Supply chain integration – Integration with suppliers and/or customers

Definition

Share of enterprises whose business processes are automatically linked to those of their suppliers or their customers.

Unit of observation

Enterprises or establishments (recommended)

Reporting unit

IT managers (in smaller organisations: owners or general managers) or person with IT responsibility

Operationalisation

Survey question (adapted from Eurostat model survey): “In the reference period, was your enterprise regularly sharing electronically information on the supply chain management with your suppliers or customers?
[IF YES] Was your enterprise regularly sharing electronically the following information with its suppliers?

  1. Inventory levels, production plans or demand forecasts
    1. Demand forecasts
    2. Inventory levels
    3. Production plans
  2. Progress of deliveries (i.e. distribution of raw materials or finished products)

[IF YES] Was your enterprise regularly sharing electronically the following information with its customers, in the reference period?

  1. Inventory levels, production plans or demand forecasts
    1. Demand forecasts
    2. Inventory levels
    3. Production plans
  2. Progress of deliveries (i.e. distribution of raw materials or finished products)

[IF YES] Were the following methods used for the electronic exchange of this information, in the reference period?

  1. Websites (yours, those of your business partners or web portals)
  2. Automated data exchange (XML, EDIFACT, etc.)

Definition of SCM as supplied in the Eurostat model questionnaire: “Sharing electronically information on the supply chain management means:

  • exchanging all types of information with suppliers and/or customers in order to coordinate the availability and delivery of products or services to the final consumer;
  • including information on demand forecasts, inventories, production, distribution or product development;
  • via computer networks, not only the Internet but also other connections between computers of different enterprises.
  • it can be from you to your suppliers/customers or the other way around.

This information may be exchanged via websites or via automated data exchange, but it excludes normal e-mail messages manually written.

Complementary indicators

  • Supply-chain integration involving partners from (a) inside the NUTS region (b) from other NUTS regions in the same country (c) from abroad.

Relation to existing indicators

This is a well-established indicator, as included in the Eurostat model surveys for enterprise surveys on ICT.

Methodological issues concerning application of the indicator

As is discussed in the OECD’s “Guide to Measuring the Information Society”, the quality of the data collected using the methodology described above is open to debate. Efforts to develop better data collection methods for capturing integrated e-Business processes are still ongoing.

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