More Than 50% of Companies Lack Visibility Into Their Supply Chain

by Carolyn Mathas

According to a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report commissioned by The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), over half of companies do not have end-to-end visibility into their supply chains as they rely solely on internal data. The report “The Resilient Supply Chain Benchmark: Ready for Anything? Turbulence and the Resilience Imperative,” shows how 308 publicly-listed retail, pharmaceutical, and consumer electronics companies that adopted resilience-building capabilities to manage real-time and longer-term risks, performed over the past year. The report can be accessed here.

Report findings indicate that just over half of the companies rely on their own internal data. In addition, 37% of companies reported that their visibility was hampered by either internal siloes or was not data-driven at all, limiting their ability to detect emerging threats or calculate how a disruption will unfold across supply chains and business units. In comparison, high performers build an ‘outside-in’ picture through the integration of supply chain partners into demand forecasting and planning.

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • There is a gap between rhetoric and reality: Less than half (42%) of companies have set targets to reduce supply chain-related (or Scope 3) carbon emissions, even though climate change is a major risk factor
  • Plans and playbooks should include triggers outlining actions to be taken for a range of disruptions: Overall, only 57% of companies claimed that they had business continuity plans that met this criterion.
  • Strategic supply chain resilience results from forging strong long-term relationships with key suppliers and customers: Over half (55%) of companies benchmarked stated that they directly helped suppliers remain solvent during times of crisis.

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