Supply chain efficiency and customer service are top priorities for Western European transportation companies in 2006, says IDC

MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 1, 2006 – IDC has announced the release of a new study, focusing on Western European business and IT priorities for 2006 in the transportation sector. Starting from the assessment of the current business environment, key industry challenges, and the value of IT in supporting transport organizations, the study provides the key short-term business and IT priorities expected for 2006. Highlights regarding service-oriented architecture adoption and short- to medium-term business transformations for airlines, railways, logistics service providers, and public transport organizations are also provided.

"A common issue across all transport sub-segments is the need to cope with limited capacity and challenging infrastructure development programs, and therefore the ability to maximize asset utilization will be fundamental to achieving positive business performance in the short term," said Ivano Ortis, program manager, IDC European Vertical Markets.

The study leverages IDC's European Vertical Markets Line-of-Business Survey results, which reaffirm IDC's expectations of the three major areas of focus in the transportation industry:

— Supply chain efficiency improvement: Supply chain performance has a huge impact on transport organizations' bottom line and overall operational efficiency, impacting the quality of service provided to customers. Therefore, transport companies are focusing on improving supplier relationship management capabilities and supply chain IT systems efficiencies, while at the same time achieving enhancements in supply chain processes and warehouse productivity.

— Customer service enhancement and product innovation: Enhancing the customer experience is among the top priorities for transportation companies' CEOs, and product innovation initiatives are instrumental to improving customer service. Therefore, transport organizations are focusing on achieving higher service performance, which translates into the ability to deliver reliable, safe, and efficient transport services at competitive prices.

— IT organization responsiveness, HR management efficiency, and business performance monitoring: Accurate real-time business performance management capabilities are fundamental for the business growth of transport organizations. With regard to transport operations, key areas of focus are improving HR management efficiencies, IT responsiveness, and sales performance, to enhance productivity as well as to improve customer service. Therefore, adopting fully automated, paperless, and process-oriented collaborative workflows tailored to specific transportation environments will be crucial in the short term.

The IDC study 2006 Business Issues and IT Priorities in Western Europe: IDC Predictions for the Transportation Sector (Doc #PT01N, April 2006) provides a comprehensive view of IT spending priorities in the Western European transportation industry for 2006.

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About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. Over 850 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends. For more than 42 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting .

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