Four fifths of executives and their companies are supply chain ‘laggards’ missing opportunities to leverage the power of the supply chain to create new value, according to a report.
The study by Accenture revealed only one fifth (22 per cent) of companies are capitalising efforts in three areas – digital investments, customer-centricity and ecosystems. This is enabling them to shift their supply chain strategy from driving cost efficiencies to fuelling sustained growth and achieving competitive agility.
Meanwhile, laggards need to quickly transform the supply chain and operations function into a “collaborative engine of growth and innovation” or else they risk their future success, Accenture warns.
“We’ve discovered that a small set of companies have supply chain and operations executives who are using digital with a purpose and collaborating across the C-suite, and other business functions, to create and implement customer-centric strategies that enable growth,” said Don Schulman, senior managing director in Accenture’s supply chain and operations group.
“As a result, the supply chain and operations executives at these companies are taking a more influential role at the board table and adding a new unique perspective.”
While most supply chain and operations executives recognise the benefits of digital technologies, Accenture’s study found ‘leaders’ actively infuse digital intelligence throughout their supply chains and operating models.
The report notes that leaders’ approach to customer centricity is to have a “laser focus” on customers and put them at the centre of everything. They recognise that each C-suite member can benefit from the insights that are generated across the supply chain and operations and enable the entire company to become more customer-centric.
That puts chief operating officers (COOs) and chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) in a unique position to help accelerate collaboration that leads to customer-fuelled growth.
Laggards need to quickly transform the supply chain and operations function into a “collaborative engine of growth and innovation” or else they risk their future success
The majority of both leaders (78 per cent) and laggards (64 per cent) embrace the idea of becoming ecosystem orchestrators. However, leaders look beyond traditional partners like suppliers and recognise that technology partners, universities, innovation incubators, start-ups and even competitors can help drive relevant new offerings to customers as quickly as possible.
This is a game-changing realisation, not just for COOs and CSCOs, but also for their C-suite counterparts, according to the report, offering an opportunity to transform what was previously known as a support function into a growth engine.
Accenture conducted a global survey of 1,350 executives for the report: From inventory to influencer: the mover becomes the shaker.
Commenting on the findings, Rialto Consultancy director, Richard Chiumento, reckons that leaders within some organisations are not as alert as they should be to identifying new opportunities for growth.
“They must change their mindsets to identify traditional cost centres where digital technologies and intelligence can change the dynamic and fuel growth.”