GT Nexus, the cloud-based global commerce platform, has issued its first ever State of the Global Supply Chain Report, an analysis of the top issues, challenges and opportunities faced by manufacturers. The study, which was conducted in partnership with global research firm, YouGov, sought to identify the following:
- Technologies and industry issues that have, and will have, the most notable impact on manufacturers' supply chains;
- Primary supply chain challenges and goals for improvement;
- Operational issues such as whether or not respondents' companies have a Chief Supply Chain Officer in place to help manage the above.
Of the 250 senior manufacturing executives polled, 40 percent reported a supply chain disruption that impacted their business over the past 12 months. Yet, despite the struggle with disruptions, less than a quarter (24 percent) currently have a Chief Supply Chain Officer in place to help orchestrate the response, and an additional 41 percent said they have no plans to hire one.
"It's clear in the report that manufacturers expect to face major supply chain challenges in 2016 stemming from external factors beyond their control," said Greg Kefer, VP Corporate Marketing at GT Nexus. "The data suggests their execution roadmap may be misguided, being focused more on cost cutting, for example, than more mission-critical things like having a senior supply chain leader in place. Seventy six percent of respondents said they currently operate without a Chief Supply Chain Officer. With almost half of manufacturers reporting a disruption that impacted business in the past 12 months, this gap in strategic direction to address broader supply chain agility is a concern."
Findings about respondents' technology priorities were also surprising, with 38 percent indicating they don't believe their supply chain will be impacted by technology this year. This may suggest a lack of knowledge regarding the impact technology-based systems can have on mitigating supply chain disruption and the role of these systems in supply chain strategy and control. While 64 percent of respondents acknowledged using inventory management, for example, the numbers were far smaller for those expecting an impact from more advanced technologies like analytics (13 percent), the Internet of Things (11 percent) and RFID (three percent) that have been shown to give organizations an edge in their supply chain management operations.