Supply Chain Integration Paying Off?

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A recent survey of the paper and building materials industries shows that improving supply chain efficiency can save big bucks.

January 01, 2004

Ever wonder if public builders’ investments to integrate their information systems with trades, suppliers and manufacturers pay off?

The survey, conducted by Stat One Research, polled professionals in those industries about the benefits and barriers of systems integration with suppliers and buyers. Respondents said these are the key benefits of B2B integration:

1. Faster transactions, 51%; 2. increased data accuracy, 35%; 3. cost savings, 34%; 4. convenience, 15%; 5. (tie) lower inventory, less paperwork, 9%

They also reported running into barriers blocking the full potential of such integration:

1. Incompatibility, 22%; 2. upfront costs, 21%; 3. suppliers not ready for e-commerce, 12%; 4. security concerns, 11%; 5. insufficient resources, 10%

Still, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of electronic exchange between trading partners. Asked about the progress of supply chain initiatives, D.R. Horton chairman Don Horton replied, “The bigger we get, the better we perform.”

However, Gainesville, Fla., builder Barry Rutenberg says large builders’ advantage in B2B integration might be short-lived. “It will eventually trickle down to the rest of us,” he says.

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