Almost half of the companies surveyed on their top supply chain initiatives named lean supply chain as their top priority. The survey, conducted by E2open, a Redwood, Calif.-based supply chain management software company, was based on interviews with 160 participants at the SAP Logistics and Supply Chain Management 2007 conference.
Survey respondents validated the highest-priority supply chain initiatives:
- 48% of survey respondents identified lean supply chain eliminating waste and unnecessary steps, for example, by evolving from a "push" to "pull," demand-driven strategy;
- 45% identified operational improvement programs -- obtaining visibility into supply chain information by replacing manual processes with automation (automated VMI/SMI programs, IPO/ITC, etc.);
- 39% identified globalization -- leveraging economies of scale across multiple operating units;
- 29% identified improvement in trading partner integration by migrating from legacy systems to multi-enterprise supply chain platforms replacing legacy collaboration applications and B2B gateways.
Additional initiatives identified by respondents included outsourced manufacturing and design as well as operating and sourcing in low-cost countries such as China, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Survey respondents also cited the top business objectives for their supply chain initiatives as follows:
- 66% cited reducing operating costs;
- 52% cited reducing inventory;
- 41% cited improving on time delivery;
- 39% cited improving availability and cycle times.
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