08 September 2005 | Anusha Bradley
Supply chain management in the manufacturing sector is gaining a higher profile among board members.
According to the Manufacturing Research Centre's 2005 Logistics and Supply Chain survey, three-quarters of firms now have board-level responsibility for supply issues. This compares with 71 per cent in 2004 and 69 per cent in 2003.
Two-thirds of the 102 UK manufacturing firms surveyed said they now manage their supply chain as a separate function, compared with just half in 2003.
The survey said that globalisation has increased the significance of procurement and raised its profile.
Ken Hurst, editorial director of the Manufacturing Research Centre, said manufacturers now have to make complex supply chain decisions, such as outsourcing to low-cost countries.
Charles Tennant, principal fellow at Warwick University's international manufacturing centre, said purchasing and supply professionals have to work with global partners to remain competitive.
"This has caught the attention of senior management," he said.