In a survey conducted by E2open, a provider of supply chain management software (Redwood City, Calif.), at the fourth-annual SAP Logistics and Supply Chain Management 2007 conference in Orlando, almost half of respondents (48%) identified implementing a lean supply chain as their top priority. Other key initiatives included implementing operational improvement programs (45%), managing globalization (39%) and improving trading partner system integration (29%).
Overall, survey respondents said the top business objectives of their supply chain improvement efforts were reducing operating costs (66%), reducing inventory (52%), improving on-time delivery (41%) and improving availability and cycle times (39%).
Survey respondents confirmed significant capability gaps in the technology they use to communicate with trading partners. When asked how they synchronize their supply networks on inventory data, forecasted and actual demand and supply, 44% of survey respondents reported that they are using EDI, 42% are using e-mail, and 29% are using Excel spreadsheets. Numerous respondents said that they are still using paper and fax.