11/07/2017 – Hermes Germany: Sustainability — auf Deutsch lesen

Transparency in the supply chain?

80 percent allow potential for doing business sustainably to go unused! The newest Hermes barometer from Hermes Germany discovers deficits.


"What do you consider to be the greatest obstacles to achieving a transparent supply chain?" Hermes Barometer asked 200 German companies to find answers to this and to more questions © Hermesworld


Sustainability is on everybody’s lips and is now also indispensable when it comes to the optimization of supply chains. One in every five German companies has already restructured its supply chain due to ethical or social considerations. However, only 20 percent of companies are currently using technological capabilities to implement a digital real time supply chain and to therefore do business more efficiently. These are the results of the current “Transparency in the supply chain” Hermes barometer from Hermes Germany, a survey of a good 200 logistics decision-makers in German companies.

Transparency as a competitive advantage

The influence of consumers is constantly growing. They are increasingly demanding products and services that are environmentally and socially responsible. 43 percent of logistics decision-makers surveyed thus found that the information requirements placed on their supply chain had increased in the past few years. Eight out of ten German companies would therefore like to arrange their supply chain in a more transparent way. In the case of large companies with over 250 employees, this number even rises to nine out of ten companies. The ability to be able to act quickly in the event of disruptions, to increase supply quality and to increase the efficiency of operating processes is the main motivation for more than 80 percent of those surveyed to arrange their own supply chain in a more transparent manner. “Companies should make use of the advantages of a transparent supply chain”, advises Jan Bierewirtz, Head of Business Development SCS at Hermes Germany. Bierewirtz is convinced that “This knowledge will bring a decisive competitive advantage in the future”.

Make better use of technological capabilities

The majority of German companies are already using various technologies to increase their visibility: EDI (electronic data interchange) is being used by 59 percent of companies surveyed, while ERP software or portals and platforms are additionally being used by 45 percent and 39 percent, respectively. The larger companies with more than 250 employees are the forerunners here.

Lack of networking and communication problems

There are many reasons why the implementation of a transparent supply chain is so slow-moving: Every fifth person surveyed indicated that the complexity of the supply chain was so high that it was difficult to control the risks. “It is important to bring companies back on track here and to make them capable of taking action”, says Bierewirtz. One in every two decision-makers named a lack of networking with suppliers and other trading partners and well as communication problems with the parties involved as further obstacles in the implementation. 60 percent of the companies indicated that the use of different IT systems prevented the consolidation of information. At 47 percent, the time and costs required to introduce the necessary technologies stood in third place in terms of the barriers to transparency. “The companies need to tackle these hurdles so as to be able to have a successful presence in the market in the long term”, says Bierewirtz.

About the survey

Participants: 201 logistics decision-makers

Method: Telephone survey