New study says SMEs are shifting supply chain strategies

According to researchers, there seems to be an increased focus on the importance of customer fulfillment in contrast with a previous emphasis on low-cost sourcing strategies.

By ·

One of the key results of a study done by Global consultancy IDC Manufacturing Insights is that manufacturers, while pressured to reduce costs, have pulled back on the prevalence of low-cost country sourcing.

The worldwide study of over 700 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing industry was done on behalf of Infor and IBM.

According to researchers, there seems to be an increased focus on the importance of customer fulfillment in contrast with a previous emphasis on low-cost sourcing strategies.

The consultancy asserted that low-cost sourcing could result in lower responsiveness and poor customer service, higher costs, and additional risk factors such as supply chain disruptions, diminished IP protection and environmental concerns. The study indicated that North American and European manufacturers would focus on improving their own operations for the medium-term as opposed to aggressively looking to sourcing partners to cut costs.

One of the general conclusions of the study was that manufacturers were struggling to ensure customer fulfillment due to complex and global supply chains.

This made gaining control over the “customer experience” very challenging.

According to IDC spokesmen, the results of the study perhaps should be seen as an opportunity for companies involved in global logistics services “rather than the more obvious threat implicit in the findings.”

“The challenge for logistics and transportation companies will be to provide SMEs with the reliability and visibility which they clearly lack and which is hindering their adoption of global sourcing strategies,” said spokesmen.

Furthermore, added IDC, the study suggests that a greater focus on the needs of smaller businesses could pay dividends for logistics companies.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Lead your organization through the driver shortage and over-the-road regulations.
Potential transportation disruptions are looming as increased over-the-road regulations are set to go into effect in 2017. Experts believe these regulations will further impact the already challenged driver pool as well as reduce driver productivity.
Download Today!
From the January 2017 Issue
Following LM tradition, we start off the New Year with our annual “Rate Outlook” cover story and subsequent Webcast
Moore on Pricing: The other TMS functional options
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2017 Rate Outlook: Where are freight transportation rates headed?
Join our panel of top oil and transportation analysts for an exclusive look at where rates are headed and the issues driving those rate increases over the coming year.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...
Logistics Management’s Top Logistics News Stories 2016
From mergers and acquisitions to regulation changes, Logistics Management has compiled the most...

Making the TMS Decision: Ariens Finds Just the Right Fit
The third time is the charm for this U.S. manufacturer on the hunt for a third-party logistics (3PL)...
Motor Carrier Regulations Update: Caught in a Trap
The fed is hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits....