The supply chain is a large part of a business' infrastructure, and the technological development of business practices is only extending this trend. Customers have begun to expect service to be instantaneous and are willing to take their business to the company that will deliver results quicker.
A new Aberdeen Research study, however, shows that the supply chain's ballooning in size does not mean it has to be expensive or inconvenient for a company. There are advanced supply chain management methods that can transform companies from the bottom up.
"Integrating technology is the first step, and great tools help organizations apply new techniques and best practices to strengthen their supply chains," tech industry CEO Kurt Schneiber opined, according to the Aberdeen report.
The survey indicates that industry leaders place a strong focus on the supply chain. Best-in-class businesses have automated data collection methods, staying constantly informed on every link on the chain and prepared to react. Being aware of the exact position and nature of supply chain difficulties prepares companies to make more efficient applications of technology to solve them.
B2B integration and communication were similarly cited as value-adding processes. Aberdeen's survey found that 48 percent of mature companies had spent time optimizing their negotiations with freight carriers and 40 percent working on data collaboration and synchronization with their suppliers and trading partners. Integration is another way of showing attention to the relationships that define and make up the supply chain and can provide long-term benefits for companies that embrace it.
Multiple survey firms have recently reaffirmed the role of the supply chain in enhancing businesses' finances and infrastructure. Results of a CSC and TCU School of Business survey mirrored those from the Aberdeen poll as they relate to using data. The CSC poll found that businesses with more visible data and higher quality data regarding supply chain operations are in an advantageous position. The companies cited as leaders are also, according to the researchers, flexible with how they interact with the data and are willing to change to meet the challenges.
The research stated that effective companies are more willing than their peers to adopt new technology. Supply chain efficiency and effectiveness are largely a product of the effort and investment placed into them. The results are not limited to back-room processes but also extend to the improved customer experiences enabled by an efficient supply chain experience.