The renowned Alfred D. Chandler (1962) once said that strategy goes before structure. And it is probably a good idea to start with getting the strategy straight first. What is it we are trying to achieve? It is like trying to fly an airplane without a flight plan. You need to have a destination, know the distance, fuel, route, height, airport, and most importantly, you must know how to fly. When you try to come up with an efficient and effective network structure, you need to know the business strategy. What type of relationship with our customers and suppliers should we choose? How can a company define its value proposition and back it up by an efficient and effective network structure?
The late Mike Rukstad, identified three critical components of a good strategy statement: (1) the objective, (2) the scope, and, (3) the advantage, and believed that executives should be forced to be crystal clear about these three. He argued that any strategy statement must begin with a definition of the objective, what needs to be achieved? “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”. The definition of the objective should include not only an end point but also a time frame for reaching it.
We present a usefull template that sets out a suggested format for a strategy document, together with a checklist for the content of the strategy itself. The template is designed to be relevant to corporate, business unit, operational, and network strategy. Keep in mind that a strategy document is not an end in itself. However it proved to be very helpful in structuring the discussion on strategy and translation into a feasible logistics solution.
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