The latest Chief Supply Chain Officer Report was released by SCM World, and the results are interesting.  According to Kevin O’Marah, SCM World's chief content officer, the survey shows that supply chain executives are, overall, feeling less assured than they were last year regarding their standing and their roles within their companies. This sentiment may be because of the increased expectations being placed on supply chain executives as now, not only are they expected to deliver products while decreasing cost, many businesses expect procurement to assist in market expansion while simultaneously securing new innovative solutions from suppliers.  Additionally, because of growing sustainability and “green” trends, procurement has also been held accountable for mitigating the organization's environmental impact through manufacturing operations and sourcing initiatives.

The survey also revealed a number of other pressure points facing supply chain leaders in today’s industries.

  • New market expansion and improved customer service are expected of supply chain professionals along with continued cost reduction. More than half of those surveyed, 68% stated that reducing operating costs is “Very Important” in contributing to business strategy and that supply chain excellence directly correlates with enhancing customer service and loyalty. 
  • Due to the increased usage of mobile devices and e-commerce sites, 55% of those surveyed reported an increase of the number of  SKU’s they currently support,  confirming that supply chain executives are being tasked with managing a multitude of complex selling channels.
  • More and more, businesses are looking at their procurement departments to increase sustainable efforts while delivering value and maintaining compliance.  Almost half of those surveyed (47%) echoed this statement, an increase of 10% since 2011.
  • There is a need for procurement departments to alleviate the risks associated with product quality and integrity issues. This idea was reflected in the survey with less than half of the respondents, 41%, stating that potential risk visibility into their supply chain was limited to their direct suppliers, while only 13% of respondents had visibility into their supply chains of their suppliers
  • Procurement career responsibilities are shifting. Over half of the professionals surveyed said that “essential” supply chain skills include the ability to introduce new products to the business as well as launch capabilities.  Additionally, there is a need to track return on investment as 53% of respondents stated they don’t currently do this.
SCM World's report states that the efforts of procurement and supply chain departments may also be confounded by the underdeveloped skill sets and lack of systematic talent.  Overcoming this would require accelerated growth of skill and capabilities within procurement teams in order to meet the growing demand that business expect of their sourcing departments.

To view a results summary of the survey please visit the SCM World website.

Recently, Source One also conducted  an in-depth survey to better understand the state of the procurement industry.   For more information, check out Source One's collection of whitepapers outlining our results.
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Alexa Guidone

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