Companies are reaping big rewards from their supply chain technology investments, a trend that is expected to accelerate this year, according to research from technology provider Cleo and research firm Dimensional Research, published this week.
The companies polled more than 100 executives at medium to large organizations across North America and Europe for the report: Achieving Business Agility Through Ecosystem Integration. Their goal was to understand the greatest business threats facing companies in 2021 and 2022 and to determine what firms are doing to mitigate risks. Respondents identified the pandemic and subsequent supply chain disruptions as the greatest threats over the past year and said that technology investments are helping them address those challenges. Business leaders said they increased their firm’s agility by investing in “integration technology” in particular–solutions used to connect applications and systems to one another in order to share information and facilitate transactions between those systems. For about 20% of companies, such investments drove $3 million or more in additional revenue in 2021, according to the report.
“For 50% [of respondents] it was at least $1,000,000 [in added revenue], and for three out of four (73%), it was at least $500,000 – proving that integration technology, given its direct impact on both overcoming supply chain disruption and driving business growth, should be a top strategic priority among business executives,” according to the researchers.
What’s more, 77% of respondents said they plan to invest $100,000 or more in supply chain technology in general this year.
“Our survey shows an agile supply chain starts with flexibility and control at the integration layer,” Tushar Patel, chief marketing officer with Cleo, said in a statement announcing the survey results. “By proactively ensuring that their integration strategies complement their other technology investments, companies win—both in terms of revenue generation and improved relationships with their ecosystem partners.”
The report found that 59% of respondents invested in integration technology as their primary method to respond to disruptions threatening their business, followed by 53% who said they invested in back-office applications, such as ERP, CRM, WMS, and TMS solutions.
More than 90% of respondents said technology-driven agility will be a key initiative for their companies moving forward.
“Over the next 12 months, we expect forward-thinking executives to continue to make the necessary supply chain technology investments to drive business agility–with integration investments leading the way. It really will become a conversation about table stakes,” according to Patel.