Staying on top of emerging supply chain trends is critical in today’s global marketplace. Understanding current trends enables us to stay relevant, remain competitive and manage our businesses proactively, rather than reactively.
One of the most important trends emerging is the diminishing manufacturing cost advantage that China and other countries have had over the U.S. This gap is closing due to rising wages, concerns about quality, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar and other factors. What this means for the logistics and supply chain industries is that, in all probability, manufacturing will begin to relocate closer to the markets it serves, particularly in the U.S. and Mexico.
We will also see a shift in the supply chain network from a manufacturing standpoint. And, in conjunction with various transportation issues, this shift will drive distribution innovations, such as fewer empty miles and more product on trucks and on the roads — and do so in more cohesive, collaborative ways.
Another trend we’re seeing is the increasing use of smart technologies to help us manage our supply chains. Big Data will reveal actionable steps we can take to process the enormous amount of information we are able to capture at more points in the supply chain — and turn it into meaningful, decision-making output.
As the economy continues to recover from the economic fallout of the past few years, we will continue to see an enormous explosion of talent as a wave of highly skilled supply chain management professionals flows into the market. Universities from around the world are turning out top-tier young people who have a more global perspective and diverse skill set than their predecessors. These professionals are adding substantial value to their organizations, and making significant contributions to the bottom line.
Logistics and supply chain management are becoming core competencies in progressive, successful companies, both public and private, around the globe. This, in turn, is influencing the caliber of those who have chosen supply chain careers, producing better prepared and more capable professionals who can look forward to myriad opportunities to gain entrance to the executive suite.
These issues and others will be center stage with