Survey to identify the pain points in the supply chain

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supply chain, Supply chain management

Survey to identify the pain points in the supply chain
The food and drink industry's main 'pain points' in supply chain planning are likely to emerge when the results of a new industry survey are...

The food and drink industry's main 'pain points' in supply chain planning are likely to emerge when the results of a new industry survey are published.

Consultancy Hughenden is carrying out an anonymous poll to identify future trends in supply chain planning which will have a strong focus on the food sector -- as many as 100 companies are expected to have responded by the cut-off date of 30 September.

The survey, which looks at where companies are focusing their efforts -- in areas such as purchasing, forecasting demand, planning production or managing stock -- should identify which parts of the supply chain are "hurting" the most and the approaches being taken to remedy the problems.

While some companies concentrate on software or training, others focus on processes or stock policies to resolve their problems, says marketing director Alain Vix.

"Most companies were still relying on software to solve their supply chain issues and one of the things we know is you can't," says Vix. "It's really the people behind the software and if they don't understand how it all works then the best software will not get you any better result. We are hoping that companies have now realised that."

The survey will also explore how robust the companies' contingency planning is for, say, demand exceeding or failing to meet new product launches -- "How quickly can we switch on and off the supply chain, basically," says Vix.

Another key aspect is sales and operations planning (SOP), looking at whether firms are adopting the "one number company" policy, where everyone across the company -- from purchasing, through production, to sales and marketing -- works to the same set of agreed figures.

Although companies are trying to adopt SOP, he claims for many "it's more hard work than they thought it would be"

Much of Hughenden's activity is with food and drink firms. It runs training courses in areas such as supply chain planning awareness, sales forecasting and the theory of constraints (bottleneck management).

"When people try to improve their supply chain processes one of the things that they often miss out is the business measures that are in place," says Vix. "A lot of the performance measures in place are still efficiency based, but if you don't sell what you produce, you are basically losing money."

As an incentive to those participating in the survey, it is offering a free course place worth £450 to every participant with supply chain management responsibility.

For more details, call 01494 535649 or visit http://www.hughenden.net​.

Related topics: Supply Chain, IT, Services

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