Supply chains better set up for sales than buying

25 May 2011

25 May 2011 | Angeline Albert

Emerging economies are a source of new sales as well as for products, according to a survey of supply chain executives.

A report, the 2011 Chief Supply Chain Officer, found emerging markets are no longer chiefly seen as areas for low-cost country sourcing.

Some 38 per cent of supply chain executives interviewed said their global supply chain strategy now is primarily set up around selling and delivering to these regions. This compared to 18 per cent who described their strategy as primarily focused on buying from emerging markets.

Overall, 80 per cent of the 750 supply chain leaders surveyed said they sold and shipped to growing regions.

Kevin O' Marah, co-author of the report and faculty member at SCM World, said: "The results also show that the old image of low-cost country sourcing is no longer accurate, with an overwhelming majority of supply chain professionals approaching globalisation as a two-way street; both sourcing from and selling to".

China was identified as the key emerging economy to sell to, followed by India and Brazil. In addition China, the US and Germany were ranked as the top three nations when taking into account sourcing, manufacturing and sales, due to their higher levels of supply chain integration than rivals such as Japan.

The research also revealed that 90 per cent of supply chain executives believe talent acquisition and development is “an important challenge”. This is particularly prevalent at middle management level, when basic skills are no longer enough and more general management techniques are required.

Supply chain experience was the most highly prized skill that executives looked for in new recruits, with 54 per cent saying this was the most important factor when hiring.

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