Voice of the Supply Chain: Leaders Speak on Technology

Version 2

    Published by Lora Cecere (Cecere, L. Voice of the Supply Chain: Leaders Speak on Technology, Supply Chain Insights LLC, 01/06/2013).

    Executive Overview

    This is not your father’s old-fashioned supply chain. Today, we are at an inflection point. Supply chains have grown in importance; new technologies are evolving, and supply chain leaders are looking for new solutions.


    Today’s supply chain leader is struggling to assemble/develop the right talent, get to meaningful data and drive actionable analytics. While planned spending on technology is increasing, frustration with existing systems is also increasing. The unfiltered voice of the supply chain leader is shown in figure 1 with unedited open-ended responses.


    2013 is all about demand and predictive analytics. There is a shift in focus from supply to demand. The largest gaps are in demand systems, and the fewest answers on how to redefine and improve processes are in the area of demand management. What seems clear is that the path that we have walked is not the path of the future.

    As shown in figure 2, the focus is on sensing (demand and supply), visualization and new forms of analytics. While most companies do not know what “big data” means, they are attempting to figure it out. They are drowning in data and short on insights.


    In this report, we share insights of supply chain leaders on the current state of technology, the gaps in current performance, and their insights on future requirements.


    • Survey Details:  The research for this report was conducted in two waves.  Wave 1 = March-April 2012, Wave 2 = October - December 2012. It is based on an online survey among supply chain executives at manufacturing firms (58 from Wave 1, 40 from Wave 2).
    • Objective: To understand the current state, pain points, IT systems/trends and issues facing supply chain executives.
    • Hypothesis:  There is a gap between importance and performance of supply chain applications. Companies that are more mature in their thinking have a greater gap.
    • Link to summary charts:Voice of Supply Chain Study: Summary Charts (Mar/Oct 2012)
    • Link to Webinar slides:Voice of the Supply Chain Webinar (Dec 13, 2012)
    • Link to Community discussion on report findings:Gaps in supply chain technology performance