Tag Archive | Trend

Global Manufacturing Outlook 2013

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Manufacturing Outlook 2013, written on behalf of KPMG, is out now. It is based on an international survey of more than 300 senior executives from five industries. The report demonstrates that competitive advantage can be secured by enhancing supply chain networks for efficiency and innovation. Particularly, it is demonstrated that (1) many manufacturers are planning mergers or acquisitions to seize opportunities in global markets, and they plan to exit non-profitable, non-core business units and product lines; (2) many manufacturers are building network relationships with suppliers to become more responsive to market changes; (3) supply chain visibility beyond tier-1 partners can have a positive impact on agility, resilience, and performance; (4) supply chain partnerships, rather than in-house efforts, are increasingly seen as an important source of innovation; and (5) manufacturers are investing in both breakthrough and incremental innovation to ensure competitiveness. In sum, the report highlights the importance of supply chain management for manufacturers.

Global Supply Chain Survey 2013

I recently received this year’s Global Supply Chain Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It turns out that the leaders in PwC’s survey “have supply chains that are efficient, fast and tailored – a model that lets companies serve their customers reliably in turbulent market conditions and that differentiates between the needs of different sets of customers”. The authors present six key findings: (1) Companies should view the supply chain as a strategic asset to achieve better financial results; (2) Companies should focus on three key drivers: “perfect order delivery, cost reductions and supply chain flexibility”; (3) Companies should recognize that one size does not fit all; (4) Companies should not outsource core strategic functions (i.e., strategic procurement, sales and operations planning and research and development); (5) Companies in emerging markets should introduce differentiating processes; (6) Companies are increasingly interested in next-generation technologies and sustainable supply chains. Most of these results are in line with my own observations.

Outlook on the Logistics & Supply Chain Industry 2012

The World Economic Forum is “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world”. That’s ambitious. The Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chains, which meets virtually and at the annual Summit on the Global Agenda in the United Arab Emirates, has just published its second annual report. The report, Outlook on the Logistics & Supply Chain Industry 2012, contains a series of articles on some of the key issues facing the logistics & supply chain industry, e.g., the role of logistics in the facilitation of international trade, the expansion of the Panama Canal, logistics clusters, the container shipping industry, sustainability, skills shortages, and supply chain risk. The Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chains is currently chaired by Alan C. McKinnon, Kühne Logistics University, Germany. Read more about the report in his recent Forum blog post Can we build better supply chains?.

The Global Supply Chain Agenda

Capgemini has published the results of its annual international supply chain survey. The study is titled The 2012 global supply chain agenda. The authors find that the following topics are the key business drivers for 2012: (1) market/demand volatility, (2) economic downturn, (3) meeting (changing) customer, (4) develop emerging markets, and (5) increased material/service costs. The survey participants were asked about the measures taken to improve the flexibility of supply chains. Improved visibility and control, increased flexibility in operations, and reduced capital exposure are the measures mentioned most often. It also turns out that operational excellence, logistics contract renewal, and supply chain visibility are the top supply chain projects in 2012 and that business prioritization, IT capability, and financial/budget limitations are the main bottlenecks for supply chain strategy implementation. The survey findings mirror an observation by PRTM from 2011 that “[h]igh volatility, huge swings in customer demand, and uncertainty in supply have created a new reality for global supply chain executives”.

Supply Chain Management Trends

Last week, I was invited to beautiful Switzerland, where I held a seminar for supply chain managers from 30 large logistics service providers and manufacturing firms. Initially, these managers were asked about SCM topics they are currently most interested in. Here are some insights gained from the answers: First, ecological sustainability has become a top-priority topic; several managers have mentioned that their SCM activities are concerned with both tackling climate change and reducing waste of resources. Second, international SCM activities are challenging for many participants, particularly in regions such as China, Russia, Brazil, Eastern and Southeast Europe (including Turkey), and the Arabian Peninsula. Third, market volatility seems to be a problem for many firms and many of them strive for improved visibility in their supply chains. Some other topics mentioned by the managers are: evaluation of and collaboration with LSPs, shortage of drivers, returns and repairs, security, and speed (including deliberate deceleration of supply chain processes).

Global Supply Chain Trends 2011

PRTM Management Consultants recently published a report titled Global Supply Chain Trends 2011. The authors observe that “[h]igh volatility, huge swings in customer demand, and uncertainty in supply have created a new reality for global supply chain executives” and they make us aware of the significance of flexibility in the supply chain. This reminds me both in a statement made by Simchi-Levi (“With the increasing level of volatility, the days of static supply chain strategies are over”) and the “era of turbulence” proclaimed by Christopher and Holweg. The PRTM report contains five interesting recommendations to supply chain leaders: (1) They must focus on supply assurance and proactive capacity management for critical resources; (2) they must relentlessly engage in collaborative end-to-end demand and supply planning; (3) they must more tightly integrate their own and their partners’ supply chain architectures; (4) they must tear down the wall between supply chain management and product development/engineering; and (5) they must relentlessly drive superior collaboration maturity.

Trends and Opportunities of SCM Research

Today, it’s time to share one of my favorite SCM readings with you: Supply Chain Management Research and Production and Operations Management by Kouvelis et al. (2006). The authors reviewed SCM manuscripts published in Production and Operations Management between 1992 and 2006. The paper can help researchers to identify possible research streams, lecturers to enrich their lessons, and practitioners to gain theoretical insights. Among the topics identified by the authors are: supply chain design, uncertainty, bullwhip effect, contracts, coordination, capacity and sourcing decisions, and teaching SCM. The authors offer comments which highlight opportunities and suggest ideas on how to usefully expand the body of work in the field of SCM. In addition, emerging areas in our field are mentioned: risk management/supply chain disruptions, closed loop supply chains, and “green” issues. We will continue to cover these topics, for example, in our recent posts about supply chain disruptions caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and CO2 emissions caused by supply chains.