The University of Tennessee survey

The University of Tennessee survey identified 10 activities in the supply chain that can make companies more competitive.

The university's supply chain management research surveyed 163 professionals and 132 companies to identify key points that can greatly increase a company's value.

World-class companies need to regularly reassess these trends to keep pace with today's dynamic and rapidly changing environment.

  1. CRM - Leading companies are segmenting products and customers and developing customized supply chain solutions for specific segments.
  2. Collaborative relationships - Collaboration between supplier and customer can have a very powerful impact. For example, this type of collaboration between OfficeMax and Avery Dennison has led to more than 22% revenue growth and $11 million in logistics cost savings.
  3. Transformational strategy - Research shows that only 16% of companies have a documented supply chain strategy in place for several years. Whirlpool achieved a $20 million cost reduction with this strategy.
  4. Process integration - Eliminating process integration and silos can have a huge impact, according to the research.
  5. Performance-based metrics - Changing the way performance is measured and the company's target setting system.
  6. Information sharing and transparency - Using business analytics tools to share, connect and interpret data more effectively.
  7. Demand management - Increasing forecast accuracy by integrating demand and supply functions can lead to much higher revenues, lower working capital and reduced costs.
  8. Talent management - Considering critical competencies when hiring supply chain experts, such as global orientation, leadership and business skills, and technical expertise.
  9. Virtual integration - The essential defining characteristics of a large supply chain are for the company to hold on to core competencies and outsource the rest to world-class providers.
  10. Value-based management - High shareholder value also requires ensuring supply chain excellence, which requires the continued availability of high quality products and services.


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