Proctor and Gamble Co. was tapped as the most admired manufacturer in a recent study by IGD, a goods and grocery specialist, in its report "Managing International Supply Chains." According to an analysis of this report in on Feb. 28, the survey concluded that the characteristics of a leading manufacturer include: effective brand management, speed to market, excellent customer management and scale and agility of the supply chain. P&G was singled out for its "leading edge and scale." Other best-in-class manufacturers include Dell, Ferrero, Mller and Unilever.

Regarding outsourcing parts of the supply chain, the survey showed that 60% of the companies outsource warehousing, while 70% outsource transport.

According to the survey, two of the major challenges facing manufacturers are demand planning and forecasting (72%) and new product introductions (54%). Additionally, companies are looking to improve in the areas of cost and inventory management, customer service and IT improvements.

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