The Chief Supply Chain Officer Report 2012

This is the third consecutive year that SCM World has published its annual Chief Supply Chain Officer Report. In July 2012 almost 1,400 practitioners from a wide range of industries and geographies completed a 40-question survey covering:

  • Strategy alignment and value creation
  • Digital consumers and eCommerce
  • Social and environmental responsibility
  • Risk management
  • Talent management

The key findings contained in this report can be summarised as follows:

Operating cost reduction is still the foundation of supply chain excellence, with almost two-thirds of survey respondents saying it is “very important”. But increasingly, companies are using high-performing supply chains as a way to support the company’s business strategy. This enables value creation and provides competitive advantage. Hence, supply chain strategy and business strategy must be aligned.

Customer service

The importance of aligning supply chain strategy and business strategy has led to the recognition and appreciation of the supply chain function as an integral part of the company’s business leadership. Over half of the respondents agree that their supply chain is viewed as an integral function for business success. Hence, supply chain and strategy alignment is also linked with organisational alignment within the firm.

There are many ways in which high-performing supply chains can support value creation and competitive advantage. Leading the way, according to our survey participants, is the ability of high-performing supply chains to enhance customer service, leading to customer loyalty. The driving factors for great value to be gained from enhanced customer service are the ability of customer service to generate repeat purchases and customer service becoming an important criterion in determining the customer’s purchasing decisions.

Supplier relationships

The other important ways in which high-performing supply chains can support value creation and competitive advantage provision include stronger supplier relationships, acceleration of new product introduction, and business expansion in existing and new markets. More than two-thirds of respondents say these deliver high or very high value in their companies.

This year’s results are a reconfirmation of last year’s. And the trend is continuing for companies to use supply chain excellence as a means for creating value and competitive advantage. Companies where supply chain management is still viewed as a supporting function, or where supply chain management is only viewed as a way to reduce operating costs, have a lot of catching up to do, as they are missing great opportunities.

 > Download a free copy of the report