Finding an area of competitive advantage is difficult for most companies. Everyone from the CEO to the rank and file employees overworked with the everyday tasks of their jobs, no one has time to even think about where to find competitive advantage, let alone spend time searching. Don’t worry, I am going to help you out by showing you one area of potential competitive advantage that is within reach, yet few companies are tapping.
IBM conducted a global research project in 2012 surveying 700 executives, including 175 C-Level executives, across a range of industries and countries. Among other things, the survey asked two related questions that provided very interesting results. To the first question, “How important is the ability to synchronize your value chain in order to support your business?” 73% answered that it was critical or extremely critical, which is not that surprising. The second question, “Does your company have the ability to synchronize its internal systems with its business community to drive business performance and success?” Only 17% stated that they have that capability.
The difference between the two percentages, 73% and 17% is an area of potential competitive advantage for your organization. As one of the 56% of companies that understands Value Chain Synchronization is critical, but hasn’t achieved it, you have the opportunity to achieve it and move into the group with the 17% who can, creating competitive advantage over the majority of organizations that have yet to synchronize their value chains. Success will not be easy, if it was, then more than 17% of companies would already be there; however, with today’s technology it is within reach.
At IBM we have identified three key components to synchronizing your value chain. The first is connecting, by securely and flexibly integrating your systems and business processes with those of your customers, suppliers and business partners. The second component is automation, seamlessly automating your internal business processes, as well as those you share with your customers, suppliers and business partners. And finally there is collaboration, where your company has visibility into actionable information for people, departments and organizations, within and outside of your enterprise. The technology exists to connect, automate and collaborate, and with an increasing number of deployment options, like software as a service models, the ability to tailor it to your business has never been easier. If you want to learn more about Value Chain Synchronization, watch this brief video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V1RwzABAz0