Global Manufacturing Outlook 2013, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit of KPMG, is a comprehensive report comprising of answers from 300 senior executives representing five different industries. Now that the results have been released to the public, it is clear that the way companies are achieving a competitive advantage is by enhancing their networks of suppliers to achieve a higher degree of efficiency and better innovation.
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The report indicates that manufacturers are looking toward new mergers and acquisitions in order to tap into new markets around the globe. Many of them are also planning to get out of unprofitable business units and product lines, especially those that lay outside their primary functions. The strong, solid manufacturers are also building a better network of relationships with their suppliers in order to become more responsive when the market sees changes and fluctuations.
Additionally, manufacturers are recognizing the importance of greater supply chain visibility, especially beyond tier 1 suppliers. This visibility allows for greater agility, more resilience, and better overall performance. Supply chain partnerships, even more than in-house efforts, are clearly important when it comes to better innovations to remain competitive.
The report also highlights how manufacturers are increasingly investing in breakthrough and incremental innovations in an attempt to stay ahead of their competitors. In all, the outlook is very positive. It highlights how important it is for companies to know what lies beyond their tier 1 suppliers, and how much strong supplier relations can mean to the bottom line. However, there are still concerns about supply chain problems, especially in relation to those overseas.
Other reports indicate potential problems over the long-term for supply chain management, including a shaky economy in the Eurozone, the recent bout of natural disasters in Asia, political unrest on the Korean peninsula, social and political unrest in the Middle East, and the recent spotlight on worker safety and factory stability in parts of South America, Asia, and Africa. [/show_to]