Most of the worlds top companies understand how important it is to have a supply chain management system in place in order to remain competitive.
Chief executives are beginning to realize that supply chains have become a strategic asset to their company—both for the purpose of fulfilling customer expectations and creating a more efficient operation. IBM has recently published a study via their Institute for Business Value, which contains information to support these claims.
According to the study, executives who preside over high performing enterprises attribute a lot of their success to their supply chain management systems. Of all those surveyed, 65% claim that their supply chain is a great help when it comes to customer satisfaction and 62% say that the supply chain is very effective as a tool for generating more revenue.
The findings of the study are supported by recent interviews of two executives from leading companies who are not directly responsible for supply chain logistics. In the interviews, the executives were asked questions about how they viewed the role of a supply chain as part of their wider operation and as part of their specific enterprise. In addition, they were asked how the role of the supply chain has changed over the last number of years and how it enhances their balance sheet, ability to innovate, please their customers and provide a competitive advantage.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever in North America, claimed that the supply chain is absolutely crucial in Unilever’s success, mostly because of it’s role in providing value for customers. As the environment begins to resemble an omni-channel one, need for a modular, flexible and responsive supply chain management system at a low cost becomes more pressing.
Kruythoff claims that as the business environment becomes increasingly digitized and interconnected, the role of the supply chain will become more prominent. His colleague Salwan Sumeet, who is senior vice president of human resources, claims that it creates value across three important areas; firstly and most obviously, as a tool for delivering cost effectiveness, secondly, in service of brand preference by providing quality of product and service and finally, as a device for enhancing growth. All three are part of a response to customer needs and demands.
Another example of a CEO who is seeing the benefits of a supply chain management system is Edward Cooper, VP of PR and communications at Total Wine & More. He is convinced that the supply chain is vital to his company as it strives to succeed in the heavily regulated alcoholic beverage industry. Cooper claims that besides helping his company succeed, supply chain actually delivers profitably and growth as well, and re-enforces the companies position for the future.
For Total Wine & More, the supply chain team is responsible for facilitating the movement of products between their suppliers and retail outlets. The team is concerned with ensuring that the right product is in the right place at the right time for their customers, and it does this by keeping an eye on inventory, orders and re-stocking functions.
The amount of regulation from the tax authorities in the U.S applied to the distributors of alcohol make protecting these areas of the business absolutely crucial. Total Wine & More sees this situation from the perspective of a company whom wants to grow along with their wholesalers and producers. They are big enough to build brands that benefits wholesalers, producers and customers alike, and their efficient supply chain is helping them to consistently deliver.
Does your organization see efficient supply chain management as a pathway to success? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post.