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  • Anuj Sharma

Does CSCO has a seat at the proverbial table?

The renewed focus on Supply Chain role provides CSCO an opportunity to elevate the role to strategic partner to CEO

Dell Computers in the 1990's leveraged segmentation and S&OP construct to its advantage and deliver customized computers directly to the customer at much cheaper and won the market share from incumbent PC players of the time. Amazon has leveraged automation and strategic supply chain design to deliver products in 2 days or less and upend the Retail business environment. Despite numerous such case studies that demonstrated the Supply Chain's role as a growth enabler for new business models, as per Gartner's research, supply chains are just necessary cost-centers for most CEOs and company boards and not strategically essential partners.

Significant focus has shifted to the Supply Chain over the last decade as new business models are evolving, and this greater focus has accelerated further due to the pandemic. This newfound focus on Supply Chain provides an opportunity for CSCO to characterize the role of the supply chain as a strategic partner and become a trusted player for the CEO at the 'Table'.

Strategic Partner

To become a strategic partner to the CEO, CSCO needs to broaden their range of understanding across finance, sales, marketing, and engineering to enable better cross-functional communication, improve personal credibility with other strategic partners, and understand trade-offs holistically.

Leadership during crisis

Nobody can have plans for all types of crises. But when they hit, the supply chain design must be flexible enough to respond in real-time to disruptions. Even though these responses may not be the most efficient ones, they should support the company's greater good. The ability of the Supply Chain to respond during a crisis is critical to gain that coveted seat at the 'Table'.


The renewed focus on the Supply Chain role provides CSCO an opportunity to elevate the role to a strategic partner to CEO CEOth in sustainability, new business models, new products, and services. CSCO needs to be aware of the latest trends and be technology savvy to collaborate with technology leaders. For example, CSCO can own sustainability and data-driven decision making and support IT leaders in developing these initiatives' solutions.

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