28 February 2008 | Jake Kanter
More than half of buyers believe that supply chain management (SCM) can give them a competitive edge in their market.
A survey of 800 companies worldwide by research firm Aberdeen Group found that 56 per cent of buyers saw SCM as an opportunity to stand out with customers in terms of strategy, or as a way to increase profits. A further 29 per cent thought that SCM helped to drive savings and 15 per cent saw it as a cost of doing business.
Most of those surveyed had made, or planned to make, changes to their supply chains. The report found that 91 per cent of firms planned to transform their domestic supply chain and 84 per cent were targeting their international one.
Robert Shecterle, vice-president, supply chain management at Aberdeen Group, said the desire to transform supply chains was evident in sectors such as automotive, healthcare and packaging.
"There was nearly unanimous recognition of the need for supply chain transformation, driven by factors such as the globalisation of supply, increasing competitive pressures, and dwindling product life cycles," he explained.
The biggest area of investment in technology was supply chain visibility, which replaced last year's priority, inventory management. The report also found that 10 per cent of firms planned to introduce green initiatives into their supply chains. This represents a big increase compared with 2007, when the issue was not even mentioned by respondents.