Supply Chain Efficiency Drives Profits During Down Economy

Businesses learned an important lesson over the past few years of economic turmoil:

Efficient supply chains are increasingly essential to maintaining prices and generating new revenue.

In fact, in a recent survey of supply chain executives from 20 different industries worldwide, more than three-fourths of participants (78 percent) said that in the last 12 to 24 months, the emphasis on supply chain management has increased.

The results also show that leaders took advantage of hard times to build market share. When asked if the downturn had resulted in changes to market share, 37.5 percent said their shares had gone up; another 22.5 percent said they went down.

The poll, the eighth annual "Global Survey of Supply Chain Progress," was released last week. It was conducted by CSC (NYSE: CSC), Supply Chain Management Review, The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University, with assistance from The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and Supply Chain Europe magazine.

Interestingly, the survey found that savings achieved in 2010 were essentially flat or fell off slightly when compared to 2009. The report suggests that this result, combined with other responses, indicates that most firms are at the bottom of the economic trough and will use their supply chains to keep a lid on costs as they slowly rise out of the downturn.

"The lessons on how businesses survived a serious economic downturn are becoming more evident," Brad Barton, CSC's Supply Chain Practice Leader, said in a press release. "To reduce costs, business leaders went directly to their supply chains, working with key suppliers to reduce cycle times and increase revenues with their best customers."

More information about the survey is available at www.csc.com/2010SCSurvey.

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