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Vodafone's Global Supply Chain Management

Please read the case study and answer all the questions.

Vodafone has one of the world’s largest mobile communications networks, with 83,900 employees serving over 370 million customers across more than 30 countries. With 2,200 retail stores and a further 10,300 branded franchises throughout the world. Vodafone products include messaging services for businesses and consumers, smartphones, mobile handsets and tablets. . Its current strategy is aimed at increasing the ‘average revenue per user’ through offering more and more added value mobile services.

Detlef Schultz, winner of the 2011 Procurement Leader Award, was brought in to be the Global Supply Chain Management Director and chief executive officer of the Vodafone Procurement Company. His role was to not only manage the complexity of the procurement and supply chains for both goods and services but also fundamentally transform several fragmented supply chains into a single global function.

The Vodafone Procurement Company was set up in 2008 with its headquarters based in Luxembourg. Through ‘lean’ procurement techniques it was expected to achieve efficiencies and substantial savings on products such as handsets, network equipment, marketing and IT services. It also runs a China Sourcing Centre in Beijing, with a stated objective of 8% year-on-year cost reduction.

Detlef Schultz, who joined Vodafone in March 2003, has 26 years experience in supply chain management, with previous roles in supply chain, planning and operations management in Germany, the UK, Singapore, Korea and the US. He has also appreciated diversity in his teams and knows how important communication, information sharing and empowerment are to success. When Schultz joined staff were uncertain of the impact he would have, the changes that would be made and whether their jobs would be secure.

To bring about the transformational change required, Schultz used an inclusive process, which involved holding workshops with procurement and supply chain staff as well as consulting with key internal stakeholders across the organisation. He used his natural influence, persuasion and well-developed communication skills to gain consensus and buy-in for his plans across the whole procurement and supply chain.

 Schultz and his team’s efforts resulted in Vodafone taking full advantage of its global scale and achieving ‘world-class’ savings and efficiencies across its business operations. Other benefits include a significant improvement in Vodafone’s working capital position, technology standardisation and policy development for global travel and labour.

One of the key drivers behind these successes has been Schultz’s interpersonal skills. The 2011 Procurement Leader award submission referred to Schultz’s ’inclusive and inspirational leadership style‘ and how it had been one of the critical success factors of the projects he led.

However, in accepting the award, Schultz said ’I’m very proud, this is a great recognition for the achievements of the entire Vodafone SCM team. At Vodafone we aim to be ambitious and competitive and getting this kind of recognition is a great motivator,’. This was deserved praise for a hard-working, committed and enthusiastic team he had built up from a small group of 30 to a team of 170 (from 24 countries), based at head office and localized procurement sites.

1.Propose an appropriate leadership style that Schultz would have needed to adopt when transforming Vodafone’s global supply chain function. 

2.Outline an appropriate range of leadership skills that would have been required by Schultz to make the supply chain transformational project at Vodafone a success. 

Vodafone's Global Supply Chain Management

1.Every organization requires a leader who has good leadership qualities and has a rich knowledge of the leadership skills needed in the well running of the organization. Good leadership skills not only make the running of the organization to be an easy task but also makes the company or organization achieve its target of hitting the highest profit targets. Is there specific leadership style suitable for Detlef Schultz? To answer this question, it is important to consider many aspects. Firstly, it is important to note that leading an organization is not an easy task and, in fact, not everyone has the necessary skills to be a good leader. A person can be born with the predisposition to lead but if he does not put it into practice or strive to improve his leadership skills, this innate capacity cannot be exploited and, therefore, it would be as if he did not have it (Goleman, 2017). Consequently, before answering the question, is there a suitable leadership style for Detlef Schultz?, we are going to inquire about the concept of leader. Contrary to a manager, a leader is the person who is able to influence and support others so that, with commitment and involvement, they can direct their efforts in favor of fulfilling the objectives of the organization. Some of the characteristics of a good leader are: commitment, initiative, empathy, charisma, effort, long-term vision, honesty and self-confidence (Avolio & Avolio, 2011). Depending on their personality and interests, a leader will decide to adopt an innovative leadership style or another. Some of the leadership styles that can be adopted are the following: transactional, transformational, authoritarian, democratic, consultative and laissez-faire. Answering the initial question, there is no ideal leadership style; each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the employees and the person in charge of leading the group or team , a certain style of leadership it will be more appropriate than another (In Mughal & In Kamal, 2018). For example, in the case that a team consists of people who like to take initiatives and prefer not to be controlled by their superior, it is possible that the style of leadership that best suits this case is the Laissez-faire.

For our case, Detlef Schultz would have needed to adopt a transformational type of leadership in revolutionizing Vodafone’s global supply chain function.  This is because the transformational type of leadership is the best type of leadership that would have made the transformation of supply chains of the company an easy task (Adeniyi,2007). The first strength of this type of leadership that would suit Schultz is that it is visionary, charismatic as well as motivating. Vodafone, at this time, needed that charismatic and visionary type of procurement leader in order to reach out to the fast and rapidly growing global market.

Types of Leadership and Vodafone's Procurement Needs

Transformational leadership also has an influence on the attitudes as well as assumptions of the members on an organization( Adeniyi,2007).  Since this type of leadership centers on the welfare of the workers, they tend to develop the feeling that they are an integral part of the organization. This will make them give the best out of their selves. For the case of Vodafone,  Schultz would have applied this leadership type to influence workers in different branches of the organization to develop that positive attitude towards work. This would have been the best way to carry out his procurement management plans.

Transformational type of leadership fosters innovations and intellectual growth amongst the workers. Bradberry, & Greaves(2012) are of the opinion that this leadership style gives the workers and other stakeholders the opportunity to work on their own and come up with innovative ways of solving problems and performing various tasks. It is this kind of leadership that would best suit Schultz. This is simply because Vodafone is a technology related company that needs a lot of inventions and innovations as well as the use of personal wit in solving pertinent issues to technology.  A good case example is that he would have to ask the IT and telecommunication workers to come up with strategies on how to get more and more customers in the global market. It is valid to say that the transformational type of leadership is the one that has taken Detlef Schultz to the heights he has reached in procurement and management skills.

Another recommended leadership style for Detlef Schultz is supportive leadership. This form of leadership is crucial in modern time (Northouse, 2009). Given the circumstances related to ever-changing business environment, Vodafone need flexible structures that allow them to adapt immediately to the demands required by global markets; For this, the entrepreneurs who direct and coordinate these companies must support leadership in accordance with the new conditions that mark the economic dynamics of a globalized world.

Lastly, integrative leadership approach fits Detlef Schultz. This model integrates the variables of the leader, the work environment and subordinates, and considers that in order to comply well with its complex functions, the leader must be fundamentally competent to perform them, must be able to reward the good performance of his subordinates and have a true representativeness to their superiors (Kotter, 2012), which allows them to influence them and achieve superior management support to achieve their objectives together with their people (Conyne, 2013). This model is crucial for Schultz because he is operating a multinational company

Detlef Schultz's Leadership Style

2.Schultz has good leadership skills that would help him to transform Vodafone ’s global supply chain. Adeniyi(2007) says that one of the most notable skills that he has is that he is good at inspiring and motivating others. Since the concept of supply chains needs a supplies manager who inspires the workers and motivates them, this skill will go a long way to increase the output of the workers (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2011).  

Additionally, he has a drive for results. As a supplies chain manager, he needs to apply this skill to ensure that workers give their best in making the global supplies. He is the one to ensure that things happen the way they should be and that every worker produces the best results that would, in turn, elevate the global level of the company (Adeniyi,2007). Schultz knows well about the power of effective communication. He is aware that proper communication makes thing happen in the correct manner. Another key leadership skill is that he has a pool of strategic business perspective. Vodafone ‘s procurement requires this skill as it is necessary for laying down strategies on how to expand its global market.

Conclusion

In conclusion, every leader running a business organization ought to have a wide knowledge of the skills and types of leadership. This is necessary as the running of the affairs of an organization will run smoothly with the right leader in position. In this context, Vodafone has the right leader who has the right skills and qualities in the form of  Detlef Schultz. This explains why the company’s supplies chain has spread all over the world and consequently making it one of the biggest companies in the world.

References

Adeniyi, MA (2007) Effective leadership management: An integration of styles, skills & character for today's CEOs. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.

Bradberry, T, & Greaves, J (2012) Leadership 2.0. San Diego: Talent Smart.

Rossiter, DE & JG Ferguson Publishing Company (2004) Leadership skills. New York: Ferguson.

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Northouse, PG (2009) Leadership: Theory and Practice. SAGE Publications Ltd.

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Conyne, RK (2013) Group work leadership: An introduction for helpers. Thousand Oaks : SAGE Publications, Inc

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Kotter, JP (2012) Leading change. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press.

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In Mughal, Y. H., & In Kamal, S. (2018). Servant leadership styles and strategic decision making. Hershey, PA : Information Science Reference.

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Hersey, P, Blanchard, KH, & Johnson, DE (2011) Management of organizational behaviour: Leading human resources. Harlow: Prentice Hall.

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Goleman, D (2017), Leadership That Gets Results (Harvard Business Review Classics). Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

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Avolio, BJ, & Avolio, BJ (2011), Full range leadership development. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.

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My Assignment Help. (2021). Detlef Schultz's Essay On Vodafone's Leadership Style And Skills In Transforming The Global Supply Chain.. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ld501-leadership-styles-and-development/leadership-skills-required-by-schultz.html.

"Detlef Schultz's Essay On Vodafone's Leadership Style And Skills In Transforming The Global Supply Chain.." My Assignment Help, 2021, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ld501-leadership-styles-and-development/leadership-skills-required-by-schultz.html.

My Assignment Help (2021) Detlef Schultz's Essay On Vodafone's Leadership Style And Skills In Transforming The Global Supply Chain. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ld501-leadership-styles-and-development/leadership-skills-required-by-schultz.html
[Accessed 24 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Detlef Schultz's Essay On Vodafone's Leadership Style And Skills In Transforming The Global Supply Chain.' (My Assignment Help, 2021) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ld501-leadership-styles-and-development/leadership-skills-required-by-schultz.html> accessed 24 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Detlef Schultz's Essay On Vodafone's Leadership Style And Skills In Transforming The Global Supply Chain. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 24 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ld501-leadership-styles-and-development/leadership-skills-required-by-schultz.html.

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