Wednesday, February 25, 2009

IBM Releases 2009 Chief Supply Chain Officer Study: Volatile Times Demand Pervasive Visibility and Flexibility

(CNN Money)

IBM’s Global Supply Chain study, based on face-to-face interviews with nearly 400 supply chain executives in 25 countries, reveals that 70% say their number one challenge is overwhelming and fragmented data, as well as a lack of ability to make sense out of the information. However fixing this “visibility” problem is low on action plans because it is costly, difficult, silos are worse than ever and respondents say they are just too busy.

Supply chain leaders understand the threat of information blind spots, but they are only cautiously optimistic that they are taking steps to use their valuable information for real competitive advantage. Just 16% indicated that they are effective at integration and visibility of information across the supply chain with external partners.

The study shows the greatest opportunity for these executives are smart devices and integrated ERP systems that capture real time visibility: forecasts/orders, schedules/commitments, pipeline inventory, and shipment lifecycle status. Automating real-time detection with smart devices increases flexibility, speed and accuracy to promote better decision-making.

The Global Supply Chain study, titled The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future, was developed by IBM Global Business Services’ Supply Chain Management Practice in conjunction with the IBM Institute for Business Value, which develops fact-based strategic insights for senior business executives. Supply chain executives in 29 industries participated in structured interviews and candidly talked about their most serious challenges. Read more here.