Wednesday 19th Dec 2018 - Logistics & Supply Chain

UK lags Europe in application integration

Nine out of ten European retail and manufacturing businesses are struggling to automate the order-to-fulfillment cycle, as a result of major application integration challenges. As a consequence, process gaps are preventing 72 per cent of companies from adding new sales channels to target growth market opportunities.
These are the headline findings of independent research conducted for Sterling Commerce by Vanson Bourne, who questioned 312 IT managers in the UK, France and Germany.
The results reveal that UK businesses have the lowest levels of application integration across Europe, with 20 per cent not integrated at all. As many as one in five UK respondents admitted to gaining no competitive advantage at all from their IT systems.
The survey also found that despite operating fewer supply chain management applications than their European counterparts, 57 per cent of UK IT managers admitted that they lacked a consolidated view of data across their supply chains, compared with 14 per cent in France and 33 per cent in Germany. In turn, 50 per cent of UK IT managers said they felt confident they could track orders in real-time, a key requirement of efficient order-to-fulfillment, compared to 64 per cent of French and 63 per cent of German respondents.
David Hogg, retail CPG solutions manager, EMEA at Sterling Commerce says: ‘As the pace of today’s business environment continues to intensify, businesses are coming under increased pressure to effectively meet customer requirements for greater access to order information across multiple channels and, more importantly, for orders to be fulfilled on promise, whether in the business or consumer domain.
‘These results strongly suggest that UK businesses are facing a dual challenge; not only is poor integration having an impact on internal efficiency but it is actually adversely impacting their ability to respond quickly to changing market demands, such as profitably launching a new sales channel or on-boarding new trading partners.
’60 per cent of UK companies do not currently rely on the web to conduct business, and unless they address the underlying challenges associated with a lack of integration, they will continue to miss out on market opportunities. This will mean an inability to capitalise on current growth trends such as cross-channel shopping, and companies will ultimately fall short of providing the level of customer satisfaction required to retain competitive differentiation.’
The survey findings were unveiled to time with the official UK launch of the Sterling Selling and Fulfilment Suite.

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