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Sourcing in China

Key Findings and Trends

Key Findings and Trends Suppliers and Quality Companies show a clear preference to source components and / or parts from China rather than finished goods that would need no further handling. Among the problems associated with sourcing in China, quality issues remain the major concern. Some of the most important facts and trends concerning suppliers and quality are: •• Electronic, electrical and mechanical products account for the majority of industry products being sourced from China (over 50 percent). •• Companies prefer to have a pool of strategic suppliers from which they can choose according to availability and product specification. The majority of participating companies in the survey (40 percent) indicate the presence of 10-50 strategic sourcing suppliers. •• According to the respondents companies prefer to only place up to 25 percent of their suppliers into one country to avoid dependencies but still take advantage of cost benefits and synergy effects. Almost 75 percent of companies have a small but steady percentage of their global suppliers based in China. China is thereby part of a mix but not the dominant country. •• Over 70 percent of the companies use KPIs to measure their suppliers’ performance to allow transparency and evaluation. The top classifications used to measure performance are quality and supplier reliability that both have a direct impact on costs. •• Almost half of the companies report no change in lead time over the past three years while sourcing from China. Only 9 percent achieved a positive change and managed to decrease their timings. 43 percent of respondents believe that lead times have increased over the past few years. •• The percentage of defaults has either increased since companies have moved their sourcing activities to China or has remained unchanged. Improvement is rare. •• 95 percent of companies that are sourcing from China face some kind of quality issue. The majority of that is related to production and / or the quality of raw materials being used. Since moving into China the amount of defects has been increasing. •• To ensure supply companies utilize various measures without dominant preference. Alternative suppliers are being used from within China as well as developed countries. •• The majority of measurements in regard to sustainability such as audits, assessments and spot checks have already been taken by companies. Only supplier awards and workshops are not too popular just yet. •• China’s top challenges confirm previous findings in regard to quality and cost control. The importance of sustainability has increased significantly in previous years. 8

Key Findings and Trends Costs Low-cost advantages of the Chinese market remain the main incentive for companies to source from China. Main facts and trends are: •• Companies continue to expect low cost advantages in China. Although other requirements such as sustainability, social issues or risk-mitigation capabilities are increasingly discussed in the media, cost pressure remains the ultimate criterion for companies to source in China. •• The grand majority of companies do not only consider China to be as attractive as a sourcing country as three years ago but even regard China as being more attractive than ever. The negative consequences of some of the economic changes of the past few years did not outweigh China’s dominance and its competitive advantage. •• To meet changing market conditions companies engage in dual and multiple sourcing strategies (“second source”) but also in greater engagement and control in regard to the Chinese market. •• Apart from labor costs the main areas that companies work on in order to reduce costs include the technology that deals with the work process, the sourcing strategy and the materials. •• Even though labor costs constitute an important factor, companies see the highest potential for cost reduction in improving their production efficiency by further investing in manufacturing processes such as lean management, six sigma and quality improvement. Strategy China will remain a key part of the sourcing mix but the significance of other emerging markets such as Eastern European and Southeast Asian countries will grow. Main facts and trends are: •• Companies expect savings that are achieved through sourcing from China neither to decrease nor increase very much but rather steady themselves in a range of 10-20 percent. •• Products that are being sourced in high quantities are mainly used for manufacturing and / or sales outside of China to take full advantage of the economies of scale. •• The risk of supply guarantee is regarded with the greatest concern among all potential risk factors. This is why alternative suppliers are being used. Organizational risks are seen to have a rather minor effect on procurement activities in China. •• The vast majority of companies take advantage of a supplier mix which implicates suppliers in China but also suppliers in other markets in developed and / or emerging countries. •• Southeast Asia proves to be the most attractive alternative sourcing market for companies which are sourcing in China right now. Countries which will be considered in the next few years include Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos but not Malaysia or the Philippines. •• Countries that will receive less consideration in the future according to the survey results include most of the Central European countries such as Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. •• Currently important alternative sourcing countries in Eastern Europe such as Turkey and Romania will be considered less frequently for sourcing activities in the future while the standing of less dominant markets such as Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Albania is expected to increase. •• Considering the BRIC(S) debate, it is noteworthy that neither Brazil nor South Africa are considered to be alternative markets while the importance of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh is continuously rising. The United States of America and Mexico will also lose importance in the future. 9

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msg ist eine unabhängige, international agierende Unternehmensgruppe mit weltweit mehr als 6.000 Mitarbeitern. Sie bietet ein ganzheitliches Leistungsspektrum aus einfallsreicher strategischer Beratung und intelligenten, nachhaltig wertschöpfenden IT-Lösungen für die Branchen Automotive, Banking, Food, Insurance, Life Science & Healthcare, Public Sector, Telecommunications, Travel & Logistics sowie Utilities und hat in über 35 Jahren einen ausgezeichneten Ruf als Branchenspezialist erworben.

Die Bandbreite unterschiedlicher Branchen- und Themenschwerpunkte decken im Unternehmensverbund eigenständige Gesellschaften ab: Dabei bildet die msg systems ag den zentralen Kern der Unternehmensgruppe und arbeitet mit den Gesellschaften fachlich und organisatorisch eng zusammen. So werden die Kompetenzen, Erfahrungen und das Know-how aller Mitglieder zu einem ganzheitlichen Lösungsportfolio mit messbarem Mehrwert für die Kunden gebündelt. msg nimmt im Ranking der IT-Beratungs- und Systemintegrationsunternehmen in Deutschland Platz 7 ein.


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