Consider everything a learning experience and turn supply chain struggles into opportunities for career growth.
That’s a mindset favored by Tolga Tuksal, Director of Strategic Global Sourcing and Supply Management at Dayco.
Quartz Network Executive Correspondent Britt Erler sat down with Tolga to discuss the world of supply chain management and the challenges that are currently being faced.
Tolga shares insight into:
- Ways to overcome supply chain challenges
- Defining the end journey
- Advice for new professionals entering supply chain careers
Quartz Network: Can you give some background about what you’ve done in the past and your current role?
Tolga Tuksal: Currently, I’m responsible for supply chain global purchasing and supply chain depot. I get to represent the great supply chain professionals we have around the globe. I’m so proud to be working with them side by side, especially in current challenging times. I’ve been very lucky in my career to take on other roles in engineering, program management and sales, until I got to the supply chain function. That really gives me a unique perspective.
To me, supply chain is a combination of everything from one end to another. It’s integrated into everything that an enterprise or company does.
Quartz Network: Can you explain the end-to-end journey and why it’s crucial to business success?
Tolga Tuksal: In a way, end to end represents the whole enterprise. Imagine a line with a starting point and an end point. Let’s imagine that line is the whole enterprise, but on the start end, you have the source and suppliers, and at the other end, you have the customer. That line—everything that enterprise does—is representative of the integrated supply chain. From source, you have to develop, make, move, store, distribute, sell, market, and get to the end customer. End to end is reaching from source to the customer.
Quartz Network: How do you ensure cross team alignment when implementing new strategies?
Tolga Tuksal: There’s multiple ways of approaching this. To me, the most effective way is communication of why—why we’re doing this and how will we do this.
Once you establish the protocol and the process, you can do a read across and repeat it. Standardize the process and repeat it, so that there is no variability. There are no ifs or buts.
The quicker and more agile you are, the quicker you can communicate and put the process in place.
Quartz Network: What advice do you have for new supply chain professionals to help them get started?
Tolga Tuksal: First of all, it’s really a good time to be in supply chain. If you had lived 100 years, you wouldn’t have been able to experience what we’ve experienced the last couple of years. Every crisis, every difficult situation, is a good experience and good lesson learned.
First of all, have fun. You’re going to have supply chain issues, it’s just a matter of when, not if. That’s why the company needs you. That’s why you have the job—to solve those problems.
Second of all, I highly recommend if you could easily go back to that end-to-end description earlier that we talked about, try to move across the functions, try to take on different roles in your career. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to do different roles before I came to supply chain. This gave me an understanding of how supply chain fits relative to other functions in the organization.
Don’t be afraid to take other roles, expand your knowledge, learn more, and try to approach it in a way that supply chain is your end goal and gain.
I would also highly recommend that you read a lot. Try to grow and develop yourself outside of work. Pick a topic. Pick a problem. Even if you don’t know the answer. Even if you don’t know the solution. Start researching and reading different sources. Consult with people you know in the industry. Learning, reading and attending seminars is essential in supply chain.
Quartz Network: What advice do you have for leaders managing a team?
Tolga Tuksal: The way I view things in my job is, everything is a learning experience for me. Right now, we’re dealing with a lot of variables. There’s a lot of moving parts. We really don’t have time to go through a detailed analysis and come to a conclusion with full data available to us. Sometimes we have to take a direction and then course correct as we go along.
I would recommend you take a step back and focus on the bigger picture first. What is your end goal? Let’s say your end goal is to maximize the sales revenue, then you have to move product from point A to point B. You have to make sure you’re translating the demand forecast to labor, machine hours, and production the right way. It’s really focusing on the end goal and then working from there.
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