Executive Briefings

Survey Details How Manufacturers Seek to Improve Their Supply Chains

The key supply chain challenge today is the juxtaposition of complex and extended supply networks with increasingly fast and volatile demand networks - and the increasingly ineffective role for inventory as a way to buffer cadence mismatches.

Although it can be fashionable to proclaim that "today is the most challenging time in the history of the manufacturing supply chain," there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that 2012 may indeed represent such a point in time. Yet, there are two sides to every story and therefore challenge exists in close proximity to opportunity in terms of the supply chain in 2012.

At IDC Manufacturing Insights, we have written extensively about the opportunities inherent in new approaches and new technologies. The opportunity, for example, for consumer-facing manufacturers to redefine their core relationship with the consumer through mobile and social media tools; or the ability to apply next-generation analytics to massive new sources of data (both structured and unstructured).

So, how do manufacturers expect to address these challenges - and turn them into opportunities? IDC Manufacturing Insights recently completed its 2012 survey regarding the state of the supply chain today. The survey consisted of 350 U.S.-based manufacturers across all value chains to understand how they are adapting and improving their supply chains, and how technology plays a role in enabling manufacturers to be more successful.

Our early analysis of the survey results reveals a few key insights as to how manufacturers are changing and how they plan to adapt their supply chains.

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Although it can be fashionable to proclaim that "today is the most challenging time in the history of the manufacturing supply chain," there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that 2012 may indeed represent such a point in time. Yet, there are two sides to every story and therefore challenge exists in close proximity to opportunity in terms of the supply chain in 2012.

At IDC Manufacturing Insights, we have written extensively about the opportunities inherent in new approaches and new technologies. The opportunity, for example, for consumer-facing manufacturers to redefine their core relationship with the consumer through mobile and social media tools; or the ability to apply next-generation analytics to massive new sources of data (both structured and unstructured).

So, how do manufacturers expect to address these challenges - and turn them into opportunities? IDC Manufacturing Insights recently completed its 2012 survey regarding the state of the supply chain today. The survey consisted of 350 U.S.-based manufacturers across all value chains to understand how they are adapting and improving their supply chains, and how technology plays a role in enabling manufacturers to be more successful.

Our early analysis of the survey results reveals a few key insights as to how manufacturers are changing and how they plan to adapt their supply chains.

Read Full Article