Benchmarks for Supply Chain Centers: Driving Efficiency and Value

Best Practices highlights finding that reveal what top companies are doing to make their supply chains more competitive

Chapel Hill, N.C. — January 13, 2005 — In today's fast changing, competitive and cost-driven market, supply chain organizations have to take every opportunity to lower cycle time, reduce uncertainties and stay current with market trends.

Supply chain executives need to optimize these dimensions by working closer with business units, other corporate groups and with customers directly. A new study by Best Practices, LLC, takes a data-driven look at how best-in-class supply chain centers increase efficiency by setting accurate performance metrics for order management and distribution center operations; respond to market needs by leveraging new technology and driving automation in order management processes; ensure high satisfaction levels at business units, operating companies and external customers; and define, measure and communicate value effectively to internal and external customers.

Some of the research findings — collected from primary executive interviews, surveys and research with more than a dozen leading companies — reveal that top companies:

* Team with operating/business units and e-commerce groups to identify and approach key customers for conversion to 100 percent electronic transactions and to advanced collaboration techniques, like forecasting.

* Use activity-based costing universally to increase visibility of operational costs to the operating/business units.

* Enhance CSR authority and training to provide elevated and proactive levels of customer service.

* Drive cycle time reductions everywhere through six sigma teams and through expanded definition and use of cycle time metrics.