Leaders and Laggards in Supply Chain and Operations

Leaders and Laggards in Supply Chain and Operations

For many companies it comes as no surprise when we say that there is an ever-increasing focus on customers in the current era. But surprisingly few are realizing the opportunities their supply chain can offer to satisfy customer need, empower competitiveness and of course generate growth.

According to an Accenture survey of over 1 000 business executives almost 80% of company executives are missing opportunities to capitalize the power of the supply chain to drive further revenue growth.
But as rare is it to hear supply chain and operations to be referred as a growth driver, a few CSCO’s and COO’s are making their voices heard regarding growth through the supply chain. The remaining quarter of companies referred in the article as “Leaders” allows these officers to have a larger voice in the board room and thus are collaborating throughout the C-suite and other business function. As opposed the so called “Laggards”, the leaders are using the digital supply chain with purpose and focusing on smart digital investments, engaging in effective and creative ecosystems and finally driving for customer centricity throughout the c-suite. By doing these three things differently compared to their peers one fifth of the companies are driving a new level of growth which ultimately fuel competitiveness.

Building digital innovation

The benefits of digital technologies are nothing new for most supply chain and operations executives. But by actively infuse digital intelligence throughout their supply chain and operating models, investing in reskilling and upskilling their workforce and avoiding one-off technology solutions, leaders scale digitally enabled solutions in the supply chain at surprisingly increasing rates.
Their efforts are even exceeding their own expectations. The study shows that when scaling digital investments leaders not only made significantly more return compared to laggards (upwards of 17% more) they also made more than 3% more than expected results.

Customer centricity through teamwork

Putting the customer and their need in the center of everything they do differentiates leaders from laggards. By reaching out to their C-suite counterparts, COO’s and CSCO’s are utilizing insights across the supply chain and operations to make the entire company more customer-centric. Leaders are moving from silos where one function is responsible for one customer to where the entire C-suite collaborates to give the best service to important high value customers.

Leaders maximize ecosystems

Generally, a majority of both laggards and leaders peruse becoming ecosystem orchestrators, though in different degrees. 64% of laggards and 78% of leaders embrace this idea. However, leaders are far more likely to look beyond partnering with suppliers and independent experts as laggards do. Leaders are also more embracing to the idea of cooperation and co-innovation with other companies, technology partners, universities and even competitors for mutual innovation, growth and new offerings for customers. This realization transforms the way COOs, CSCOs and their C-suite counterparts view that which was previously seen as a support function into a tool for growth.

By focusing on digital technologies, customer centricity and cooperative ecosystems leaders have enabled a shift from chasing cost savings to create new value in their supply chain strategy. By investing and putting emphasis on these areas companies accelerates competitiveness by further understanding customers and to better meet their demands.

Read more on why some companies fail on their path towards digitalization