19 January 2007
European companies will "pick and choose" the supply chain technology they need in 2007 rather than make major investment, a report says.
EMEA Supply Chain 2007 Top 10 Predictions, by research group Manufacturing Insights, showed that despite a positive 2006 for manufacturers, the market was still viewed as weak throughout Europe. As a result, firms would continue to "err on the side of caution" when approaching investment, according to the report.
Leading European manufacturers said that, because of increases in labour and logistic costs, continued supply chain disruption and fluctuations in global demand, they would review their low-cost manufacturing strategies this year. They said they would aim to make operations more agile and lean in 2007, primarily through further investment in IT systems. But the report also showed that "emerging" technologies, such as RFID tagging, would remain as "pilot projects" rather than become fully implemented.
The report also claimed that firms would continue to offshore manufacturing, but at a slower rate than before. It also predicted a greater interest in risk management preparation, although it said there would not be any major investment in this area.