What are supply chain professionals thinking about as they look ahead into 2011?
A recent survey conducted by eyefortransport in September and October 2010 reveals some intriguing insights about their mindset and the results are largely positive. For example:
Regarding the economy, 66 percent think 'the worst is over and things are improving,' although this view is more prevalent in Europe (76 percent) than in North America (59 percent).
Adding to the optimism, survey participants also reported that they feel their division is recognized by their organization and that they are 'a source of real business value and competitive advantage, rather than a purely operational function.' Most believe their business considers supply chain important to business recovery, although this trend is more positive in North America (68 percent) than in Europe (52 percent).
When asked about the potential challenges and projects in the year ahead, survey participants cited: demand variability (forecasting) (42 percent), cost containment and reduction (39 percent), supply chain visibility (35 percent), inventory management and optimization (33 percent), and escalating customer expectations (33 percent).
Half of the respondents record implementing or planning for many supply chain management projects in 2011. The top projects listed are: cost reduction/containment, inventory optimization, supply chain visibility, global sourcing and procurement, aligning supply chain with business goals, business process (re)design programs, strategic sourcing and supplier management, sales and operations planning (S&OP), long-term forecasting/demand planning, performance management/scorecarding and operational excellence (LEAN).
"We're very buoyed by the findings of this year's survey," said eyefortransport's executive director Katharine O'Reilly. "The importance of supply chains to overall corporate strategy has been underplayed for too long - it's time supply chain executives were recognized and leaned on for the key difference their success can make to the largest business."