Logistics Research Survey Points the way for Companies to be Serial Innovators

Posted by admin on 11 Mar 2014 3:25:40 PM

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By Kate Stubbs, Executive Business Development, Marketing & Communication, Barloworld Logistics

Barloworld Logistics, one of southern Africa’s leading logistics and supply chain management experts, released the results of its much anticipated tenth research survey - supplychainforesight 2013 – which provides invaluable insight into the degree of innovation, smart partnerships and sustainable advantages within South Africa’s companies and their supply chains.

Announcing the date of the official launch of the survey as 7.30am, 15 March at The Forum, Wanderers building, The Campus Office Park, Bryanston, Kate Stubbs, Barloworld Logistics Marketing Executive said: “The research highlighted that South African companies need to understand that the pace at which change is occurring in the global economy is on an accelerating trajectory and anyone who fails to keep pace now will inevitably fall too far behind to catch up.”

The theme of this year’s research as well as its title – ‘Serial Innovation, Smart Partnerships and Sustainable Advantages’ – identifies and addresses the main issues businesses face in the race for competitiveness. “Change, and the fast pace at which it is occurring, means companies need to create a culture of continuous innovation, one that enables them to update their game plan through agility, adaptability and responsiveness,” said Stubbs.

The drivers of change that all companies have to adapt to within their supply chains, include: the rise of emerging markets and consequent shift in the axis of power from West to East; globalisation; urbanisation; changing consumer dynamics in an age of social media; increasing regulatory and sustainability requirements and steadily decreasing natural resources.

What this means for businesses in an increasingly complex world is that the age of information had given way to the age of business intelligence, which in turn has evolved into the age of innovation, Stubbs explained.

“Today innovation is critical for one’s mere survival, let alone success. We believe our supplychainforesight survey highlights the fact that today’s typical business is at this very moment either dying a slow death or dynamically innovating. There is no middle ground as innovation has to become mainstream to any business strategy.

“With the speed of change today any competitive advantage is comparatively short-lived tomorrow. A company not actively planning ahead for its next innovation is already falling behind the curve. There is no room for complacency.

supplychainforesight 2013 throws valuable light on the progress South African companies are making – and more importantly highlights a way forward. “Logistics and supply chain management are taking centre stage in the battle for growth and risk mitigation. Forging smart partnerships, outsourcing functions to those with the appropriate skills, knowledge and abilities is no longer seen as surrendering control – but rather gaining intelligence, capabilities and resources.

“Interestingly, smart partnerships are driving innovation at lightning speed as can be seen by the manner in which emerging nations are leapfrogging development with their advances in technology,” added Stubbs.

supplychainforesight 2013 looks at the following key issues:

  • The objectives and constraints businesses and supply chains face over the next 5-10 years.
  • What is driving innovation in business, which industries are the most innovative and why and how South Africa fares as an innovating nation?
  • How smart partnerships are about thinking differently and creating innovation. Can we have smart partnerships as a country?
  • How sustainable advantage is the only and ultimate measure of success.

supplychainforesight is an independent study that has been sponsored by Barloworld Logistics since 2002 and is conducted by international research specialists, Frost & Sullivan. This qualitative study is used by South African business for insights into supply chain trends and strategic planning. Perceptions of Chief Executives, Managing Directors, General Managers, Supply Chain and Logistics Directors/Managers were gathered and assessed.

The study’s detailed results, which also include more information on how industries are organising themselves for competitiveness and growth, are published in full on the Barloworld Logistics website. To find out more and to download previous reports and other resources, consult this site.

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