Talking Supply Chain with Julie Hamilton, Chief Commercial Officer at Diageo

At the Digital Supply Chain Institute (DSCI), we have been conducting a series of discussions with supply chain leaders as part of our Women Leading Digital Supply Chain Transformations initiative. On January 27, we were fortunate to have Julie Hamilton, chief commercial officer at Diageo, the global beverage company, join Sugathri Kolluru, DSCI manager, emerging technologies, for a discussion of the leadership lessons from the pandemic. Here are some snippets from the conversation edited for brevity and clarity. You can watch the entire 30-minute program here.

Break Down the Silos!

One of the key things we’re finding is that we have to break down the silos. Working and being successful today requires the ability to work cross-functionally. The pandemic forced us to collapse those barriers and be much more integrated. You really see the supply chain becoming much more integrated into the day-to-day of the business.

More women find a career in supply chain

Supply chains have moved from being production focused and shipment focused to being a much more strategic and integral piece of the business. That is helping recruit women into supply chain. There’s more science and technology and collaboration and customer focus that goes into it. That’s helping broaden the appeal of the traditional supply chain career to people. More women are choosing to make supply chain a career and a great opportunity for them to learn and grow

COVID-19 has forced digitization

We’ve embarked on a huge digitization of our supply chain. The pandemic has accelerated the need to do it now. We don’t have the luxury of doing this over the next three to five years. We can already see the impact. Everybody sees the same version of the truth. If you’re in sales and you’re waiting to have a discussion with your customers about where your product is and your inventory, you’re seeing the same thing as the supply chain–who sent it out and who’s ordering, as well as our finance team so that they know where those investments and costs are.

Supply chains have a seat at the table

Supply chain now has seats at the table with our customer discussions. We have supply chain sitting in the meeting so that the salesperson, supply chain, and the customer can understand where inventory is and what’s coming in.

Fit for purpose

We said, ‘Let’s not waste this crisis’ and look at how do we leapfrog and set up a fit for purpose supply chain and a route to the consumer that may look very different from today. We’re putting the supply chain much more front and center than it used to be.

Watch video here.

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