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Three quarters cannot respond properly to customer needs Yet nearly half see the value of real-time enterprise for business success

UK organisations risk becoming uncompetitive unless they can adapt their IT systems to respond to the demands of customers today, warns supply chain software specialists, Strategix. This caution comes on the back of new survey findings released today that reveal that over three quarters of UK organisations are not able to properly respond to customer needs in a timely and informative way, and just nine per cent believe they are fully able to monitor their business processes and be alerted to issues as they occur in real-time.

Yet most organisations are aware of the importance of real-time information, with only four percent claiming not to see any benefit and nearly half (46 percent) of the IT directors surveyed describing real-time processes as being 'very important' or 'important' to business success. Despite this, it seems that the vision of the real-time enterprise is currently being only partially realised.

“In today’s ‘now economy,’ customers are demanding more – and faster,” says Peter Lusty, chief executive of Strategix. “The Internet age has changed our thinking and the customer is no longer prepared to endure unreasonable delays for what may end up being a second rate service. It shouldn't be difficult to be a customer. The companies that will succeed in this new environment will be those that are able to use real-time, joined-up processes to meet these high expectations. Customers are fed up with being the 'glue' which connects different departments in an organisation. Delivering a high quality of service through a responsive and integrated organisation is fast becoming a crucial means of differentiation.”

When asked what the primary barriers were to implementing real-time processes, one third of all respondents indicated that they were reluctant to change their existing working methods. 22 per cent cited lack of budget as the main obstacle to change, believing the cost of a real-time enterprise to be too high. Other reasons provided included the limitations of legacy technology (15 per cent) and concern that the transition to new processes could disrupt relationships with customers or partners (10 per cent).

“The majority of UK companies surveyed recognise the value of real-time processes for business, but many are concerned about making significant changes to IT systems. This is understandable considering the far-reaching cultural implications implicit in any substantial overhaul of business practices," adds Peter Lusty.

"However, what we are seeing with the 'now economy' and the corresponding development in real-time IT systems is an opportunity that is analogous to the early rush by businesses to get online. But unlike the dotcom boom, this 'now-com' boom will be a sustainable transition to a new way of doing business. Those companies willing to grasp the nettle and take the necessary steps to deliver enhanced customer service through real-time environments are already gaining a significant first-mover advantage."

About the survey
The survey was carried out in Q4 2003 on behalf of Strategix, by research specialists Vanson Bourne. The survey results were based on 100 interviews with IT directors of UK based companies.

The sample was evenly divided between four industry sectors: Financial Services; Retail Distribution and Transport; Manufacturing; and Other Commercial. The sample was also evenly divided between companies with a turnover of between £50 and £250m and those with a turnover of more than £250m.

About Strategix

Strategix is a leading European software house, dedicated to the development and rapid deployment of supply chain software. We focus on the wholesale and retail distribution, logistics and service sectors where our software maximizes supply chain efficiency and accelerates customer service. Our systems are designed for reliability, availability and performance. Our customers enjoy a rapid return on their investment and genuine competitive advantage.

Focused on key growth sectors which range from high technology to household and building products, Strategix numbers businesses such as Avnet, Azlan, Dimension Data, Eurodis, Fired Earth, Fuller Smith and Turner, Midwich, Mission Symphonix, Virgin Cars, Virgin Mobile, Westcon and William Wilson among its customers.

Brodeur Worldwide Contacts

Adrian Brophy
+44 (0)1753 790700
+44 (0)1753 790701

Henrietta Valder
+44 (0)20 7298 7070
+44 (0)870 242 8323

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