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New research jointly sponsored by CAPS Research, A.T. Kearney and ISM indicates that supply managers are concerned about a variety of forces that will impact company and supply management strategies. Foremost among these concerns is the impact of China, India, and other large, developing countries on the competitive landscape. The impact is expected to be felt on both the demand and supply side, and will create opportunities as well as challenges. In response to these forces, companies will shift their business models, adopt different strategies, pursue new revenue streams, further squeeze costs, make their asset base as lean as possible, and reshape their capital structures. Overall, the mission and role of supply management will be changed in a variety of ways. Based on an analysis of the survey data, focus sessions, and one-on-one interviews, the research team concluded there are seven main families of strategies that will have the greatest impact on supply management success in the future:
1. Developing category strategies that are robust and forward looking--early warning or predictive approaches will be used as part of an improved approach to risk.
2. Developing and managing value-adding relationships with suppliers--supply management will have to understand company needs and align with suppliers that have the capabilities to provide innovation and help create value; there will be working relationships between buying and selling companies that are strategically important to each other, and companies will invest in reactive and proactive supplier development efforts.
3. Designing and operating multiple supply networks to meet the needs of specific market segments--supply chain innovation and the use of multiple supply chains will be important to future revenue and market share growth.
4. Leveraging technology for internal productivity and external effectiveness--new technologies will require practitioners who have the knowledge, insight and interests to get the most out of them.
5. Collaborating internally across functions and externally with suppliers and customers--while collaboration is an important success factor for the future, it does not easily fit in with the traditional view of supply management's role in the organization.
6. Attracting and retaining supply management talent--talent management could be the deciding factor between success and failure for tomorrow's supply management organizations.
7. Managing the future supply management organization--despite the success of the center-led model, some companies may benefit from tailoring the supply organization with local leadership within a globally managed workforce.
The research team concluded that, in the next decade, supply management will have to deliver on the promise of globalization, innovation and improved service, while achieving value beyond cost improvement.
To review the CAPS Research Focus Study, "Succeeding in a Dynamic World: Supply Management in the Decade Ahead", go to:
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