Meet Critical Input Senior Consultant Campbell Maclean

A lover of fishing and the great outdoors, Campbell Maclean is a highly experienced and accomplished professional with extensive expertise in supply chain and project management. As the head of CRITICAL INPUT‘s Northern Territory office, Campbell is responsible for driving the company’s growth and success in the region.

No stranger to the Northern Territory, Campbell was born in Darwin, had a long working association in the Territory and continues to appreciate the uniqueness of the environment. He has a proven track record of delivering results in the supply chain and project management space, having worked for some of the leading companies in the industry. He has a deep understanding of the complexities involved in managing supply chains and projects, and has a wealth of experience in implementing strategies that drive efficiency and improve performance. With Campbell at the helm of Critical Input’s Northern Territory office, the company is well positioned for continued growth and success. Campbell is excited to be a part of the Critical Input team and is looking forward to making a positive impact on the company’s operations in the region.

What led you into this type of work?

I was always good at Chemistry so I chose that path when I left school. I soon discovered that a career in chemistry was not for me, so I looked for another option. The university I went to had a very unusual major in supply chain or materials management. This caught my interest as it lined up well with the fuel and oil distributorship business my family ran in the NT. This course led me to a role with the State Supply Board and the State Supply Division giving a good grounding in large scale supply chain operations. I then moved back to Darwin to take up a role with BHP Petroleum as an international expediter and materials coordinator for the Timor Sea Operations. These two roles formed the platform upon which my career evolved.

What do you bring to Critical Input that is beneficial to clients?

I’ve had an extensive career in supply chain and procurement within heavy industry – aluminium smelters and refineries. I’ve also had a fairly large exposure to the construction world, particularly in oil and gas, but also in telecommunications over the years. As well as that, I’ve had private enterprise experience through the running of my own companies. For instance, I ran a vineyard in the southwest of WA for five years, and a large sheep stud that exported animals to Turkey. All up, I’ve had a pretty diverse background and I think that fits in well with the Critical Input environment.

What do you love about supply chain?

What interests me the most about supply chain is its ability to interact with the business as a whole. The impact is seen across the entirety of a business, whether it’s production, finance or operational environments. You get to influence the entire organisation and actually make change happen.

Why is Darwin a focus for CI?

Darwin is going through the beginnings of an exceptional growth phase due to geopolitical and resource motivated factors. There are many major projects that are kicking off or scheduled to kick off in the next few years. The NT already has successful businesses that are supporting construction, defence and the Resource Sectors but their capacities and capabilities will need to shift up a level or two to be able to address the needs of this expected growth. As Territory businesses embark on growth and expansion as they strive to meet the demands from upcoming projects and deal with the global disruptions in global supply environment, they will need to also step up the sophistication of their supply chain and procurement capability. It is challenging to find highly trained and commercially experienced supply and procurement personnel at all levels especially in the NT. In many cases, supply chain and procurement operations have remained immature or have limited capability due to the limited supply chain and Procurement expertise available in the NT. As a result, they are missing serious opportunities in improving their bottom lines and ensuring resilience in providing their services. CI can provide the knowledge and key personnel that can assist NT businesses increase capabilities and realise substantial benefits from their supply chain and procurement efforts not only to improve their bottom lines but to ensure that they can maintain their service undertakings to their clients and customers.

Is there a particular type of work that you enjoy most?

I really enjoy passing on the expertise and knowledge that I have built up during my career and ensuring that others can benefit from it.

Many people heard about supply chains for the first time during covid because they suddenly impacted everyday life, what do you wish people understood better about supply chain?

I think organisations need to really understand how much supply chains can have an impact on their bottom line both is dollar terms but also in reliability and reputation. It’s been absolutely apparent in the last few years just how much of a problem it is when supply chains become disrupted.

How do you know when you’ve done a good job or when a project has been a success?

When your customer, whoever that may be, is happy and recognises that there’s been value in the efforts that you have put forward. If you’ve got a happy client, then you’ve done a good job.

If there was one thing you could change about the way Australia operates, what would it be?

I’d like to see Australia focusing on its own self-resilience, rebuilding its industry, rebuilding its capability and manufacturing base to where it once was. As a country, we need to be a lot more reliant on our own capabilities and resources. We have resources, we just don’t have the ability to convert them into end products. We really do have to focus on getting much better at that.

What’s a fun fact about you? What do you do when you’re not working?

I enjoy fishing, getting out onto the rivers and enjoying the wildlife – particularly up here in the Territory. It’s a pretty unique environment and being out in it help me recharge my batteries.

Campbell’s core strengths

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Project Procurement & Contracts Management
  • Strategic Sourcing and Category Management
  • Operations Procurement and Supply Support
  • Inventory Management and Control
  • Expert Analytical Skills
  • Business Improvement Specialist
  • Broad Organisational Expertise
  • Environmental Management