- Spend analytics was cited as a top priority for 70% of supply chain leaders in a recent IHS Markit survey, with 239 of 340 respondents choosing the option, according to a press release.
- Category management and supply risk management also topped the list of priorities for survey respondents. But the majority of respondents admitted that their companies need more data and technology resources, highlighting the disparity between strategic intent and capabilities, according to the survey findings.
- The survey results come on the heels of a March Gartner report that found data and analytics will become a "core business function" this year as supply chains try to expand their capabilities.
Spend analytics tops supply chain leaders' priority list
Supply chain volatility over the last year has forced companies to rethink how they buy and at what levels, while trying to mitigate product and other related disruptions. To successfully navigate the bumpy landscape, teams have turned to risk- and crisis-management systems to help provide insight into what should be their next steps.
"Supply chains can no longer operate as siloed, disconnected functions; recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Suez Canal saga, have illustrated the need for supply chains to be resilient and agile," Wilhelm Greyling, executive director of supply chain solutions at IHS Markit, said in the press release.
To build resilience, procurement leaders have said that collecting risk data and intelligence is key to creating solutions.
Starbucks, for example, invested in a risk management system to provide visibility ahead of and during disruptions to plan and quickly react. Dick's Sporting Goods, meanwhile, focused on improving data accuracy to provide visibility into the impacts of material shortages. And while record production backlogs challenged furniture manufacturers, Wayfair gained a competitive advantage by using data to shape its mitigation strategy. For each, it was a marked culture shift in the middle of the pandemic.
But 63% of respondents in the 2021 Supply Chain Insights Global Survey from IHS Markit said their companies "lacked the necessary data, platforms and technology needed to make critical cost-saving decisions."
The data and technology that would fill this gap could "surely benefit" priorities, such as category management, and provide visibility for practices to continue to change, Misty Blessley, an associate professor of Temple University's Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, said in an email.
"Supply chain disruption is nothing new to procurement professionals ... most companies have engaged in some sort of risk mitigation strategies/scenario planning," she said. "But procurement professionals can only deal with what has actually occurred."
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