Issue: Jul 2009


Companies Falling Short on Much-Needed Visibility and Enviro Impact Reductions Across Global Supply



BPM Forum and E2open Report Shows Heightened Awareness of Need to Be More Green and Efficient

by Jon Knox

Are global corporations -- who move trillions of dollars in manufactured goods, components and commodities around the world -- making gains in reducing carbon footprints? Are they effectively improving real-time visibility, control and accountability across every area and member of their giant supply and demand networks?

According to a new landmark study by the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum and E2open, a leader in improving visibility, collaboration, and control across multiple tiers of the supply chain, it appears that operations, logistics and supply chain executives need a better understanding of how to go green and save green across complex, global, multi-tiered supply and distribution networks.

Ninety percent of supply chain and operations professionals surveyed say their management subscribes to enhanced trading partner visibility, flexibility and sustainability across the entire supply and demand chain, yet nearly two-thirds have marginal or no visibility across all tiers and levels of their value chain. Even more concerning is the fact that 78 percent of companies rate the level of synergy and accountability in their global trading network as suboptimal.

The study -- "Acceleration of ECO-Operation: Achieving Success & Sustainability in the Supply Chain" -- gained insights from more than 125 supply chain, operations, finance, and executive professionals around the world across multiple industries. It set out to measure and quantify how companies are managing the complexities of supply chain demands, distribution costs and environmental concerns. The research was conducted in Q2, 2009. The results reveal the priorities, progress and pitfalls that supply chain and finance executives are facing in the midst of more complex and competitive product development, production and delivery environments.

The study looks at progress in achieving "ECO-Operation," or optimal visibility, collaboration, and sustainability throughout the multiple layers of supply and demand chain networks. Among the key findings of the study are:

-- The top benefits achieved through better ECO-Operation programs
include more environmental responsibility, better sustainability
compliance, more efficient product manufacturing and better customer
responsiveness 

-- Lack of leadership, visibility and standardized sustainability metrics
are holding companies back from achieving bottom line benefits 

-- 42 percent of companies have yet to consider carbon footprint or
greenhouse gas emissions across their entire extended supply chain 

-- 76 percent of respondents say their customers have not requested
information on carbon and emissions containment, but two-thirds expect
customers to demand this in the next year 

-- More than half of respondents say that their competitors use
sustainability or ECO-Operation practices for competitive advantage 

-- An overwhelming 85 percent of respondents say they are actively
involved in new programs that drive operational efficiency, corporate
social responsibility (CSR) and cost-savings across supply and demand
chains

"Today's economic, social and regulatory dynamics are putting real pressures on global companies to be both lean and green in their product sourcing, logistics, distribution and operational practices," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the BPM Forum.
"Unifying and controlling complex, globally-distributed value networks in turbulent, unpredictable times requires real-time operational insights down to the product level, accurate sourcing and sell-through intelligence, and relentless dedication to eliminating waste in all areas of the go-to-market process."

The report also examines detailed perspectives from more than 20 corporate and faculty leadership committee members, along with commentary and content covering best practices and viable solutions in helping companies come to grips with how to begin to insert efficient and environmental practices into strategic supply chain strategies and solutions.

"The Acceleration of ECO-Operation initiatives provide comprehensive confirmation supporting our observation that companies with hundreds or thousands of global suppliers need to do a much better job at seeing and measuring the levels of environmental compliance and efficiencies down to the second and third-tier level of supplier," said Rich Becks, senior vice president at E2open. "Supply chain executives understand the benefits of better managing collaboration and sustainability in the value chain -- now they just have to make it happen."

Detailed commentary from the corporate leadership committee shows the following common themes:

-- Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration to
supply chain management executives 

-- Most companies are still struggling with obtaining verifiable,
consistent data to measure value chain effectiveness and environmental
responsibility 

-- Consumer awareness and increased regulation will put added demands on
companies to drive green initiatives and efficiencies in the supply chain

For more information and to download the new ECO-Operation report, please visit http://www.eco-opscenter.com/reports.php

The Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum is dedicated to advancing performance accountability, process improvement, operational visibility and compliance in global organizations. It provides support to thousands of senior executives and practitioners representing enterprises with more than $500 billion in combined annual revenues. The BPM Forum's C-level members engage in research, thought leadership, and knowledge exchange programs around a variety of strategic issues and challenges. More information is available at: www.BPMForum.org. 

E2open is the leading provider of integrated demand-supply network solutions designed to improve visibility, collaboration, and control across multiple tiers of trading partners. E2open delivers a complete, SaaS-based solution including software, deployment, operations, and partner community management that easily connects to systems of record such as ERPs, PDMs, or advanced supply chain planning applications. E2open drives major improvements across all key demand and supply network performance metrics, resulting in significant cost savings and customer service improvements. Customers span a range of industries and include The Boeing Company, Celestica, Cisco, Dell, Hitachi, IBM, LSI Corporation, Panasonic, Philips, Motorola, Seagate Technology, Spansion, Vodafone, and Wistron.

Further information can be found at www.E2open.com

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