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The downturn paused most efforts businesses were making to deal with fundamental, long-term challenges and issues facing their supply chain. Now that many feel the most critical short-term challenges posed by the recession are fading, attention is returning to topics that were top of mind pre-downturn.
Analysts consider the global financial crisis more of a distraction from - rather than a destruction of - critical initiatives such as sustainability and top-line growth, according to "Supply Chain Management Consulting Marketplace" from Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory. They also indicate that it will create lingering challenges for companies striving to achieve excellence in their business operations. For instance, as the dust from the downturn settles, there is evidence of both record-low inventory levels and a trajectory of increasing consumer demand. Companies are challenged to walk a very fine line - growing their inventory while keeping a close eye on risk.
"As businesses look to the supply chain to fuel growth and competitive differentiation - while bringing down costs - the Supply Chain Management consulting market will flourish through 2013, largely because of the fundamental link between the supply chain and business performance," according to Ashley M. Newton, senior research analyst at Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory. "In response, many leading firms are expanding their capabilities, and 'non-traditional' SCM consulting service providers are leveraging their expertise to stand out in the competitive, highly-fragmented marketplace."
Other key findings indicate that senior executives are more attuned to how changes to components of the supply chain can affect profitability, competitive advantage, growth opportunities and risk exposure. Sales and operations planning (S&OP) has also become a much more vital concern within SCM engagements given increased business uncertainty. Reduced inventory levels during the downturn now require better management through improving the S&OP process and tools.
The report rates the competitive capabilities of today's leading supply chain management consulting providers and assesses their capabilities in breadth and depth. Among the firms profiled are: Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Bain & Company, Boeing, Booz & Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Boston Consulting Group, Capgemini, Celerant Consulting, CSC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Hitachi Consulting, IBM, KPMG International, Kurt Salmon Associates, Marsh Risk Consulting, McKinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PRTM, and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
Source: Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory
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