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XYZ 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. XYZ 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
Morris White, winner of the 2011 Procurement Leader Award, was brought in to be the Global Supply
Chain Management Director and chief executive officer of the XYZ 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 XYZ 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.
Morris White, who joined XYZ 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 Morris White joined staffs
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, White 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 welldeveloped
communication skills to gain consensus and buy-in for his plans across the whole procurement
and supply chain. White and his team’s efforts resulted in XYZ 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 XYZ’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, Morris White said ’I’m very proud; this is a great recognition for the
achievements of the entire XYZ SCM team. At XYZ 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 localised procurement sites.

(a) Propose an appropriate leadership style that Morris White would have needed to adopt when
transforming XYZ global supply chain function. (10 marks)
(b) Outline an appropriate range of leadership skills that would have been required by Morris White to
make the supply chain transformational project at XYZ a success.

 
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