategies for successfully managing them to achieve a seamless and efficient supply chain.

  • Sourcing Decisions in a Supply Chain:

Sourcing decisions involve selecting suppliers and determining the most suitable sourcing strategy. When making these decisions, supply chain managers must consider cost, quality, reliability, and sustainability factors. Effective management of sourcing drivers requires close collaboration between procurement, operations, and logistics functions. Key strategies for managing sourcing decisions include:

  • Supplier Relationship Management: Cultivating strong relationships with suppliers based on trust and collaboration enables effective communication, timely deliveries, and better responsiveness to changing market demands.
  • Risk Mitigation: Assessing and mitigating risks associated with suppliers, such as disruptions or quality issues, ensures continuity and reliability in the supply chain. Diversifying supplier sources and implementing contingency plans can help manage these risks effectively.
  • Sustainability Considerations: Incorporating sustainability criteria into sourcing decisions promotes responsible sourcing practices, reduces environmental impact, and enhances brand reputation. Collaboration with suppliers on sustainability initiatives can create long-term value.

Case Studies:

Sourcing is the entire set of business processes required to purchase goods and services. The most significant decision for any supply chain function is whether to outsource the function or perform it in-house. Outsourcing results in the supply chain function being performed by a third party ². A sourcing decision should aim to increase the net value created by the supply chain ³.

One case study that investigates the impact of strategic sourcing on the supply chain response to COVID-19 is “Impact of the strategic sourcing process on the supply chain response to the COVID-19 effects” by Guilherme F. Frederico, Vikas Kumar, and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes ¹. This research presents practitioners’ perspectives on the strategic sourcing process’s impact on the supply chain response.

  • Pricing and Revenue Management in a Supply Chain:

Pricing and revenue management decisions are crucial in optimizing profitability and maintaining customer satisfaction. Effective pricing strategies require cross-functional collaboration between sales, marketing, and finance teams. Key strategies for managing pricing and revenue drivers include:

  • Market Analysis and Segmentation: Understanding customer preferences, market dynamics, and competitive landscape helps define appropriate pricing strategies. Analyzing sales data and customer insights can aid in market segmentation and targeted pricing.
    • Dynamic Pricing: Leveraging data analytics and optimization tools enables organizations to set prices dynamically based on market conditions, demand fluctuations, and customer behavior. This approach maximizes revenue and profitability.
    • Revenue Forecasting: Collaboration between sales, operations, and finance teams is crucial for accurate revenue forecasting. By aligning sales projections with production capacities and supply chain capabilities, organizations can avoid stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing revenue and minimizing costs.

Case Studies:

Pricing is important to increase supply chain profits by better matching supply and demand. Revenue management is pricing to increase the profit generated from a limited collection of supply chain assets4. Revenue management aims to reduce any supply/demand imbalance by using pricing as a lever. A big advantage of using revenue management is that a change in pricing is much easier to reverse compared to an investment in supply chain assets 5.

One case study that discusses the role of pricing and revenue management in a supply chain is “The Role of Pricing and Revenue Management in a Supply Chain” by Rinoj P K4. This paper reviews how revenue management uses differential pricing to better match supply and demand and increase supply chain profits.

  • Information Technology in a Supply Chain:

Information technology (IT) drives supply chain efficiency, visibility, and integration. Cross-functional collaboration between IT, operations, and logistics teams is vital for successful IT implementation. Key strategies for managing IT drivers in a supply chain include:

  • Integrated Systems: Implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or a supply chain management (SCM) software integrates various functions and facilitates real-time data sharing, improving decision-making and operational efficiency.
    • Data Analytics: Leveraging advanced analytics tools allows organizations to extract valuable insights from supply chain data. Supply chain performance is improved by better demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and performance monitoring.
    • Collaboration Platforms: Utilizing collaborative technology platforms enables seamless communication and coordination between different functions and stakeholders. Supply chain visibility, transparency, and efficiency are enhanced as a result.

Case Study:

In supply chain management, the role of information technology is very crucial. An information-driven supply chain is essential for creating an integrated, coordinated supply chain because it is a glue that joins the other supply chain drivers together 6.

One case study that discusses the role of information technology in supply chain management is “Information Technology in Supply Chain Management” by Dr. T N Varma and D. A. Khan 7. This paper reviews how the exponential growth of information technology with communication technology in supply chain management is critical in optimising supply chain network flow decisions for achieving organizational competitiveness, improving higher service levels, lowering inventory, and supply chain costs, and reducing electronic risks.

  • Coordination in a Supply Chain:

Coordination is crucial for effective supply chain management, ensuring alignment and synchronization among various functions and stakeholders. Key strategies for managing coordination drivers include:

  • Cross-Functional Communication: Establishing open lines of communication and regular cross-functional meetings promotes collaboration, facilitates information sharing, and improves decision-making across the supply chain.
    • Performance Metrics and Incentives: Defining and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with the supply chain goals motivates cross-functional teams and fosters accountability. Rewards and incentives tied to performance metrics can further promote coordination.
    • Continuous Improvement: Encouraging a culture of continuous improvement and innovation fosters collaboration and cross-functional problem-solving. Regularly evaluating processes, identifying bottlenecks, and implementing improvement initiatives drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Case Study:

Coordination in a supply chain requires each stage of the supply chain to share information and take into account the impact its actions have on other stages. Supply chain coordination aims at improving supply chain performance by aligning the plans and objectives of individual enterprises 8.

One case study that discusses the role of coordination in a supply chain is “The Value of supply chain coordination under moral hazard: A case study of the consumer product supply chain” by Yumi Lee, Sang Hwa Song, and Taesu Cheong 9. This paper examines a real-world case related to the consumer product supply chain to analyze the value of supply chain coordination under moral hazard. The study shows that suppliers and retailers can benefit by properly coordinating supply chain operations while providing adequate services to end customers.


Managing cross-functional drivers is essential for optimizing supply chain performance. Sourcing decisions, pricing and revenue management, IT integration, and coordination are key areas that require effective cross-functional collaboration and alignment. By adopting strategies such as supplier relationship management, dynamic pricing, IT implementation, and fostering a culture of collaboration, organizations can enhance supply chain efficiency, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Successful management of these drivers enables organizations to achieve supply chain excellence and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape.


(1) 15.1 The Role of Sourcing in a Supply Chain · Supply Chain Management ….

(2) The Role of Sourcing in a Supply Chain – HKT Consultant.

(3) Impact of the strategic sourcing process on the supply chain response ….

(4) The Role of Pricing and Revenue Management in a Supply Chain.

(5) The Role of Pricing and Revenue Management in a Supply Chain.

(6) The Role of Information Technology in Supply Chain Management.

(7) Information Technology in Supply Chain Management – SSRN.

(8) Coordination in a supply chain – SlideShare.

(9) The value of supply chain coordination under moral hazard: A case study ….

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