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Supply Chain Managers, CFOs Need to Work Together, Study Says

Nothing focuses a supply chain manager's mind like discovering a way to improve the supply chain network. Given this, a new Ernst & Young survey should interest supply chain managers. It reveals that, when chief financial officers (CFO) and supply chain leaders form a closer business partnership within a company, they report better results in a number of areas, including the company's financial position.

"Among survey respondents with an established business partner model in place, 48 percent report EBITDA growth increases of more than 5 percent in their company over the past year, compared with just 22 percent of those that have not yet adopted this approach," Ernst & Young said in a report on its survey. Two other key data points suggest that business operations improve when supply chain managers and CFOs work together:

"83% of finance business partners and 87% of supply chain business partners agree that data and analytics present CFOs with an unprecedented opportunity to drive a more collaborative, business partnering relationship with the supply chain."

"26% of business partnering CFOs and 24% of business partnering supply chain executives see improving organizational design to aid tax effectiveness as one of the top three opportunities for the CFO to play a greater role in the supply chain."

Ernst & Young interviewed 423 CFOs and heads of supply chains at technology, automotive, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, and other companies. The importance of the relationship between the CFO and supply chain leaders cannot be overstated and seems to be getting stronger. According to the report, "70% of CFOs and 63% of supply chain leaders say that their relationship has become more collaborative over the past three years."

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