Businesses looking for higher growth, profitability and customer loyalty inevitably focus on their supply chains – many view this as a prerequisite. The supply chain forms the core of most businesses. In a world of globalised manufacturing, it connects hundreds, perhaps thousands of suppliers, and ensures the smooth running of processes that span continents. As the wider marketplace also embraces globalisation, the supply chain connects millions of customers, collects revenue for goods and services, defines how much profit the enterprise makes, and plays a critical part in retaining customer loyalty.
The supply chain has been through a number of transformations. New models and technologies have been developed and there has been considerable progress in making supply chains faster, more accurate and increasingly responsive; however, the next stage of transformational change is now imminent. In some organisations, redefining, redesigning and recreating the supply chain has already started. These pioneers are soon to be joined by other early adopters and, by the end of this decade, innovative ideas and practices are forecast to become commonplace within the business domain.