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Gartner: CEOs want their CSCOs to focus on cost optimisation

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CEOs want their chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) to focus on cost optimisation and digital transformation with targeted initiatives in the near future, according to a new survey by research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.

From July 2020 through December 2020, Gartner surveyed 199 CEOs and senior business executives in supply-chain-intensive industries. Based on results, 17% of Gartner respondents believe cost optimisation is the No.1 issue for their CSCOs to prepare for, followed by supply chain resilience (16%).

“CEOs are tasking their CSCOs to focus on navigating through the ongoing disruption and ensure business continuity,” said Thomas O’Connor, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice.

“This includes dealing with pandemic-related lockdowns in key markets, supply chain shortages – as seen in the semiconductor industry – and challenges with the global flow of goods and increasing distribution costs,” he said.

Related: Gartner: Reducing supply chain disruptions rely on CSCOs

In addition, CSCOs must also prepare for their CEO’s growth agenda, with the survey revealing 60% of executives expecting an economic boom by the end 2022. However, supply chain leaders must also face ongoing challenges.

As different regions of the world recover at different paces, Gartner said CSCOs need to prepare for a dual speed recovery for both supply and demand where markets with high vaccination rates bounce back far more quickly than those without.

Targeted Initiatives for Supply Chain Digital Transformation

Majority of respondents (80%) also said they plan to increase year-on-year investments in digital capabilities. However, investments for digital business transformation is showing a trend toward more targeted initiatives. CSCOs and CEOs must therefore be in step with the intended meaning of digital business within the context of their own organisation or industry.

Gartner also revealed other popular areas of digital business, including e-commerce/e-business (16%), customer interactions (9%), data analytics (9%) and customer experience (7%).

CSCOs Must Prepare for Change in Structure and Behaviour

More than two-thirds of respondents have indicated they will use the pandemic as an opportunity to focus on redesigning the business, with 79% expecting the outbreak to have significant and lasting behavioural changes in society, the organisation and individuals.

For CSCOs, this means that they must prepare for their business, key ecosystem partners and/or competitors to undergo organisational behavioural shifts.

“Already, a range of companies have committed to social responsibility and sustainability goals – a huge integration challenge for supply chain leaders that manage global networks. This means supply chain leaders need to establish metrics and goals for themselves and their partners, and ensure their targets are met across the whole value chain,” O’Connor concluded.

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