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Spanning nine European countries, the survey found that just over half (55 percent) of the respondents do not regard their business's supply chain as a fundamental source of business value and competitive advantage and almost a third (29 percent) see it as purely an operational function.
Hitachi Consulting, the global management consulting and IT services business of Hitachi, carried out the survey.
Cathy Johnson, vice president at Hitachi Consulting, said: "These figures are far from reassuring. For the most part, it seems that senior executives understand the strategic importance of the supply chain, yet the managers who deal with the supply chain on a day-to-day basis do not.
"A supply chain that doesn't support the overarching business strategy, and which doesn't deliver competitive edge - and which isn't going to deliver a material change in performance over the next five years - is clearly not a desirable asset."
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