For manufacturers, the top supply chain objective continues to be cost reduction.
A new survey conducted by the research firm IDC Manufacturing Insights found that reducing overall costs continues to be the top supply chain priority for most manufacturers. Eighty percent of the 350 manufacturers polled identified cost reduction as their number one goal for the rest of this year.
In a report titled "Business Strategy: 2012 Supply Chain Survey—Manufacturing Priorities and New Technology Adoption," IDC said that respondents' second-highest priority was striving for agility in their supply chains. Third on their list was product quality and safety, cited by 52 percent of survey takers.
Survey respondents also said that "big data analysis" was the new technology that was most relevant to their business. "Big data analysis" involves the use of sophisticated software to sift through large amounts of information from multiple sources to find connections or patterns.
Second on the list was "mobility," which refers to the use of devices like smart phones that allow workers and managers to access data from anywhere.