On the day 3,000 dead bloated pigs were found bobbing in Shanghai's water source, a UK report on the country's horsemeat scandal lambastes supply-chain management practices.
The international trade body Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said supermarkets have “fallen woefully short” in the management of their supply chains, according to the Daily Mail.
The CIPS survey found:
- 36 percent claim their chief executive is not engaged about the potential risks in the supply chain
- Just 53 percent of companies have a strategy to mitigate risk in their supply chains
- 86 percent of supply-chain managers do not believe that regulators understand supply chains.
An unrelated but just as relevant report from PwC sheds some additional light on supply-chain attitudes. That report found:
- Companies that beat the competition on supply-chain performance also achieve significantly better financial results
- Only 45 percent of respondents say their companies view the supply chain as a strategic asset
- Just 9 percent say the supply chain is helping them outperform their peers.
Blind spot What do these numbers tell us? They tell us there's a nagging and hugely unfortunate perception problem regarding the supply chain's role in business success. You know it because you live it every day, but your boss's boss probably doesn't, and more importantly, your company's owners are blind to it.
CIPS says companies will continue to be “found out” unless investors, analysts, and boardrooms “place appropriate emphasis on the importance of their supply chain to their business and take steps to ensure they are fit for purpose.”
That's a kind-of rallying-cry poster in the making. All you need to do is lay those words over pictures of dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River or horsemeat ground into where it shouldn't be.
That would take the abstract and put it into perspective (see They Eat Horsemeat, Don’t They?). Give a year and maybe those survey numbers start to shift.