Back in May, KPMG released their fourth annual Global Manufacturing Outlook — Competitive Advantage — Enhancing Supply Chain Networks for Efficiency and Innovation, which was built around a poll of 335 C-level executives on a global scale. KPMG questioned these executives about some of their biggest pain points and trends that are starting to weigh on their minds, and the results revealed a number of interesting trends, such as the sheer lack of visibility among global supply chains. Whether this is because of outdated technology or simply due to more global sources, the key take-away is that there is a surge of mindshare on how to better manage these relationships via collaboration and new technology.
At the same time, the results show that U.S. manufacturing seems primed for an era of “hyper innovation,” in which companies develop not only new products, but entirely new product categories and new ways to build them. This shift toward R&D is weighing on the minds of manufacturing executives, and the polls shows that it will continue to be an increasingly important component of the overall bottom line. And as the connections between the supply chain and R&D become increasingly convoluted, one will not be able to improve without the other.
On the supply chain angle, Jeff Dobbs, Global Sector Chair, Diversified Industrials and a partner with KPMG in the U.S., says, “As we came out of the recovery, we saw people near-shoring and moving their supply networks much closer to the market. That was step one. Step two is that they can achieve some real efficiency if they do more collaboration with their customers and their supply base. Now, what we’re seeing is the very energized, very focused effort to take the supply chain to the next level.”