SYSPRO study highlights external collaboration as key to realigning the links of the disconnected supply chain

Mississauga, ON, April 12, 2022 – SYSPRO, a global provider of ERP software, released the findings of their 2021 global research study that explores the challenges and solutions to ongoing supply chain disruptions that manufacturers and distributors face today. This online survey assessed the current sentiment of 163 manufacturing and distribution industry professionals in EMEA, North America and APAC.

The report reveals four key themes and highlights the need for a long-term digital strategy for manufacturers and distributors that incorporates improved customer centricity, external collaboration and data driven decision-making to engineer a bounce-back from the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Theme one: There is a disconnect between investment in internal efficiencies and external collaboration

With global lockdowns and ongoing disruptions driving increased pressure, it comes as no surprise that 70% of businesses experienced supply chain disruptions over the last few years. Concurrently, 60% of businesses were unable to engage and collaborate with customers and suppliers in real-time.  As a result,  those businesses were often unable to deliver to their customers.

The supply of inventory was not protected even though 65% of manufacturers and distributors invested in systems aimed at meeting order requirements and 64% of businesses invested in systems to manage inventory control.

“While the investment in internal efficiencies is crucial for any business, customer and supplier engagement should also be a priority. What we are seeing now, is a domino effect of supply chain disruptions. It won’t matter how businesses try to up their game internally, if they are unable to communicate effectively with their external ecosystem and respond to shifts in the supply chain, businesses may fall behind,” said Paulo De Matos, Chief Product Officer at SYSPRO.

Theme two: Digital roadmaps do not align to execution

The survey found that while building a digital roadmap, 69% of businesses considered a digitalization strategy aimed at enhancing existing business processes with digital technologies.  However, only 29% of businesses committed to a full-fledged digital transformation strategy.

48% of businesses committed to improving customer service, yet only 23% of businesses included external collaboration (i.e. the ability to collaborate with customers) as part of their digital strategy.

When exploring the execution of the digital strategy, the survey found a clear disconnect. With 34% of businesses focused on investments to improve internal operations management, quality management and warranty management, and 33% of businesses looking at improving sourcing, procurement and inventory management, only 18% of businesses invested in business systems to improve external collaboration. Additionally, 50% of businesses chose to not invest in any systems at all, and to rely on current systems to keep the lights on.

Theme three: Supply chains are not competing at a global level

“Business models as we know it are changing before our eyes. The classic model of company vs company is giving way for supply chain vs supply chain where simply selling a product is no longer good enough to survive in the long term. Manufacturers today should ideally assemble a team of companies to offer the best product and best service at the best price. To do this successfully, the right data insights are imperative,” states De Matos.

When asked about technological investments, 47% of businesses had invested in sensors, and IoT networks.  At the same time, only 20% of businesses had invested in data analytics tools to process and analyze the data that they were collecting, while only 5% of businesses had looked into AI and ML to draw any long-term benefit from the data collection.

Theme four: Customers are placed at the end of the supply chain and not at the center

When exploring the domino effect of the above challenges, it was not surprising that only 22% of businesses had experienced revenue growth and only 26% of manufacturers reported that their customers were satisfied with them over the past 12 months.  “The customer experience can make or break a business. While businesses improved operational visibility through technological investments such as IoT or even looked into alternative eCommerce sales channels, the reality is that ongoing and instantaneous external collaboration with suppliers and customers is vital. A balance along the supply chain can be achieved when a customer is placed at the center of the supply chain, and their experience is not regarded as an afterthought. With real-time data insights into customer needs, improved revenue will soon follow,” states De Matos.

“Overall the study showed that your digital roadmap should be carefully aligned to changing business needs. An ERP system can support manufacturers and distributors by providing the platform that helps with automation of business systems. to handle procurement and sourcing policy changes, distribution and lead time planning; and analytics providing data real-time to support improved decision-making. While there has been downtime, manufacturers have the opportunity now to make a change to improve operational efficiency and thrive now and into the future,” concludes De Matos

To review the full report, visit this link


SYSPRO is a leading, global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software provider specializing in key manufacturing and distribution industries. For over 40 years, SYSPRO’s team of specialists have continued to address unique industry needs and enable customers to easily adapt and grow. The solution is scalable and can be deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or both, and accessed via the web on any device to provide customers with choice and flexibility.

SYSPRO remains focused on the success of partners and customers. Our evolving solutions are aligned with industry trends to leverage emerging technology that will enable partners and customers in securing a digital future.

With more than 15,000 licensed companies in over 60 countries across six continents –SYSPRO offers guidance and support every step of the way as a trusted advisor.

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