Agile Supply Chains Seen Critical for Manufacturers

Manufacturing Insights recommends three process transformation projects to deliver business benefits in current economic environment

  • Networkwide Collaboration & Analytics: Evaluate the alignment of all global supply processes to actual demand, whenever possible (for example, shift focus to a left-to-right, pull-oriented supply chain driven by actual customer demand).

  • Align and Balance Supply with Demand: Place high emphasis on incorporating demand, supply, logistics and product design network partners in all aspects of network-wide collaboration and joint performance management.

  • Sense and Respond: Invest in the ability to more quickly sense unexpected events, with the ability to globally adapt and respond to them.

  • Current cross-industry benchmark studies point to the widening gap between those companies that have harnessed the full competitive benefits of advanced, more agile practices and those that have not.

  • Supply chain initiatives need to be reconciled. The ability to source supply chain activities in lower-cost regions must be balanced with the need to support more overall agility and responsiveness.

  • Analysis of those companies that have adopted advanced practices indicate that they are more profitable and agile than their industry peers.

  • Further research indicates that investing in more mature business practices, followed by advanced IT systems, can result in as much as a 75 percent advantage in net profitability.