Putting the Spotlight on the Process
Industry Supply Chain
In Aberdeen’s Supply Chain Executive’s Agenda 2009 study, the following top market pressures
were reported by the process industry respondents: economic and financial volatility, rising
supply chain management costs, escalating customer service demands, and rising business
complexity of managing an increasingly global business network. Process industry firms have
a number of differences in the way they manage their manufacturing and supply chains and
are now increasing their focus on supply chain performance.
—Viktoriya Sadlovska, researcher, Product Value Chain Benchmarking & Analysis, Aberdeen Group
ut of the top four supply chain disruptions over
the past year (reported by participants in the
study cited above), three were related to commodity price and supply volatility. Process
supply chain lead-times, these problems are especially acute.
Aberdeen’s extensive research on multi-enterprise supply
chain management has shown that if companies want to drive
significant performance improvements in the context of multi-industries, such as chemicals, pharmaceutical and bio-tech, tiered distributed supply chains, it is critical for them to ensure
being highly dependent on the commodity market, were the the adequate level of visibility, integration (both internal and
ones to be hit the hardest: process industry respondents in this external) and supply chain intelligence. For process industries,
study were 22 percent to 37 percent more likely than all others where manufacturing is more continuous and sequential than
to report that one of these commodity-related disruptions had in discrete industries, having close-to-real-time analytics
impacted their supply chains. At the same time, the reduction becomes more important, especially within the upstream sup-in customer demand impacted all of the respondents in similar ply chain and manufacturing stages.
manner (it was the number one disruption for 61 percent of
process respondents reporting it, compared to 63 percent
among all others).
In 2010, process industry companies will continue increasing
Rising costs and growing supply chain complexity are put- their emphasis on supply chain excellence, in an effort to reduce
ting increased pressure on process industry supply chains, network-wide inventory, better monitor events throughout the
forcing them to increase the focus on supply chain manage- supply chain, and better assess wide-ranging supply chain risks.
ment. For process industry manufacturers, which have histori- The top performers in this sector are emphasizing increased sup-cally been characterized by higher levels of inventory held ply chain visibility and better process controls throughout their
throughout the supply chain and longer manufacturing and manufacturing and supply chain processes.