CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 17, 2018
Forward Thinking

Poor visibility still a barrier for manufacturers

KPMG's annual survey finds that a lack of supply chain transparency as well as poor supplier performance remain as challenges for many manufacturers.

Supply chain transparency remains a huge challenge for manufacturers. That was one of the main findings in the report 2014 KPMG Global Manufacturing Outlook: Performance in the crosshairs. Forty percent of the 460 senior executives canvassed for the report said they lacked visibility across their extended supply chain. Thirty-three percent of those with poor visibility attributed that opacity to either inadequate information technology (IT) systems or a lack of skilled talent.

Supplier performance continues to be another major supply chain issue. Thirty-eight percent of the executives surveyed said that one of their big challenges was supplier performance in terms of risk, reliability, and quality.

The report also noted that manufacturers are availing themselves of more of the latest supply chain technologies. Fifty-one percent said they were using global demand planning with real-time demand-signal changes.

One bright spot in the survey was an improvement in respondents' ability to address supply chain disruptions. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents said that it would take them less than a week to assess the impact of an unexpected event on their supply chain operations. In last year's survey, only 45 percent said it would take less than a week.

The survey findings also suggested that executives are making strides in supply chain integration. Seventy-four percent of respondents predicted that they could achieve a globally integrated supply chain within three to five years.

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