For every little or big thing that we buy and procure, we have to thank Dr. Wolfgang M. Partsch.

Globally acknowledged as the true Pioneer of Supply Chain Management (SCM), Dr. Partsch is an honored Inventor, Thought Leader, Advisor, and Author in SCM. When supply chains don’t work, the world stands still. No goods are delivered, no contest or even war can be won. In his celebrated career spanning many decades, he created and helped improving SCM as an executive advisor and in various leadership positions including Chairman of the Global Supply Chain Network of Ernst & Young, which he formed with an excellent team from zero to revenues of over 1 billion US$ in only four years.

A PhD at the University of Vienna in Physics, Geophysics, Philosophy and Psychology with honours (summa cum laude), Dr. Partsch wanted to combine natural and business sciences. As in geophysics, an earthquake can be measured and analysed at distances of thousands of miles, he had an analogy that incidents in a company and beyond from one end (raw materials) to the other end (finished products) are dependent on each other and therefore need visibility and flows seamlessly without hurdles and silos in between – this was the strategic fundament and birth of Supply Chain Management, which he published in the ‘Manager Magazin’ in Germany in 1979 for the first time in history.

“I had a dream! And this dream was a combination between natural and business sciences. Today this dream has come true in reality but it took more than 40 years.”

Born in 1945 in the wonderful city of Vienna, Austria, Dr. Partsch completed his PhD in 1970 and in the same year, married Christina, an academically promoted teacher for basic school children, and moved to Germany after he got an attractive offer.

He started his career in IT and moved into International Consulting for Marketing and Logistics in 1975, which became the foundation of his professional life. “I am fortunate to have built my ‘house of expertise’ on a very broad and solid basis with natural sciences and soft facts of psychology and philosophy which made it easy for me to understand and interact with all kinds of people successfully – from simple workers to top management and intellectual leaders.”

Dr. Partsch created the art of Supply Chain Management with a team in 1980; was the Project Manager of the first so-called SCM project in the world in Switzerland; and published it in 1982 in the German ‘Wirtschafts-Woche’ (Business Week). However, the real breakthrough came five years later, when the Apple 2e computer was developed by Steve Jobs, which made it possible to collect distributed data from all links in a supply chain into one management system.

Dr. Partsch’s biggest professional challenge is that he is mostly ahead of the curve in strategic thinking and new developments. “Traditional thinking is good as basic knowledge, but it is not enough to grow and improve the future. Think ahead, create new strategies, and don’t copy others. Copying ‘best practices’ can never bring you in a pole position.”

In 1983, he created Dr. Partsch & Partner to provide SCM Consulting and Executive Advice at the highest levels. Through the decades, his personal advice to top executives and individual projects have resulted in billions of US$ savings, profit improvements and business growth.

He has also shared his expertise in numerous publications and as a co-author of some best-selling books. The next, ‘Breakthrough Supply Chains’, released by the leading business publisher McGraw-Hill on May 26, 2023 is already being touted as the “New Supply Chain ‘Bible’ “.

Dr. Partsch is passionate about transferring his wisdom to the next generations. In addition, “I want to influence and help as many leaders as possible with my innovative thinking and suggestions for future success. Many top managers, public decision makers, and politicians, were and are seeking my thoughts to move forward. I anticipated many of today’s challenges and mistakes decades ago. Many of those who followed my advice are leading organizations, industries, and domains today.”

Dr. Partsch is quick to acknowledge that he never had difficulties with work-life balance thanks to the support of his family. “My most important accomplishments are my family and friends who have been with me for a lifetime. Especially my wife Christina and our son Daniel, who studied in Germany, USA and UK and was promoted to MSc at the leading Cranfield University in SCM. Today he is Vice President in a globally leading business consulting company.”

Having played a key role in developing innovative Supply Chain concepts, Dr. Partsch has managed over 100 major projects in about 20+ countries around the world. During the last years, he also has developed advanced solutions in Supply Chain Security and Risk Management, and implanted his SCM wisdom into many projects in Green and Alternative Energy Solutions, making him an undisputed Pioneer in these new fields as well.

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