SECURITY FEARS HINDER INTERNET USE WITHIN SUPPLY CHAIN, RESEARCH REVEALS

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Reducing costs, increasing profits and beating competitors are the main drivers in changing supply chain requirements, but despite this only 43% of organisations are using the internet to achieve these goals. This is according to the third annual Softworld Supply Chain market research survey.

Security fears (57%) and lack of take up from customers (45%) are seen as the main barriers to using the web for supply chain management, according to the research, despite the fact that 78% perceive the benefits to include improved service, greater responsiveness, shorter timescales and smoother transactions.

The survey was conducted at the end of last month via email on past attendees to the Softworld Supply Chain events. Softworld has been researching the market through its visitors for the past three years and comparing the statistics year on year. When compared to previous surveys, the web-usage figure has not changed for the past three years. However, the barriers to adoption have changed significantly from last year's results with internal constraints cited last year as the biggest obstacle.

"Many organisations are remodelling their supply chain to cut costs and improve efficiency, but it is clear that the majority do not see web technology as part of this" comments Liz Wood, Portfolio Director for Softworld Supply Chain. "The major issues facing businesses are improving communications and collaboration within the supply chain, and utilising new technology is the only way to achieve this."

Other results showed:

The largest majority (33%) re-visit their supply chain strategy every 12 - 18 months, 17% examine it every 6 - 12 months.

Only 29% of organisations are using RFID technology, although 40% aim to implement it within the next 12 months.

Only 14% view getting products to market faster as a priority when looking at supply chain requirements.

The main issues faced on a daily basis within the supply chain include: stock control; service levels; supplier cost pressure and changes in legislation such as the Road Transport Directive.

Softworld Supply Chain is Europe's leading event for the supply chain profession and takes place from 16 - 17 March 2005 at the NEC, Birmingham. The event comprises an exhibition of around 60 leading software solution providers, and an educational programme formed of breakfast briefing, masterclass, vendor and vertical seminar sessions.

For more information, or to pre-register, please visit: www.softworld.co.uk/sc or Tel: 07000 763 896.

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