Global Manufacturing Outlook: Performance in the Crosshairs

Global Manufacturing Outlook

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The 2014 Global Manufacturing Outlook: Performance in the crosshairs report examines the continuing evolution of the strategies that manufacturers are deploying to drive value and performance across the enterprise.

As evidenced in the survey results, explosive developments in technology, material science, advanced manufacturing and synergistic operating models are clearly beginning to redefine 'the art of the possible' and are changing the way manufacturing companies compete and succeed.

Manufacturers are still overwhelmingly focused on profitable growth. And this year's Global Manufacturing Outlook (GMO) identifies a wide variety of strategies to achieve it. Increasing levels of supply chain transparency and visibility; improving use of data, analytics and business intelligence tools; integration of new technologies; and a continuation of the trend towards greater partnerships and collaborative business models are at the forefront of these strategies.

But new strategies also bring new challenges and complexities. Based on this year's report, there is clearly much work still to be done to leverage the power of these business models, tools and technologies to ultimately overcome the omplexities of data proliferation, the accelerating pace of change and disruptive innovation across the sector.

Key findings from the 2014 report include:

  • Manufacturers are focused on understanding their product cost and profitability. Only 12 percent of respondents said they were 'very effective' at determining product profitability. Many suggest that they plan to commit either moderate or significant investment into enhancing their systems and processes for profit and cost information. More than half say that – over the next two years – they will place either a moderate or high priority on to adopting processes and systems to achieve the real-time measurement of product cost and profitability.
  • Organizations are rethinking their product development strategy. Respondents are increasingly focused on enhanced spending, shifting towards breakthrough innovation objectives and exploring new collaborative business models to create competitive advantage. Seventy percent of respondents said they would double their level of spend in R&D. Yet at the same time, 88 percent said that partnerships, not in-house efforts, would form the future of innovation. Technology is also coming into play; three-quarters of respondents say they are better leveraging decision-support technology in their R&D function.
  • Supply chain transparency and visibility remain a key challenge for manufacturers. Forty percent of respondents admit they lack visibility across their extended supply chain, with 33 percent saying it was due to either inadequate IT systems or a lack of skills. Our research suggests that many of the gains in supply chain visibility have resulted from stronger relationships between manufacturers and their top-tier suppliers and the willingness to share more real-time data across the value chain.
  • A majority of respondents think that they could achieve a globally integrated supply chain within the next three to five years. More than half say that they use global demand planning and global capacity planning technologies in their supply chain enterprise-wide. More than three-quarters say that their relationship with top tier suppliers is now strong enough for them to share real-time capacity and demand data.

For more information, download the full report below.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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