Boardrooms look to supply chain

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There has been a huge increase in appreciation of the contribution a company’s supply chain brings to achieving sustainable competitive advantage, according to a new survey of supply chain directors by Analytiqa.

Comparing the June 2009 survey findings with Analytiqa’s Supply Chain Director Survey conducted in October 2003, shows that supply chain issues are getting more air time in the boardroom.

“While in 2003, 48 per cent of supply chain directors specified that logistics strategies were assigned top level discussions, in the latest research 85 per cent of supply chain directors acknowledge that, to varying extents, strategies relating to the supply chain function are discussed and decided upon at the top of their organisational hierarchy,” it said.

However, the survey shows that there is still a significant share of companies that have yet to incorporate the supply chain function into their regular board level decision-making process. Despite the strategic, decision-making and budget-holding responsibilities of a supply chain executive, over 40 per cent of European retailers and manufacturers fail to include such a knowledgeable and experienced supply chain professional as a board member.

“Indeed, ten per cent of companies that have stopped having a supply chain director (or equivalent) as a board member, despite the fact that the majority of retailers and manufacturers with a presence in Europe have increased the head count within their supply chain division.”

The research also found that some 13 per cent of supply chain directors anticipate a decline in outsourced activity over the next five years, Analytiqa’s research provides a critical insight into supply chain directors’ internal decision-making, examining their outsourcing strategies, investment plans and key challenges.

While the majority of Europe’s leading retailers and manufacturers expect their logistics set-up to remain fundamentally unchanged throughout 2009 – 2010, there are, however, major supply chain changes expected to take place as part of medium-term investment plans from 2011 – 2014.

The most critical future strategic issues identified were forecasting accuracy, overcoming intensifying supply chain complexity, managing the strain of increasing costs, and aligning the performance of 3PLs to their strategic supply chain goals.


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