The importance of reducing or eliminating inventory has long been known to lean disciples (even if standard accounting practices mistakenly think inventory is an asset). A new study shows that increasing numbers of companies with global supply chains also are coming to understand what inventory is all about.
The study, conducted by Aberdeen Group and partially sponsored by software vendor E2open, was based on a survey of more than 200 enterprises.
It found that inventory management is the top priority for companies, with nearly two-thirds of respondents indicating that they are re-evaluating their inventory management process and technologies.
The second-place priority, which
The study also said that innovators are 1.5 times more likely than all others to indicate that globalization is their top driver for supply chain improvements. (An
The supply chain infrastructure areas companies said are most important include:
- Supply chain management exception and alerting platforms (52 percent)
- Master data management (47 percent)
- Business process management (46 percent)
Certainly, we’ve seen shifting emphasis in the lean community in recent years, with growing focus on the supply chain and not just on in-house operations. It’s an area of vast opportunity, and one I suspect will be the center of increasing numbers of lean initiatives in the years ahead.