For manufacturers, the top supply chain objective continues to be cost reduction.
A survey by research firm IDC Manufacturing Insights found that 80 percent of 350 manufacturers polled said the reduction of overall costs continue to be their number-one supply chain priority for the balance of the year.
In a report titled "Business Strategy: 2012 Supply Chain Survey-Manufacturing Priorities and New Technology Adoption," IDC found that the number two goal was striving for agility in their supply chains. The third objective was product quality and safety, cited by 52 percent of survey takers.
Survey respondents also said that "big data analysis" was the new technology that was most relevant to their business. "Big data analysis" involves the use of sophisticated software to sift through large amounts of disparate information to find connections or patterns.
Second on the list was "mobility," which refers to the use of devices like smart phones that allow workers and managers to access data from anywhere.