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Supply Chain Management

Our approach creates bottom line impact covering suppliers, production, physical logistics, and customers.

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Effective supply chain management supports corporate strategy objectives such as globalization and growth, and in merger and acquisition or financial turnaround situations.

How we work
  • We apply deep and distinctive functional expertise to help clients overcome typical supply chain challenges; for example, how to cope with demand and supply uncertainty, how to build and optimize the supply chain organization, and which supply chain planning and control strategies to employ.
  • We supplement our client experience with targeted research programs to investigate the practices that really drive supply chain performance, as opposed to ‘flavor of the month’ approaches.
  • We integrate solutions across all operations disciplines. For example, rather than taking production constraints as given input to supply-chain planning, we aim to optimize the complete system with both lean production and planning approaches. Viewing market and customer service level requirements as a key driver of supply chain design, we work with marketing and sales, distribution channels, and pricing strategies.
  • We tailor supply chain management principles to the specific characteristic of the sector. Taking fresh ideas from one sector, we can lift performance of clients in another. Our breadth and depth allows us to apply learning from fashion to electronics, from pharma wholesale to automotive service parts, and from retail to defense.
Global insights and support

We support clients developing global manufacturing strategies with insight into global macroeconomic, factor cost, and strategic industry sector developments. Working together with our manufacturing group, we investigate production and technological drivers of footprint decisions such as economies of scale, specialization benefits of production technology, and the tailoring of production process technologies to local factor cost and skill conditions.

We can provide simple scenario evaluation to mathematical optimization of entire value chains, including impact of supply chain elements like logistics, inventory, and international trade-related costs. We also support site selection and negotiations with local authorities, tactical sequencing and communication strategies, and a wide range of practical footprint transformation best practices.

Change management

The implementation of supply chain solutions can be the most challenging step of supply chain improvements, particularly when the people and processes affected typically span several functions, organizations, and countries. We offer practical support via a range of tailored and proven intervention and transformation approaches designed to achieve both short-term impact and long-term sustainability.

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Latest thinking

bookExcellence in supply chain management

Excellence in supply chain management

With the forces of globalization, rapidly changing consumer demand, and volatility at work, supply chains play a critical role in everything from competitive advantage to emerging market success. With so much at stake, companies need to evolve their supply chain capabilities and position them as an essential part of the CEO agenda.

interview | McKinsey QuarterlyPhilips_1536x1536_Thumbnail

Toward a circular economy: Philips CEO Frans van Houten

February 2014—A new economic model is helping the Dutch manufacturer improve its resource efficiency and financial attractiveness.more


Strengthening health care’s supply chain: A five-step plan

September 2013—Dramatically changing the sector’s inefficient supply chain may eliminate the dangers posed by counterfeiting and medication errors.more

  • includes:
articleFrom supply chains to supply circles

From supply chains to supply circles

June 2012—Manufacturers can create value, cut costs, and reduce exposure to volatile commodity prices by improving their resource productivity—using fewer resources for each unit of output.more

article | McKinsey Quarterlyagop12_frth_Thumbnail

Agile operations for volatile times

May 2012—By improving how risk is measured—and managed—in global operations, companies can adapt to changing conditions faster than competitors.more

article | McKinsey Quarterlyisyo11_frth_Thumbnail

Is your top team undermining your supply chain?

January 2011—Building bridges between senior managers is a critical step in constructing tomorrow’s global supply chain.more