Survey Says..

Phone and fax still "in," but automation making inroads, Web poll finds

Tempe, AZ  March 8, 2002  A majority of companies continue to rely on phone, fax and e-mail to communicate with their suppliers, but a surprising number have moved to implement a supply chain management or e-procurement solution in the past year, according to the results of an informal Web survey.

The unscientific survey, conducted in conjunction with a March 7 Web seminar entitled "Turn Supplier Relationships into Profits," co-sponsored by software company PeopleSoft and iSource Business magazine, included several questions to gauge the extent to which seminar participants' companies have adopted new supply chain and procurement technologies.

Of the 100 participants who responded on average to each question, 35 percent indicated that their companies had implemented a supply chain management and/or procurement solution in the past 12 months.

At the same time, while 81 percent said that they collaborate with their suppliers through phone, fax or e-mail, 22 percent used customized intranets or an Internet portal, and 18 percent used an online marketplace or trading exchange (multiple answers were possible).

Thirty percent of the respondents said their companies use a request for quote (RFQ) process or strategic sourcing practice, and 22 percent indicated that their companies employ an automated process for the procurement and management process of contract services.

In response to the question, "How do you currently measure the impact of your suppliers on your bottom line?", 45 percent of the responding participants cited product quality; 57 percent, supplier reliability; and 41 percent, cost improvements over time.

PeopleSoft and iSource Business will be sponsoring another Web seminar, "Why Sourcing is Strategic," on May 16, at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.