One of the latest Deloitte reports contains a comparison of profitability rates for two categories of companies: supply chain leaders and so called “followers” of an effective supply chain. The results illustrate the performance of the companies focused on chain supply as compared to the companies that do pay less attention to it. The outcomes are clear – a strong supply chain is not an option, it is a necessity.

The survey was conducted among over 400 executive representatives of manufacturing and retail companies worldwide. The results demonstrate a key impact of a superior supply chain on the companies’ profitability. 79% of organisations with the supply chain oriented towards top effectiveness achieve the revenue growth that is significantly higher than an industry average. At the same time, only 8% of organisations with a lower performing supply chain are able to achieve above average results.

The survey also explored values that determine leaders’ approach towards the supply chain and the main characteristics of their organisations:

Pursuing innovations

Supply chain leaders are characterised by their strong orientation towards innovations and realising their significant influence on the company’s results. 96% of leaders view innovation as an important aspect of their strategy (compared to 65% of followers).

Prompt adaptation of new technologies

Leaders are not afraid of using new technologies. 48% declare implementation of pioneering technologies such as 3D printing, as compared to only 13% of followers.

Concentration of responsibility at a high level of the organisational structure.

In 56% of the leader companies, a person responsible for supply chain management performs senior executive functions in a company. This is true for only one third of the follower companies.

Software-supported purchasing management

The survey explored the importance of using IT solutions for optimisation (leaders – 75% as compared to followers 34%) and application of mobile technologies (75% against 30%) in supply chain management.

Talent management strategy

The supply chain leaders focus on employee development. 88% of companies actively recruit professionals with analytical skills and cross-functional experience beyond the supply chain, with 83% highlighting the importance of global experience.

The report’s conclusion is clear – the approach to and manner of supply chain management affects the company’s global results. Companies with more complex supply chains cannot afford to neglect it in any way.

The full report is available at: