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Global supply chain optimisation hampered by poor data and lack of focus on strategic collaboration

50% of supply chain professionals say crucial data is either late or inaccurate

The majority (60%) of supply chain managers say their organisation is too focused on internal, tactical concerns to be able to collaborate effectively with external partners, at a time when globalisation is forcing companies to view and use their supply chain more effectively, a new survey has revealed.

Half (50%) also believe their ability to react to unexpected events is hampered because of incorrect or late inventory and replenishment data.

The results were revealed in a poll of 120 senior supply chain professionals exploring the main areas able to deliver realistic medium-term improvement in supply chain performance, with a quarter (25%) of participants reporting that daily replenishment requirements as part of supply chain optimisation are not being supported with the right investment.

A fifth (20%) believe the reason cross-enterprise collaboration fails to yield the expected benefits is because executives do not engage with their counterparts at a strategic level, while a quarter (25%) said robust IT was the foundation for success.

The poll was conducted at a webinar run jointly by LLamasoft and Sabena Technics to consider the challenges of increased focus on reducing internal costs while developing new markets, at a time when global customer demands and expectations are higher than ever before.

LLamasoft is the global leader in supply chain design software solutions, while Sabena Technics is a prominent supplier of maintenance, repair and overhaul services to civil and military aircraft operators.

Despite current obstacles, the poll also revealed that 52% of participants saw supply chain optimisation as the main tool for reducing costs while maintaining standards of service in the face of globalisation. More than a third (36%) said new inventory and replenishment strategies were the most relevant to meeting the same important goal.

However, while many recognise the potential to overcome key challenges, well over a third (37%) indicated that currently, talent is developed with insufficient end-to-end understanding of the supply chain, compounding an existing silo mentality that inhibits optimisation.

“As globalisation increases cost-pressures, data-availability, collaboration and talent become the foundations of success,” said Kevin Boake, Senior Director Supply Chain Visibility Solutions, LLamasoft. “Organisations seeking greater cost-effectiveness in their supply chain globally need to ensure they have the right solutions in place, delivering accurate and timely information to teams that have the benefit of full end-to-end visibility.

“It’s clear from these results, that currently, value is not derived from existing investment in software. We also see, unfortunately, that organisations that have supply chain talent development programmes tend to focus on developing expertise in a particular node of the supply chain and end up promoting a cause-and-effect decision mindset.”

Jacques Dumoucel, Sabena VP Supply Chain Integration said using the supply chain to reduce costs without compromising service required robust tools and the deployment of adaptable metrics and processes when implementing new inventory and replenishment strategies.

“Long-term supply chain technology projects are not enabling teams fast enough – challenges need to be dealt with today,” added Boake. “With this in mind, it’s time executives took a new look at how they prioritise investment and focus on capabilities within their organisation to remain competitive and cost-effective.”

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