Supply chain planning is not universally considered to be a strategic, mission-critical activity. The global consulting firm Capgemini came to that lamentable conclusion after surveying 120 global supply chain executives about supply chain planning. The largest cohort (37 percent) was based in Western Europe.
Although 67 percent of survey participants indicated that changes in planning processes were key to improving the overall performance of their supply chains, more than half (55 percent) said that supply chain planning was nothing more than a support function or back-office execution process. This finding suggests that supply chain planning is not held in as high esteem as it should be in most organizations, said the study's authors.
Because 81 percent of respondents said that they sourced at least 10 percent of their materials outside their home countries, researchers expected to see more involvement by trading partners in planning. Yet less than 30 percent of respondents said they involve customers in their demand and supply planning. More remarkably, less than 20 percent reported that they involve suppliers in those activities.
"Very few organizations are sharing critical information like actual stock levels and gross demand or production plans with their suppliers, relying instead on forecasts and purchase orders to do the job," the study's authors noted.