Just how important the supply chain is to the financial well being of an enterprise has been understood by a number of enlightened CFOs for some time. But now, it appears, investors are keen to have a greater understanding of the competitive position regarding manufacturers’ suppliers, component supplies and supplier arrangements. This is particularly true in the electronics sector.
Research groups specialising in tearing apart newly launched electronic gizmos in order to identify which companies have won a contract to supply internal components can reveal valuable information for competitor manufacturers. This has always been the traditional customer base for this sort of market intelligence. However, now investment banks and the investment community are taking a keen interest.
This market intelligence has become a hot topic for investment banks. So much so that Goldman Sachs recently took a stake in one of the leading ‘teardown’ specialists, iSuppli. The research company not only dissects the internal working of electronic devices for analysis, but it also monitors the impact that booming demand for a product may have on component availability in the market place and the possible affect this might have on production forecasts for other products.
So with supplier arrangements coming under such market scrutiny, security regarding information relating to suppliers needs to be kept under tighter control. How you run your supply chain has a direct impact on the competitive positioning of your company and on the service offering to your customers. And, as those within the enterprise have learnt to value the ‘value chain’, so too, have others.