A survey conducted among European and U.S. corporate executives by United Parcel Service (UPS) found that most believe business success is increasingly related to effective management of their supply chains – yet many feel their in-house supply chain organizations are ill-prepared to handle supply disruptions.

When asked to rate the effectiveness of their supply chains around the world, 66% of executives gave high marks to their supply chain networks in North America, dropping to 47% for Western Europe. Only 16% were comfortable extending a high effectiveness rating to their supply chain in China, UPS’ poll found.

By a margin of 79% to 21%, the executives said effective management of their supply chains would have “a large impact” on the ability of their companies to achieve their strategic objectives in the future. And fully 70% of those surveyed agreed their CEO now views supply chain management as either “very” or “extremely” important.

Yet they also admitted – even 66% of them said their companies were still mainly trying to manage their supply chains in-house -- that they are not completely prepared to cope with unexpected supply chain disruptions. Furthermore, 33% added their companies suffered from "unclear lines of authority" for supply chain management.

UPS said Harris Interactive conducted the poll, with more than half the respondents being vice president or higher-level executives.