Forecasting making way for customer engagement

Flexibility.jpgIncreased flexibility, agility and responsiveness has been cited as the top medium-term business objective by respondents to the 2012 SupplyChainForesight survey, sponsored by Barloworld Logistics.

The fact that using the supply chain as more of a competitive advantage was selected a close second is evidence that these two objectives are closely interlinked, and demonstrates the closer alignment of business and supply chain strategy over the last few years, said the report.

“The objective for business to adapt flexibly and quickly to variable customer demand in a tight and volatile market is something of a breakthrough.”

“Previously a strong focus on planning and forecasting has marked efforts to make the supply chain more competitive – but accurate forecasting remained, in past research surveys, a constant challenge.”

“The current focus on responsiveness marks a welcome shift to more engagement with actual customer demand and market conditions, rather than product and manufacturing schedules.”

How can supply chain strategy support the business…?

In terms of supply chain objectives, strong emphasis on cost management remained, however, it is accompanied by a realisation that partnership is essential to the use of the supply chain as a competitive advantage.

Therefore, increasing service levels to customers remained the number one supply chain objective, as it has in previous years. But this objective must still be achieved at the lowest possible cost, as the objective of lowering procurement costs and decreasing lead times came in second, said the report.

Improving visibility in the supply chain was identified as the next objective, followed closely by improving the flow of information between buyers, suppliers and customers, which suggests a maturing of the long-held mantra of the supply chain: collaboration.

…and where is it hampered?

Constraints identified in the report remain familiar.

The cost of transport features as the greatest supply chain constraint, for almost every industry sector.

“South Africa’s high logistics costs, and the imbalance between road and rail, have been well-documented. [However,] this has been exacerbated lately with the imminent imposition of tolling and carbon tax fees,” says the report.

However, there is a great deal of value to be had through businesses constantly re-examining their transport strategies and thinking laterally about them.

“Companies do need to ask themselves hard questions about reducing these costs - are they moving their goods in the most cost-effective way possible? Is each industry considering innovative ways of moving their goods differently – through co-operation with other industry sectors, for example?”

Also repeating it appearance is the second identified constraint: finding skills to enhance supply chain management.

However, surprising in its presence as a constraint, ‘reducing the environmental impact of the supply chain’ has made its first appearance in the top five, said the report.

“The increasing pressure to reduce carbon footprint and to hold suppliers accountable, set by legislation and tax regimes, undoubtedly accounts for this constraint becoming prominent.”

“The pressure on corporations to ‘go green’ is thus now affecting the bottom line.”

You can diarise 13 - 15 November 2012 at Gallagher Convention Centre to attend Smart Procurement World 2012, where the latest development and trends affecting Procurement and Supply Chain Mangement will be in the spotlight.

To attend Smart Procurement World email

Leave a comment

SmartProcurement Newsletter

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
* Country:
* Public / Private:


Career opportunites

Logistics Controller

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent
Based in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s leading fruit exporter ...More


  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R900k – R1.2mil) includes ...More

Category Manager Logistics

  • >500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R900k – R1mil) includes ...More

Group Procurement Manager

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Location: Johannesburg .Cost to Company R1.2mil – R1.4mil excluding ...More

Procurement Analyst

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R200K – R400K)We are ...More

Industrial Engineers

  • <500 000 >500 000 Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R400K – R550K)We are ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Cost to Company R1mil – R1.4mil ...More

Category Manager Packaging

  • >500 000 Gauteng Permanent
Role: The Category Manager will be responsible for ...More
Location: Johannesburg Description: To develop and manage relationships ...More
Location: Johannesburg Description: To develop and manage relationships ...More

Global Commodity Manager: Mining Commodities

  • Commodities Gauteng Permanent
Location: Johannesburg Description: Ensuring continuity of supply ...More

Global Commodity Manager: Mining Equipment

  • Commodities Gauteng Permanent
Location: JohannesburgDescription: The commodity manager is accountable for ...More

Mining Project Manager

  • Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
Location: Johannesburg.Description : Responsible for successful implementation and ...More

Mining Project Manager

  • Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
Examples of high impact initiatives are Equipment Automation, ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management Supply Chain
R 650 000 –R 800 000 CTC pa GautengA ...More

Operations Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Procurement Management
R 600 000 – R 700 000 CTC ...More

Procurement Specialist

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Consultant Procurement Officer / Specialist
R 500 000 – R 550 000 CTC ...More

Commodity Manager

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
R 950 000 – R 1.1 million CTC ...More