Recent events such as the earthquake in Japan are calling more attention to the need for flexibility in the supply chain. Companies that want to maximize that flexibility increasingly are viewing supply-assurance programs and capacity management as the key ways to achieve that goal, said W. Brad Householder, a director of PRTM Consulting. Householder spoke on that topic at the Supply Chain World North America conference in Baltimore in May.
Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of 150 companies that participated in PRTM's global supply chain trend study earlier this year said that they were employing supply-assurance measures to keep supplies flowing steadily and increase flexibility, Householder said. Sixty-seven percent of the surveyed companies said they were using end-to-end supply chain planning to increase flexibility. Many of those planning efforts involve collaboration with supply chain partners, he added.