Consumer goods companies rely heavily on IT-driven business processes, but they lag when it comes to investment in this area. Some 52% say they plan to make their business processes more efficient this year, according to the InformationWeek 500 survey, less than the 60% average across all industries.
Companies in this sector are more interested in using business intelligence tools as the foundation for future prosperity than network infrastructure improvements. Forty-four percent cite network bandwidth as the most effective tech investment they've undertaken in terms of improving productivity; 52% are looking to business intelligence tools. The challenge for these companies isn't so much communicating information as figuring out what to do with it. That's not surprising given that 87% of consumer goods companies surveyed rely on a global supply chain, which requires a certain level of IT competency and comfort to function.
That may also be why consumer goods companies are among those that have taken the lead in the use of RFID technology. Some 18% have deployed the technology so that at least half the workers in a department or division have access to it. That's substantially higher than the 11% average across the entire InformationWeek 500.
In terms of overall IT spending, consumer goods companies are thrifty, allocating 2% of annual revenue to IT. The average percentage of annual revenue spent on IT among InformationWeek 500 companies this year was 3.2%.
The top-ranked company in this sector is S.C. Johnson & Son at No. 18.