Here’s what United Parcel Service had to say on information technology and the global economy in its recently issued "Media Guide to Global Commerce."
"Corporate strategy today is based on the speed of information, a supply chain system fueled by real-time information shared with a click of the mouse. An integrated supply chain drives the business plans of the world’s biggest corporations and most American CFOs say it is crucial to achieving corporate objectives.
"As information technology has become integral to the supply chain, business across all industry sectors are reaping its benefits: improved order accuracy and cycle times; real-time tracking from order entry to final delivery; increased speed to market, fill rates, and inventory turns; enhanced inventory control; better on-time delivery rates; and improved product visibility across the supply chain.
"Even the tiniest components fabricated in the most far-flung locations can be managed and monitored in real time every step of the way, through multiple carriers, geographies, languages, security systems, and regulatory systems.
"Information technology has become particularly crucial to just-in-time manufacturing, providing the manufacturer with key data to monitor customer purchases. The manufacturer can then share the time-sensitive information with all supply chain participants and eventually order just enough raw materials to keep the channel filled.
"The future challenge will be how to dovetail IT with the management of logistical information as well as the physical infrastructure necessary for immediate global delivery of goods, information, and funds."