What is the number one business driver for 2012 according to 350 Supply Chain professionals? Market volatility. 52% of the respondents in the annual international Capgemini Consulting supply chain study 2012 Global Supply Chain Agenda said so.
According to the report it is increased commodity and raw material prices that will put enormous pressure on procurement spend and overall profitability. The current economic climate is also not helping. Europe is only slowly climbing out of the recession, emerging markets are slowing down their development. Still 52% of the companies in the study said they are better prepared for a next economic downturn.
Volatility is best countered by a robust planning of resources and production capacity, combined with flexibility. It is therefore no surprise that improved visibility and control (67%) and increased flexibility in operations (59%) scores highest on the list of measures taken to improve overall flexibility of the supply chain.
The Top 10 Supply Chain Projects of 2012: Capgemini asked respondents what supply chain projects they were undertaking in 2012. Top of the list (65%) are Operational Excellence projects (e.g. Lean). As I already wrote in an earlier post, I’m an avid Lean fan, and I think all organizations can benefit from the Lean Philosophy. The report speaks of establishing a value driven operation, needed to reach the next level of excellence. Whether it is Lean or another Operational Excellence philosophy, it should be a way of life and part of the culture of an organization. It’s not a set of measures which can be simply implemented. Continuous Improvement, which is at the heart of Operational Excellence, underlines that. Continuous is the key word here.
What’s on your Supply Chain Agenda this year?