SupplyChainDigest has an article here citing research from IDC’s Manufacturing Insights that discusses a potential disconnect between business objectives and supply chain priorities. The article debates the research findings that a disconnect exists.
I sent a comment in regarding the article, that I’ve posted below.
** My comment **
I’m not terribly surprised by the findings. First, the supply chain function in most companies is goaled and oriented around cost reductions – it’s been that way for quite some time. If we look at the fulfillment (which tends to be more demand-centric in its thinking and orientation) and supply chain (which tends to be more supply-centric) functions in most organizations, we find that they both share a common desire to impact both top-line (revenue, customer satisfaction) and bottom-line (costs, margin, inventory) oriented metrics. However, the emphasis varies greatly – with the fulfillment functions placing the greater emphasis on top-line metrics and the supply chain functions emphasizing the bottom-line metrics.
As you pointed out, far too few companies are leveraging their supply chains to drive top-line growth. You also hit on a key to doing so as noted in the survey – responding to change. In today’s market, an essential determinant of market success on both top and bottom-line metrics is the organizations ability to respond to change. This is a unique area to impact both sets of metrics simultaneously. Responding more quickly to change increases customer satisfaction and drives revenue growth while responding more efficiently and effectively to those same changes can drive breakthroughs in operating performance that drive bottom-line metrics.
If you focus on the response to change and the impact it has on both top and bottom-line metrics, you see that the research actually shows a strong correlation between business objectives and supply chain priorities.