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.
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.
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