Supply chains in need of greater costing accuracy, study reveals

Costing accuracy within supply chains must improve, a study by APICS and IMA has revealed.

The results of a survey found that supply chain managers agreed, on average, that the benefits of improving their costing systems exceed the investment.

When asked what prevents them from utilising current costing information, 44% of supply chain managers cited a lack of operational data. Instead, costing information is often reported in exclusively financial terms, making it more difficult to leverage.

According to respondents, the secondary and tertiary barriers to useful costing information are inadequate technology and software (39%) and a resistance to change by accounting and finance personnel (30%).

According to the report, there are three root causes of why supply chain professionals are not receiving adequate costing information:

An overreliance on external financial reporting systems:

Many organisations rely on externally-oriented financial accounting systems that employ oversimplified methods of costing products and services to produce information supporting internal business decision making.

Using outdated costing models:

Traditional cost accounting practices can no longer meet the challenges of today’s business environment, but are still used by many accountants.

Accounting and finance’s resistance to change:

With little pressure from managers who use accounting information to improve data accuracy and relevance, accountants are reluctant to promote new, more appropriate practices within their organisations.

The report details various steps supply chain professionals can take to improve costing systems within their organisations.

One strategy presented is for supply chain managers to strengthen their relationship with accounting and finance to foster greater information flow between the two departments.

Read more at Supply chains in need of greater costing accuracy, study reveals

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Big Data: The Latest Rage in Supply Chain Management

Early uses of big data were concentrated in two areas: customer segmentation/marketing effectiveness, and financial services, particularly in trading. Recently, supply chain has become the “next big thing.”

Why? A company’s supply chain is rich with data, and it’s also a large cost component. Combined, those facts mean that advanced analytics can become a strategic weapon for optimizing the supply chain.

However, many companies can’t see the forest for the trees. They are optimizing, but not strategically. When applying data to supply chain, it’s critical to step back and look at what truly drives business value.

“They’re Digging in the Wrong Place”

As every fan of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” knows, Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant first. The Germans had far greater manpower and resources and they were more efficient, but they were competently digging a hole in the wrong place. The same goes for using big data in supply chain optimization. You could have the most efficient process in the world, but if you’re making the wrong amount of the wrong product, it will hurt your business.

Read more at Big Data: The Latest Rage in Supply Chain Management

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