Most companies are woefully inadequate in their automation and staff support for global trade. To keep up with global trade growth and increased competitive pressures, corporations are finding they must make significant changes in how they run their global supply chain operations. According to Aberdeen best practice research, among the most critical areas that companies are revamping are:
• Supply chain visibility to increase the transparency and velocity of global activities
• Business-to-business collaboration to improve supply/demand synchronization
• Trade compliance to ensure undisrupted movement across borders and take advantage of preferential trade agreements to lower total landed costs
• Risk management to ensure resiliency in face of supply chain disruptions
This report looks at these key improvement areas and how large, mid-market, and small companies are building game plans for success. Trends in strategies for increasing logistics agility are also addressed. The findings are based on benchmarks in May and June
2006 of more than 150 companies. Fully 45% of respondents were vice president or Clevel executives, with most others at a director of supply chain or manager level.
A Critical Lack of Global Supply Chain Automation
A lack of automation and visibility is handcuffing companies with longer lead times, bigger inventory buffers, budget overruns, and continued demand-supply imbalances.
Three-quarters of respondents report they don’t have enterprise-wide automation for global supply chain processes (Figure i). On average, large companies report that their global supply chains are only 50% as automated as their domestic supply chains.
Figure i: Technology Maturity Remains Dismal for the Global Supply Chain
Departmental level automation,
Some end-toend and crossfunctional process automation,
Mostly manual and spreadsheet driven, 26%