According to Cleo’s 2023 Global Supply Chain Executive Report, half (49%) of senior executives surveyed say that making proactive investments in integration technology has increased their company’s agility, which enabled them to gain $1 million or more in additional revenue in 2022. About one-fifth (18%) said the additional revenue provided by increased agility equated to $3 million or more.
The findings of the survey indicate that improved supply chain and organizational agility results from investment in ecosystem integration technologies, which executives confirm benefit revenue growth, but also impact their companies in myriad positive ways, including:
• More business continuity (44%)
• Stronger relationships with trading partners (33%)
• Improved end-to-end visibility (32%)
• Better scalability (32%)
• Faster pivots to deal with changes in business conditions (31%)
• Increased profits (27%)
The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research, Inc. on behalf of Cleo
“Looking at the past few years, even before the pandemic, supply chain challenges have long been troubling to executive leaders because they are typically assumed to be caused by external factors that can be difficult to control,” said Tushar Patel, CMO at Cleo. “But combating these external challenges and disruptions – partner demands, shipping availability, supplier requirements, or manufacturing shortages – and internal challenges like resource shortages, really comes down to taking control of an organization’s integration backbone. Otherwise, the fact is, the root cause of these challenges will likely persist for years to come.
In response to these issues, many companies are investing in back-office and supply chain technologies to regain control – investments aimed at improving organizational agility, which can lead to huge financial gains. In fact, 83% of respondents say their businesses invested $100k or more in supply chain technology during 2022. Some 32% invested more than $500k, up from only 20% in 2021. And 85% said they plan to invest $100K or more in supply chain technology in 2023.
The two top ecosystem-oriented supply chain solutions in which companies invested in 2022 included eCommerce platforms (35%), and integration solutions (33%). Integration solutions are a key component of agility because they sit at the center of businesses’ work to optimize and connect their entire B2B digital ecosystem — from partners, customers, and shippers to internal systems like an ERP, TMS or WMS.
“The benefits of a well-integrated digital ecosystem include greater efficiency and control, as well as fewer crippling disruptions and partner-related business issues,” Patel added, noting that 74% of executives reported that in 2022 their business was disrupted for more than a week due to partner issues.
Finally, companies did not shy away from suspending underperforming sales channels in 2022 (87% did so), while also taking advantage of their newfound agility to introduce new sales channels. A full 99% of companies added at least one new sales channel in 2022, with 51% adding 3 or more. This ability to control onboarding times of additional sales channels and new trading partners resulted in most companies enjoying higher profits and increased efficiencies.
“For growth-minded executives, the main takeaway from Cleo’s 2023 Executive Survey is clear: More agility and control means more money in the bank,” Patel concluded. “Agility, which is achieved through ecosystem integration technology that takes an API-first approach, is what delivers business continuity. By providing greater visibility and control over a company’s day-to-day business activities, teams can better identify and execute on opportunities to strengthen valued ecosystem relationships.”