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Sustainability and customer service are key to supply chain success

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 10, 2011

One surprising finding in the UPS-sponsored “Change in the (Supply) Chain” survey was that sustainability ranked above well-known issues such as cost and responsiveness.

Sustainability-related findings indicate that companies in Asia are making an investment in corporate social responsibility. Survey results reveal that projecting a better corporate image is the top driver for companies to engage in sustainable practices. Interestingly, while sustainability is a growing priority in Asia, U.S. companies ranked it as their lowest priority in 2010 with only 19 percent of survey respondents identifying it as a top issue driving change.

While sustainability is the top supply chain driver of change, cost reduction is the No. 1 business priority for companies in Asia, especially as costs increase within the region. The majority (63 percent) of survey respondents identified cost reduction as the top business priority for the next 18 months.

Similar to findings from last year’s survey of U.S.-based high-tech companies, high-tech companies in Asia are investing in customer service despite cost concerns.

Achieving higher service levels is both the most frequent change made over the last two years (63 percent) and the change that most companies plan to make in the next two years (67 percent). In addition, 71 percent of companies ranked “better balance of cost and efficiencies with customer service” as a top supply chain priority over the next three to five years.

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 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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