September 30, 2010 08:00 ET
SCM World Survey Shows Flexibility Is Key to Supplier Differentiation & Growth
84% Expect Supply Chain Complexity to Increase in the Next Three Years
GAITHERSBURG, MD--(Marketwire - September 30, 2010) - More than 87 percent of supply chain executives say that having a flexible business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce program provides differentiation and more than 92 percent agree that the strength of their B2B e-commerce program is important to growing business at key customers, according to a study published today by SCM World and sponsored by GXS.
A key factor driving the need for stronger and more flexible B2B programs is the growing complexity in supply chains. More than 86 percent of supply chain executives expect complex requests from customers, such as vendor-managed inventory (VMI), cross-docking and floor-ready merchandise, to increase through 2013.
In June 2010, SCM World surveyed 819 supply chain executives around the world to gain an understanding of trends in customer-supplier relationships and supply chain technology. The research, one of the largest studies ever completed on B2B e-commerce, was led by Martin Christopher, Member of the Supervisory Board at SCM World and Emeritus Professor of Marketing and Logistics at Cranfield School of Management.
"The pendulum of power in the supply chain is swinging away from suppliers and towards the customers. These large buyers are demanding more complex and customized support services from their community of suppliers, many of whom are facing growing commoditization at the same time," said Professor Christopher. "As a result, supply chain executives around the globe are acknowledging that process flexibility and customer service are just as important for differentiation as delivering superior products."
Highlights of the research include:
- 94 percent of respondents agreed that increasingly companies like theirs will compete as much through superior processes and service solutions as through superior products.
- 86 percent of respondents expect an increase in the number of requests from large customers for more complex inventory management and replenishment models over the next three years.
- 79 percent of respondents expect an increase in the number of requests from large customers for more complex transportation and logistics models over the next three years.
- 77 percent of respondents agreed there is still a lack of trust amongst supply chain partners that is impeding the flow of information.
"Manufacturers are facing greater levels of complexity as their larger customers require them to support complex processes such as vendor-managed inventory, cross-docking and supply chain finance, and more advanced technology programs such as CPFR, data sync and e-invoicing," said Steve Keifer, vice president of industry and product marketing, GXS. "Companies who can use their B2B e-commerce programs to overcome process complexity and technology variability will be able to delight customers with better service."
Additional findings of the research include:
- 87 percent of respondents agreed that the flexibility of their B2B e-commerce program enables them to differentiate from competitors on service.
- 91 percent of respondents agreed that the flexibility of their B2B e-commerce program is important to demonstrate to customers how easy they are to do business with.
- 93 percent of respondents agreed that they are making good progress in working more collaboratively with customers.
The study is the fourth in a series published by GXS and research partners on trends in managing networks of business partners. Prior studies are available at http://www.gxs.com/resources/strategic_b2b_tools.
1. Driving Business Value Through B2B Outsourcing (Stanford University)
2. Understanding Your Total Cost of Ownership for Managing B2B Operations (Hobson & Company)
3. ERP Projects Create Significant B2B Opportunities (AMR Research)
4. Enhancing Customer-Centric Supply Chains (SCM World)
For more information, join the live webinar below and receive a complimentary copy of the research report.
Webinar: Enhancing Customer-Centric Supply Chains: How B2B E-Commerce Increases Customer Satisfaction and Drives Revenue Growth
Date: Thursday, September 30th, 2010, 10:00 AM New York / 3:00 PM London / 4:00 PM Paris
Speakers: Professor Martin Christopher, Member of the Supervisory Board at SCM World and Emeritus Professor of Marketing and Logistics at Cranfield School of Management; and, Steve Keifer, Vice President of Industry and Product Marketing, GXS
GXS is the world's leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions. The company's software and services simplify and enhance how networks of businesses integrate business processes and collaborate among trading partners. Organizations worldwide, including more than 75 percent of the Fortune 500, use GXS solutions to extend their supply chain networks, optimize product launches, automate warehouse receiving, manage electronic payments and gain supply chain visibility. Based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, GXS has operations and offices around the world. For more information, see http://www.gxs.com, http://blogs.gxs.com/ and http://twitter.com/gxs.
About SCM World
SCM World is the leading online global institute for supply chain focused executives. The end-user and academic-led webinar programme, hosted by the world's most preeminent practitioners and professors, has rapidly become the de-facto benchmark for forward thinking supply chain, logistics, procurement, operations and manufacturing executives to benchmark across industry and stay current, without the time and costs associated with traditional learning. Thousands of members from prominent global organisations across multiple verticals are using SCM World to enhance supply chain learning, development and talent in a 'members only,' thought leadership environment. For more information, see http://www.scmworld.org.