In the industry analyst world, there's not enough good research and opinion that straddles the technology and business line. AMR Research is probably the best at this, in my opinion, but there needs to be more. Given this, you can guess that I was pleasantly surprised to see this report from IDC’s Manufacturing Insights (registration and membership required) hit the presses. But if you're not a Manufacturing Insights subscriber, don't fret. Managing Automation has taken it upon themselves to write a good synopsis.
The take away from Manufacturing Insight's latest research piece is how the top supply chain goals of manufacturers, increasing quality and customer satisfaction along with reducing overall cost and/or improving productivity, might be misaligned. Interestingly, "while 71% of respondents put increasing quality and customer satisfaction at the top of their business priority agendas, nearly half (48%) of the respondents said reducing material, manufacturing, and logistics costs was their top supply chain strategy." For many companies, the challenge here is that efforts around cost cutting and enhancing quality/service levels are not always aligned. But to successfully align these two areas together, I believe procurement must take center stage. Stay tuned for a post in the coming weeks on how these two areas do not have to be in opposition.