PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey Reveals Continued Focus on Supply Chain

The latest results on supply chain and operations from PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, suggest that U.S.-based CEOs remain reluctant to abandon cost-cutting until the economy shows further signs of strengthening.

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The latest results on supply chain and operations from PwC’s 16th Annual Global CEO Survey, suggest that U.S.-based CEOs remain reluctant to abandon cost-cutting until the economy shows further signs of strengthening.

The 16th annual survey, based on the responses of 167 US-based CEOs, lead to the following observations:

Operations:

  • In 2012, 81% of CEOs implemented cost-cutting measures; in 2013, 71% of CEOs are planning cuts

  • 44% of CEOs are investing to increase the operational effectiveness of their company

  • 29% of CEOs plan to outsource a business process or function

  • 17% of US CEOS plan to “insource” a previously outsourced business process or function

  • Business are looking for opportunities for innovation and competitive advantage in their operating model to offer customers more, and to do so at a lower cost.

The good news contained in these findings, says Brad Householder, principal, supply chain practice, at PwC, is that supply chain management is working its way up the command ladder in corporate America.

“C-level executives everywhere are viewing this discipline as a strategic asset,” he said. “It’s completely in keeping with a trend to focus resources on continuing improvement.”

Other points made in the Supply Chain survey include:

  • 90% of US CEOs see economic volatility ahead

  • In 2013, 53% of US CEOs plan to strengthen engagement with key suppliers to both minimize costs and maximize supply chain flexibility and delivery performance

  • Globally, industries most focused on supply chain engagement include:
  1. Industrial manufacturing (84%)

  2. Consumer goods (80%)

  3. Energy, oil, and gas (79%)

  4. Technology (76%)
  • 43% of US CEOs say 2013 will bring more shifts in consumer spending behaviors

  • 41% of US CEOs are concerned about energy and raw material costs

  • Sustainable supply chain – reducing the company’s environmental footprint – is of interest to 43% of CEOs.

Householder told SCMR that he’s seeing a “piling on” of supply chain imperatives as well:

“Companies are continuing to work on becoming the ‘desired key supplier,’” he says. They won’t be doing this by concentrating on price, however. Those gain shares are too often temporary. We expect a great emphasis placed on service for the long-term growth of these enterprises.”


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]

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