Two-thirds of respondents to a survey conducted by SAP and E2open, a supply chain software-as-service provider, indicated reducing operating costs is a top business objective for their supply chain initiatives. Reducing inventory was citied by 52%, and 41% said improving on-time delivery was a goal.
In contrast to the top business objectives, 48% of respondents said their highest priority supply chain initiative is eliminating waste and unnecessary steps (lean supply chain). Operational improvement programs were cited by 45%, and 39% indicated globalization to leverage economies of scale across multiple operating units was a top priority.
The survey also uncovered several capability gaps in the technologies the respondents were using to enable integration of their trading partners. Many still use paper and FAX, and 29% still use computer spreadsheets. Only 44% are using electronic data interchange (EDI) and 42% say they use e-mail.