Is your supply chain out of synch?

A survey carried out by ILOG and APICS has revealed that two thirds of manufacturing companies do not successfully synchronise supply chain operations with their partners.

A survey carried out by ILOG, a supplier of enterprise-class software components and services, and APICS – The Performance Advantage, a publication for resource management professionals in the manufacturing sector, has revealed that two thirds of manufacturing companies do not successfully synchronise supply chain operations with their partners.

This, the report says, ultimately leads both to added distribution and planning time and to increased costs.

The survey, conducted with ILOG’s customers and APICS’ 60,000 members and readers, also revealed that a majority of manufacturing companies fail to take advantage of supply chain management software to address synchronisation despite the recognition that the technology is both readily available and provides valuable return on investment.

ILOG and APICS designed the nine-question survey to examine the extent to which manufacturing companies, using the supply chain management solutions available today, have been successful in synchronising their supply chain operations with those of their partners.

While nine out of 10 respondents believe that supply chain planning tools could help to address their synchronisation issues, only 1 out of 3 respondents said that their company was planning to address supply chain synchronisation issues in the next six months.

This validates conclusions reached earlier this year by AMR Research, which found in a survey of C-level executives of leading Fortune 500 companies that, ‘Although more than 90% claimed it was a strategic necessity or very important to them, only 27% saw it as their responsibility to lead the collaboration effort.’

‘Investments in effective and efficient supply chain management solutions are clearly top-of-mind for the manufacturing sector,’ said Christian Deutsch, general manager for ILOG’s Value Chain Management business division. ‘As IT budgets revive, we expect that manufacturing companies will invest in supply chain planning solutions to synchronise their operations, reduce costs and realise fast return on investment.’

‘Despite all the exposure and publicity given to supply chain management applications, a large percentage of respondents still have not implemented these kinds of solutions,’ said Doug Kelly, editor of APICS. ‘The results of this survey indicate that many manufacturers have a ways to go in taking advantage of the tools that enable true supply chain synchronisation.’

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