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NEW YORK: February 10, 2016. Results from a GT Nexus survey of 250 U.S.-based senior supply chain executives suggest manufacturers expect major supply chain challenges from factors beyond their control in 2016.

While meeting ever-changing customer demand is deemed a priority, GT Nexus said the data suggests most respondents are focused on cost-cutting while 76 percent operate without a Chief Supply Chain officer.

More than a quarter (27 percent) of those surveyed said keeping up with customer demands is their company’s number one supply chain challenge, while 12 percent said it is dealing with the high level of risk in global markets.

Supply chain impactAsked what would have the most notable supply chain impact in the future, 29 percent of respondents cited currency fluctuations and geopolitical risk, 14 percent said labor strikes, and eight percent cited the Trans Pacific Partnership.

When asked which technology they believed would most heavily impact their supply chain this year, 13 percent said advanced analytics, 11 percent said the Internet of Things and 9.0 percent cited 3D printing.

Over 40 percent of respondents said their most important supply chain goal this year is to reduce costs.

“It’s clear in the report that manufacturers expect to face major supply chain challenges in 2016 stemming from external factors beyond their control,” commented Greg Kefer, GT Nexus vice president Corporate Marketing: “The data suggests their execution roadmap may be misguided, being focused more on cost cutting, for example, than more mission-critical things like having a senior supply chain leader in place.

"With almost half of manufacturers reporting a disruption that impacted business in the past 12 months, this gap in strategic direction to address broader supply chain agility is a concern,” he added.  

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