Global’ supply chains often aren’t global

Nearly half (48 percent) of supply chain executives at multi-national companies in the chemical, consumer goods, industrial and retail sectors consider their supply chains to be global, yet operating decisions made on behalf of those supply chains would indicate otherwise. Some 60 percent of the executives said supply chain decisions in their companies are regional […]


Nearly half (48 percent) of supply chain executives at multi-national companies in the chemical, consumer goods, industrial and retail sectors consider their supply chains to be global, yet operating decisions made on behalf of those supply chains would indicate otherwise.

Some 60 percent of the executives said supply chain decisions in their companies are regional or local in scope, according to a recent study conducted by BDP International’s Centrx consulting unit and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Just 35 percent of respondents reported their companies’ supply chains are managed globally. BDP International is an US-based freight logistics/ transportation management firm.

The globalisation of trade has brought with it a dramatic increase in companies’ sourcing and delivery points, which inevitably has resulted in longer lead times and a need to improve regulatory understanding.

Cited by 64 percent of all respondents (87 percent European; 55 percent North American), on-time delivery is the single most pressing issue facing their supply chains.

However 43 percent of all respondents reported shorter lead times, reflecting investment by their companies in supply chain technology and management systems. These included warehouse management, ERP and TMS systems.

Most of the 32 percent of respondents whose companies had not made such investments reported longer lead times.