Managing Operational Performance in Volatile Times

As part of APICS and PwC's continued efforts to help clients adapt and improve operations and achieve a competitive advantage, this paper examines the trends in supply chain operational performance over the past 15 years. By APICS in collaboration with PwC

March 15, 2017

Aligning Business Outcomes & Operational Performance

The past 15 years have seen unprecedented business volatility on multiple fronts - economic, social, political, natural, and technological - which has continually tested executives’ ability to adapt and deliver excellent operational performance.

Adding significantly to this challenge, rapidly changing customer needs and demands during the same period have dramatically increased pressures on supply chains.

Companies need to deliver an expanding variety of products at lower cost and greater speed.

Many companies are struggling to continually refine their understanding of customers’ needs and to align and adapt their operations in new and differentiating ways.

PwC’s Global Operations Survey of more than 1,200 operations leaders from around the globe found that 63 percent consider understanding what customers value to be a challenge for their own company’s operations.

Moreover, the survey found that more than three out of five (61 percent) operations leaders expect continued customer-driven disruption over the next five years - the single largest expected source of disruption among the responses.

Consequently, only a minority of the operations executives polled (25 percent) are very confident that their operations are designed to give their customers value and a distinctive experience, now or even three years from now (see Figure 1).

Although aligning operations to dynamic customer needs is a pressing and constant challenge, it also represents a significant opportunity for achieving competitive advantage.

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