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THOMASNET.com and ISM Honor This Year’s Complement of 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars

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In several ongoing editorial commentaries, Supply Chain Matters, has amplified the growing talent gaps that are today impacting multiple industry supply chains. As more baby boomers reach retirement age, supply chain and procurement executives are looking with trepidation at a looming talent gap. The industry needs an influx of fresh faces. To help in this effort, our blog has helped to provide visibility to programs and initiatives from a number of organizations to attract younger professionals to careers in supply chain management.

We are therefore pleased to call reader attention to this year’s complement of the winners in the THOMASNET.com© and Institute of Supply Management© (ISM) 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program that were jointly announced in a press release today.

In 2014, both organizations conceived and jointly sponsored this recognition program with the stated goal to advance the future of the supply chain profession thru recognition of up and coming professionals making significant contributions within multi-industry supply management roles. For each year of this program, we have been delighted to can provide individual recognition to annual honorees including the 2016 complement of rising stars, as well as to interview some individual stars. It has been extraordinary for us to ascertain the level of responsibility, passion, and overall leadership that such young professionals have already achieved in their careers, along with their ongoing enthusiasm for gaining job satisfaction in their roles in sourcing, procurement, and supply chain management.

This year’s Megawatt star is Daniel Kaskinen, 29, who was recognized for significant achievements as strategic sourcing manager with Sonic Automotive, Inc., of Charlotte North Carolina.

The listing of this year’s 2017 stars further includes:

  • Andrew Bagni, Procurement Manager, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, VA
  • Andrew Boone, Manager of Finance, and Planning, Graphic Packaging International, Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • Gerardo Cabrera, Global Community Manager, Flex, Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Kiara Conde, Transformation Analyst, Wells, Shell Exploration and Production Company, Houston, TX
  • Abhishek “Abhi” Dahiya, Global Commodity Management, Senior Advisor, Dell Technologies, Round Rock, TX
  • Amanda DeCook, Sourcing Associate, T. Kearney, London, UK
  • Sarah DiPietro, Supply Chain Analyst, 3M Company, St. Paul, MN
  • John Fowler, Production Supervisor, Halliburton, Spring, TX
  • Jonathan “Jon” Futryk, Senior Sourcing Specialist, Crown Equipment Corporation, New Bremen, OH
  • Anthony Garwood, Lead Commodity Management Specialist, GE Aviation, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Corey Gustafson, Senior Buyer, Deluxe Corporation, Shoreview, MN
  • Nicholas “Nick” Imison, Subcontract Administrator 1, Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, CA
  • Elaine Jolliff, Purchasing and Supply Management Specialist, Contracting Officer & Team Lead MTE CMT, S. Postal Service, Washington, D.C.
  • Teddy Lee Knox, Strategic Operations Manager, Zipline Logistics, Columbus, OH
  • Peter LaFave, Strategic Sourcing Consultant, Anthem, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA
  • Lisa Marie, Manager, Transformation, Arconic (formerly Alcoa Inc.), Pittsburgh, PA
  • Brian Meyer, Sourcing Leader – Minerals and Global Components, Owens Corning, Toledo, OH
  • Matthew “Matt” Montana, Category Lead, Senior, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Ramon, CA
  • Barbara Noseda, Global Sourcing Associate, External Manufacturing Supply Integration, LifeScan, Johnson & Johnson, Chesterbrook, PA
  • Jeff Novak, Lead Commodity Manager, S. Steel Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Andrew Paulsen, Senior Buyer, SpaceX, Hawthorne, CA
  • Blake Pryor, Supply Chain Management Advisor, Chevron, Luanda, Angola
  • Bernadette Quiriconi, Fortive Business System Leader, Fluke Corporation, Everett, WA
  • Sara Robichaux, Strategic Sourcing Category Lead – Services, Apache Corporation, Houston, TX
  • Michaela Romanias, Asset Scheduler, DuPont, Wilmington, DE
  • Subhash Segireddy, Supply Chain Program Manager – Network Strategy & Analytics, Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA
  • Ruchir Sud, Finished Vehicle Logistics Operations NAFTA, FCA US LLC, Auburn Hills, MI
  • Jaime Todd, Business Analyst, Supply Management, American Red Cross, Charlotte, NC
  • Tianhou “Tian” Zhong, Senior Analyst, Global Strategic Sourcing, Coach, Inc., New York, NY

As our readers can well appreciate, this year’s nominees came from a wide variety of industry supply management settings. Detailed profiles and photos of all winners can be viewed by visiting this designated THOMASNET web site.

Supply Chain Matters Tip of the Hat AwardOnce again, Supply Chain Matters would like to extend our Tip of the Hat recognition to each of these latest star recipients along with our best wishes for continued achievements and recognition in the field of supply chain management.

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2017. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.


2017 Predictions for Supply Chain Management- Guest Contributions

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We just completed our unveiling and deep-dives on our 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains and the complete 44-page Research Advisory report is now available for complimentary downloading in our Research Center.

We now feature compilations of the many external guest contributions that were received from our readers.  holding-the-future

A Thailand and Southeast Asia Perspective

In mid-January, this author noted a published report from Thailand’s Bangkok Post, The state of supply chain management in 2017.   This article was penned by two supply chain consultants with extensive experience in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia and observed: “that most supply chains still struggle with the basics and are not in any position to realise benefits from new tools and technologies.” We reached out by email to authors Barry Elliott and Chris Catto-Smith, (acknowledged  readers of Supply Chain Matters) and received very insightful additional feedback comments. Each has been practicing supply chain management consultants in this region for the best part of 20 years. Responding to our specific question as to whether their observations vary from one industry or another, or in upper or lower tiers of the supply chain, the response was no, it does not. “Little advantage is taken of the SCM body of knowledge, partly due to not knowing what they (SCM teams) don’t know and partly due to NIH (not invented here).” Clarified was that there are certainly shiny exceptions but interest levels to learn and implement the basics are somewhat challenging.

We share this input because it provided us a grounding to the realization that not all geographic regions feature the same capabilities and tendencies toward transformation, and that should remain an important context towards planning of 2017 initiatives and skills development.

 

Supply Chain Skills and Talent Management

Employee reference check provider AllisonTaylor shared Noteworthy Trends to Watch in the Career and Work Balance area to share with Supply Chain Matters readers.

  • Workplace well-being and flexibility has risen dramatically in importance and becomes critical for attracting new talent.
  • As highly tech-savvy employees continue to enter the workplace, new internal communications tools such as text messaging, live chat and instant messaging will increasingly replace traditional email.
  • Blended workplaces, where freelance workers team up with full-time employees, become increasingly predominant.
  • The reference checking process takes an unconventional turn as employer’s are more likely to call job seeker’s former supervisors, rather than follow traditional routes of contacting HR.
  • References become a powerful extension of a job seeker’s resume.
  • Virtual reality tools begin to revolutionize recruiting and training.

 

Business and Supply Chain Technology

Fusion Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Paul Romano shares his predictions for 2017.

  • Memory will continue to be an issue. Memory manufacturers have finally gotten what they wanted- increases in ASP’s after years of drought and cuts. The good news for them is that the end does not seem to be in sight. A convergence of factors will continue to    drive issues in memory. We may see things let up there and there but expect problems to exist for much of the year.
  • The pace of mergers and acquisitions will not let After a year that saw some blockbuster M&A’s, many are hoping to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Not so fast. With business picking up in many sectors, companies are looking for ways to expand as well as round out portfolios and offerings. Expect the M&A activity to continue     unabated into 2017.
  • The sharing economy comes to the supply Companies such as Uber and Airbnb ushered in the      sharing economy. Next up, the supply chain. Most efforts have been directed towards the consumer. However, as interconnectivity and the concept of the digital supply chain gain traction, expect to see attempts to create efficiencies and opportunities around the supply chain. Uber is already in the package delivery business; could we see an Airbnb app for  short-term use of unused factory, warehouse, or line space, perhaps?
  • 3D Printing becomes the disruptive technology many predicted two years ago.
  • The outcome of the Brexit negotiations is already affecting trade flows between the UK and the EU and leaves a big question mark on how big or small the impact will be.    This can potentially devaluate the Euro even more against the dollar which will impact European OEM’s trading in USD.

 

2017 Predictions Related to the Food Industry

We spoke with Bill Michalski, Chief Solution Officer at ArrowStream, A SaaS technology provider for food service supply chains, concerning his predictions for the food industry. His input was that the number one priority for 2017 is making food safety and traceability a top priority and would remain the largest area of focus in the near future as-well. In our discussion, Michalski emphasized that the year ahead will reflect the notions of when urgency meets the reality of food safety in terms of full product traceability for any given restaurant chain. A further challenge remains off-contract purchasing and non-vetted suppliers among larger food chains. Michalski concurs that traceability and supply chain sustainability initiatives can be linked for broader business benefits.

 

Service Parts Inventory Management

Synchron’s CMO Gary Brooks’s 2017 Technology Supply Chain Predictions calls for service parts inventory management and pricing optimization to grow in interest because of the increasing realization that both capabilities are key revenue levers for the aftersales supply chain. Brooks further predicts that Cloud-based technology has become critical for the supply chain and that adoption rates will rise further. “Supply chain players will need to embrace the full potential of cloud technology or risk falling even further behind in 2017.” Other predictions are that predictive analytics will finally be mainstream in the supply chain and aftersales market, and that driverless vehicles and drones play a bigger role in supply chain.

 

If there are any other 2017 Predictions that readers would like to share, please send them along and we will compile them for sharing.

 

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2016. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.


Deep Dive on 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains- Prediction Three: A Supply Chain Talent Perfect Storm

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The following Supply Chain Matters blog is part of our ongoing series of deep dives into each of our previously unveiled ten 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains.

At the start of the New Year, our parent, the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group along with our Supply Chain Matters blog as a broadcast medium, provide a series of predictions for the coming year. These predictions are shared in the spirit of assisting industry specific and global supply chain cross-functional teams in helping to set management objectives for the year ahead. Our further goal is helping our readers and clients to prepare supply chain management and line-of-business teams in establishing impactful programs, initiatives, and educational agendas.

The context for these predictions includes a broad cross-functional umbrella of supply chain strategy, planning, execution, product lifecycle management, procurement, manufacturing, transportation, logistics and customer service management.

In an earlier Supply Chain Matters blog postings, we provided deep dives related to:

 Prediction One- Subdued World Economic Outlook and Heighted Uncertainty to Test Industry Supply Chain Agility.

Prediction Two- A Challenging Year in Procurement

In this third-deep dive series posting, we drill down on Prediction Three.

 

2017 Prediction Three: A Supply Chain Talent Perfect Storm

For all functions that make up the umbrella of today’s supply chain management capabilities, we predict a supply chain talent perfect storm, one that is sure to occupy more of the management attention of supply chain and business senior leadership. The perfect storm is increased skills demand meeting limited available skilled talent supply. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek declared in late December 2016: “Right now the problem isn’t too many workers who can’t find jobs. It’s too many jobs that can’t find workers.” The coming year may well provide a period where lack of skills and talent will take on a discernable and visible impact on required competences.

The perfect storm will come from the confluence of even more demands for supply chain agility and responsiveness to unprecedented business changes across industries, demanding that supply chain teams take on a more strategic advisory or business partner role concerning key decisions in manufacturing and component sourcing, supply chain network design or customer fulfillment changes. Taking on a more business advisory focus requires that supply chain leaders have more depth in their respective organizations to support simultaneous strategic, tactical, and operational support needs, coupled with augmented technology applications that enhance decision-making.

As noted in Predictions One and Two, the continued need for added people and process productivity along more with data-driven decision making capabilities will add to needs for supply chain digital transformation, which has a strong dependency on talent and organizational readiness. Organizations that are driven more by digital transformation capabilities imply self-directed teams, consequent avoidance of barriers among supply chain functional and line-of-business teams with tighter decision feedback loops. Not all organizations are prepared for this level of change.

One of our 2016 predictions noted that the widening of supply chain talent and skill gaps would require organizations to be more innovative and purposeful in recruitment, training, retention, and career planning. We expected organizations and recruiters to more broadly define and recruit employees from skill based dimensions and in expected performance parameters for both current and future organizational needs. We felt that individuals who possess required cross-functional hard and soft skills, including in-depth technology prowess will continue to experience a seller’s advantage.

In 2016, we expected manufacturers, retailers and supply chain services firms would encourage broader training, benchmarking, multi-business, and multi-geography opportunities.  We trusted that supply chain leaders would confront or at least influence the other elephant in the room, namely that of compensation plans related to required supply chain management skills and roles tied to performance, teamwork, and skill achievement objectives. We were hopeful that there will be more of such innovative compensation programs unveiled in 2016.

Regrettably, feedback indicated that many employers currently seeking highly skilled and in-high demand candidates, often offer the low-end of compensation levels. In-demand candidates were savvy enough to figure-out that their skills are drawing higher compensation in other firms or industries, thus recruiters began counseling employers seeking in-demand skills to lead with far more attractive compensation offers from the start or risk candidates quickly moving to other offers.

With the prospects of 2017 providing even more overall pressures to reduce supply chain costs, supply chain, procurement and product management related executives will be faced with difficult choices regarding the existing workforce. Executives who previously established multi-year plans to broaden skills and talent will face the reality that talent needs are more immediate.  With upwards of 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, the skills and experience flight becomes ever more challenging. We expect supply chain teams to further explore phased retirement programs such as that practiced by Steelcase where retiring employees can opt for phased part-time work schedules to mentor and transfer knowledge.

Existing workers do not have the tools and training opportunities because business investment activities continue to lag. That obviously must change in 2017 and open question remains how or if this occurs.

As with 2016, those individuals possessing broad supply chain cross-functional process knowledge coupled with technology savviness and the soft skills needed to influence adoption and change to more advanced decision-making concepts will continue to be in very high demand. Efforts to increase U.S. or North America based manufacturing capabilities will once again face the reality of a lack of available skilled manufacturing talent.

Finally, we must state that existing supply chain focused professionals who have acquired many years of experience need to double their efforts to create awareness and interest for careers in supply chain management among secondary school and college candidates. Many supply chain focused professional organizations such APICS, CSCMP, ISM and others have been stepping-up career outreach efforts and resources, and such efforts could not be more timely. Consider adding your voices and influence.

For our part, we will continue to search out and highlight innovative supply chain talent recruitment programs and initiatives that are delivering meaningful results.

 

This concludes our Prediction Three drilldown in our series of 2017 predictions.  In our next posting of this series, we dive into Prediction Four that calls for increased anti-trade geopolitical forces providing added challenges for industry supply chains.

If readers or clients require further clarity, or wish to contribute additional thoughts related to what to anticipate in the coming year, you can contact us via email: feedback <at> supply-chain-matters <dot> com. Our final blog commentary of the series will include a summation of additional contributed thoughts for what to expect.

 

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2016. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.

 


Deep Dive on 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains- Prediction Two: A Challenging Year in Procurement

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The following Supply Chain Matters blog is part of our ongoing series of deep dives into each of our previously unveiled ten 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains.

At the start of the New Year, our parent, the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group along with our Supply Chain Matters blog as a broadcast medium, provide a series of predictions for the coming year. These predictions are shared in the spirit of assisting industry specific and global supply chain cross-functional teams in helping to set management objectives for the year ahead. Our further goal is helping our readers and clients to prepare supply chain management and line-of-business teams in establishing impactful programs, initiatives, and educational agendas.

The context for these predictions includes a broad cross-functional umbrella of supply chain strategy, planning, execution, product lifecycle management, procurement, manufacturing, transportation, logistics and customer service management.

In an earlier Supply Chain Matters posting we provided a deep dive into Prediction One- Subdued World Economic Outlook and Heighted Uncertainty to Test Industry Supply Chain Agility.

In this second-deep dive posting, we drill down on Prediction Two.

 

2017 Prediction Two: A Challenging Year in Procurement with Renewed Emphasis on Strategic and Technical Skill Needs

Unlike 2016, what is becoming near certain is that in 2017 multi-industry supply chains will be managing a period of rising inbound component and service costs with an increased urgency to augment skill and talent needs.

Supply Streams

The IMF Primary Commodities Index has increased 22 percent since February 2016 with the strongest increases attributed to fuel costs. Non-fuel commodity prices have increased as well, with metals pricing increasing 12 percent during 2016 and agricultural commodity prices increasing 9 percent during the year.

In late December 2016, the widely tracked Standard and Poor’s GSCI index of broad based commodities was up over 11 percent year-to-date. Energy was up 16.2 percent, Industrial Metals up 23.8 percent while Agriculture was down 2.34 percent.

The World Banks Commodity Markets Outlook published in October 2016 called for most commodity prices to rise in 2017, with energy prices expected to increase 24 percent during the year. The agency forecasted oil prices to average $55 per barrel during the year with stronger-than-expected OPEC production supply cuts evident in 2017. The usual caveats come with any major oil supply disruptions caused by global political tensions of conflicts across the Middle East. Non-energy commodity prices were expected to rise 2 percent in 2017. Downside risks for metals included caveats pertaining to a further slowdown of production growth in China, while upside risks were reflected in government-directed supply restraints across Asia and reluctance by producers to activate idle capacity if global demand picks-up.

Business Advisor and Strategic Skills

A challenge for sourcing teams among U.S. based manufacturing firms will be educating senior management on the implications of any added tariffs or trade barriers brought about by the new Trump administration and a Republican Party dominated Congress.  Another reality is that in certain industry sectors, value and supply chain supply competencies have deeper roots in the lower cost manufacturing regions of China and other Asian nations. Any new potential shifts of product or end-item manufacturing sourcing back to the U.S. will have to factor the broader supply chain impacts of such decisions. We have included further observation insights in 2017 Prediction FourFirst Signs of Global Trade Protectionism.

The role of the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) will continue to evolve in 2017, requiring strategic business advisor skills in ascertaining various impacts to a rapidly changing global supply chain sourcing picture, supply chain risk factors and needs for higher levels of joint innovation from suppliers. Tactical leadership skills will likely be focused in facilitating a renewed business agenda for increased procurement costs savings to meet expected business margin and financial performance goals.

That will be challenging given the expected trends for rising inbound costs across many spend dimensions and categories. In some areas, increased foreign currency headwinds will present either added challenges or opportunities. For many businesses, low-hanging opportunistic cost savings opportunities have been already exploited which implies that with each significant year, the challenge drives deeper into the more complex areas of both indirect and direct procurement cost opportunities.

Industry supply chain teams that previously nurtured or invested in strong, collaborative key supplier relationships will experience the true benefits of such efforts as heightened supply chain risk and uncertainty increases, requiring a greater dependency on loyal and consistent suppliers.

Skills and Talent Management

One of the most significant challenges in 2017 will be in skills development and filling-in skill gaps in replacing retiring staff with increased levels of required technical skills based backgrounds.  Procurement teams have already consistently communicated changed skills requirements brought about by procurement’s changed role as being more of a strategic business advisor as compared to transactional procurement execution.

This challenge is not confined solely to procurement but across many other manufacturing, supply chain, IT, and product management areas. So much so that we have included Prediction Three- Supply Chain Talent Perfect Storm within our ten 2017 predictions.

The skills and talent challenge will become more apparent as this function is called upon to broaden collaboration and decision analysis efforts with product design management and key global and domestic suppliers.  Initiatives directed toward regulatory compliance changes, ongoing supply chain sustainability initiatives and changing contracted indirect services needs will require teams to increase collaboration efforts with other supply chain and business functions.

Increasingly, a fully integrated strategic sourcing and procurement process will become necessary and that will likely require augmented investments in technology beyond singular procurement business processes.

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) serves as the principal professional organization for procurement. In March of 2016, we had the opportunity to interview Tom Derry, CEO of ISM.  Regarding the topic of skills development, the following was discussed:

“The responsibilities and scope of procurement are changing rather rapidly and there is a need to constantly stay current. To be effective, procurement professionals need to understand the broader capabilities of the supply chain such as planning, logistics and transportation. A procurement professional does not necessarily need to be an overall expert, but should be knowledgeable to the needed capabilities and impacts of decisions across the entire supply chain.”

In preparing this prediction related to procurement, we further had the opportunity to speak with Kristian O’Meara, Senior Vice President, Value Engineering at Bravo Solution. In his current role, O’Meara has had many interactions with procurement teams. He described the current skills challenge as an “HR hurdle”, the lack of talent depth, as one of the biggest challenges for this function in 2017. The stakes are often high. He cited industry data and observations from procurement executives themselves indicating that a missed-hire of adequately skilled or trained talent can amount to upwards of an 18-24-month setback in any given key role’s contribution to support business outcomes. That factors assumptions regarding that the average times to recruit available talent in the market, added with a 6-9 average learning curve for an individual to come up to speed in each role.

 

This concludes our Prediction Two drilldown in our series of 2017 predictions.  In our next posting of this series, we dive into Prediction Three that calls for a supply chain talent perfect storm in the coming year.

If readers or clients require further clarity, or wish to contribute additional thoughts related to what to anticipate in the coming year, you can contact us via email: feedback <at> supply-chain-matters <dot> com. Our final blog commentary of the series will include a summation of additional contributed thoughts for what to expect.

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2016. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved. Content appearing on Supply Chain Matters® may not be used without written permission of the author or The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group.

 


Supply Chain Matters Unveils Ten 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains

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At the start of the New Year, our parent, the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group along with our Supply Chain Matters blog as a broadcast medium, traditionally provide a series of predictions for the coming year. These predictions are provided in the spirit of assisting industry specific and global supply chain cross-functional teams in helping to set management objectives for the year ahead. Our further goal is helping our readers and clients to prepare supply chain management and line-of-business teams in establishing impactful programs, initiatives, and educational agendas.

The context for these predictions includes a broad cross-functional umbrella of supply chain strategy, planning, execution, product lifecycle management, procurement, manufacturing, transportation, logistics and customer service management. crystal_ball

We are admittedly and purposefully late in our usual unveiling of these 2017 predictions. We made a conscious decision in mid-November to delay after the sudden and widely unexpected results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election coupled with the similarly unanticipated results of the Brexit referendum across the United Kingdom.

To reiterate once again, our predictions process includes a re-look at all that occurred in the current year, a reflection of future implications, and soliciting input from clients and other various industry supply chain participants and observers. Unlike others, we incorporate a lot of thought and perspective into our annual predictions and take the time to scorecard our annual predictions at the end of the year.

Readers are welcomed to review our scorecard series of our 2016 predictions that occurred in November. We are further planning to make available the scoring evaluation of all of our prior 2016 predictions in a report to be made available in our Research Center later this month.

In this initial blog, we will unveil our complete listing of our ten predictions for the coming year along with some introductory takeaways. In subsequent postings spanning the month of January we will dive further into each of our predictions.

In late- January or early February, we anticipate publishing the complete Ferrari Consulting and Research Group research report, 2017 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains that will incorporate all our predictions along with even more details and supporting data related to each prediction. This report will be made available to all our consulting clients and blog sponsors and will additionally be made available for no-cost complimentary downloading in the Research Center of Supply Chain Matters, also in February.

Let’s therefore begin the process with the unveiling of our ten 2017 predictions.

Drum-roll please……

 

2017 Prediction One- A Subdued World Economic Outlook and Heightened Political Uncertainty Will Test Industry Supply Chain Agility

 There is little doubt that the year 2017 will present even more uncertainty and increased volatility for many industry supply chains. Organizations will once again need to be prepared.

 

2017 Prediction Two- A Challenging Year in Procurement with Renewed Emphasis on Strategic and Technical Skill Needs

Unlike 2016, what is becoming near certain is that in 2017, multi-industry supply chains will be managing a period of rising inbound component and service costs. The role of the CPO will further have to evolve in 2017 to one of strategic business advisor along with a continuing agenda of tactical procurement challenges, most notable a potential global volatile global sourcing environment peppered by continuous anti global trade forces. One of the most significant challenges in the coming year will be in skills development and filling-in skills and talent gaps.

 

2017 Prediction Three- A Supply Chain Talent Perfect Storm

 For all functions that make up the umbrella of today’s supply chain management capabilities, we predict a supply chain talent perfect storm, one that is sure to occupy more of the management attention of supply chain and business senior leadership. The perfect storm is increased skills demand meeting limited available skilled talent supply. As Bloomberg BusinessWeek declared in late December 2016: “Right now the problem isn’t too many workers who can’t find jobs. It’s too many jobs that can’t find workers.” The coming year may well provide a period where lack of skills and talent will take on a discernable and visible impact on required competences.

 

2017 Prediction Four- Increased Anti-Trade Geopolitical Forces Will Provide Added Sourcing Challenges for Industry Supply Chains

Major developments surrounding global trade policies will occupy the attention of many industry supply chain organizations during the year, but now from an opposite perspective. With heightened global tensions now turning toward more anti-trade and possibly more protectionist rhetoric among developed nations, industry supply chains must now be prepared to deal with potential near and longer term implications that such policies will bring about.  We anticipate that industry supply chain network models will undergo continuous analysis and scrutiny in the coming year as individual supply chain teams assess various changing landed cost factors among product management models. Global trade issues will once again percolate in the coming year and they will likely be complex and confusing to sort out in terms of which will ultimately come to fruition.

 

2017 Prediction Five- Continued Global Transportation Industry Turbulence

For the past three years, we have predicted industry turbulence among global and certain domestic transportation networks.  Our predictions turned out to be fairly accurate but then again, the industry signs were obvious. In 2017, firms should plan for further industry turbulence and change occurring on many modal fronts. As the Washington Post, has recently observed: “industry change is indeed sweeping from all directions.”

 

2017 Prediction Six- A Renewed Renaissance in Business and Technology Investment

As industry supply chains enter 2017, there are distinct signs of a renewed renaissance in business and technology investment that will surely include the need for supporting augmented supply chain related business process and decision-making needs. An initial pro-business environment fostered by the election of Donald Trump and a Republican Party dominated U.S. Congress looks to lead to lower corporation business taxes and repatriation of overseas profits. There are now signs that after multiple years of plowing excess cash into stock buybacks or increased stockholder dividends, businesses may be ready to shore-up needed investments in critical areas such as increased productivity, manufacturing, and broader supply chain automation along with needs for more informed, analytical-driven decision making anchored in predictive decision-making methods. At the same time, a renaissance in multi-industry business process and technology investment activity will surely lead to further merger and acquisition activity involving either the enterprise software, supply chain, IoT, and management decision support technology vendor community.

 

2017 Prediction Seven- Enhanced Decision Support Capabilities Among B2B Network and Managed Services Providers Will Pay Added Dividends for Customers

 There will exist increased industry specific needs for deeper and wider levels of customer, product, physical object, and supply network focused information visibility, capture and analysis.  This need is coupled to building multi-industry supply chain requirements for more predictive, analytics data-driven decision making competencies that involve outside-in insights. The objective is a literal 360-degree view of supply chain wide data and information, horizontally spanning the end-to-end supply and vertically coupling high level enterprise to shop-floor decision-support needs.  A means to achieve such a capability are analytics and business intelligence engines that are now being embedded across supply chain focused B2B network platforms, edge systems and production shop floor transactional and information transfer flows. B2B business networks and edge platforms are today the prime opportunity for digitizing the horizontal and vertical flow of information and analytics across end-to-end supply chains.

 

2017 Prediction Eight- Amazon and Alibaba Position for Global Online Platform Dominance

Similar to 2016, Amazon and Alibaba will continue to position for being the dominant global online retail platform.  This competition has been civil with each respecting the other entities capabilities and strengths. Each has certain weaknesses or vulnerabilities. The head-to-head competitive battle ground in 2017 will likely be India, the next big online retail market opportunity that will test both provider’s capabilities to adapt to local requirements.

 

2017 Prediction Nine- Business Self-Interest Will Fuel Continued Efforts in Supply Chain Sustainability Actions and Initiatives

Despite the declarations by U.S. President Donald Trump that climate change is a hoax, business and supply chain self-interest needs, requirements and benefits to date will fuel continued sustainability initiatives and momentum. The goal is beyond supply chain sustainability, and remains sustainability of the business itself.

 

2017 Prediction Ten- Unique Industry-Specific Supply Chain Challenges in 2017

Each year we call out industry-specific supply chain challenges that are unique and dominant challenges. In 2017, we are including the following industry sectors for mention:

Automotive Supply Chains Existing Across North America

B2C and Online Retail

Commercial Aerospace

Consumer Packaged Food and Beverage

Global Based Pharmaceutical Supply Chains

 

Keep your browser pointed to Supply Chain Matters as we dive into each of the above 2016 predictions in more detail. Our next Predictions posting will provide added detail for our first two predictions. Subsequent posting will dive into the remaining eight predictions.

Our series will also feature some invited guest commentaries reflecting more on the topic area.

If readers or clients require further clarity, or wish to contribute additional thoughts related to what to anticipate in the coming year, you can contact us via email: feedback <at> supply-chain-matters <dot> com. Our final blog commentary of the series will include a summation of additional contributed thoughts for what to expect.

Bob Ferrari

© Copyright 2016. The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters® blog. All rights reserved.  Content appearing on Supply Chain Matters® may not be used by any third party without written permission of the author and our parent, The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group.

 


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