Readers of the Supply Chain Matters blog always look forward to our set of annual predictions of what we expect to transpire across industry supply chains in the coming year. Our predictions have always been developed with careful thought as to implications for certain areas of supply chain management whether business strategy, functional process, technology or talent related.

Our normal process begins with the self-rating of the current year’s predictions. We kicked-off our revisiting of 2016 predictions this week with our initial part one posting. This self-scoring series will continue until we cycle through all of our 10 existing year predictions.

In December, we usually begin the unveiling and detail related to the upcoming year’s ten or so predictions. The preparation process normally starts now.  Not so for this year.

In the light of the unprecedented developments of both the Brexit vote that occurred in the United Kingdom, and this week’s election of Donald Trump as the incoming President of the United States, I have made the decision, as Editor and Managing Director of research to postpone our 2017 predictions unveiling until sometime early in the new year. We believe that any advisory firm predicting 2017 trends at this point may be doing an injustice to clients.  Industry supply chains may well be entering unchartered waters.

As outlined in our prior U.S. Presidential implications commentary, there are candidly too many uncertainties and unknowns regarding world events pertaining to global trade impacts, environmental and climate change policy or further global political shocks. While some predictions such as the continuing shortage of skilled talent are a given for 2017, we believe it would not be a value to our readers or clients to publish 2017 predictions given the current broader level of uncertainties.

Instead we will focus on a series of initial blog focused advisories that will address areas such as global economic forecasts, sourcing and procurement changes, industry-specific developments, talent management and the other supply chain management related topics that normally umbrella our predictions.  Once we have a better sense of what is likely to occur in the coming year, likely by the early Q1 period, we will then unveil our formal research based set of 2017 predictions in content and potentially in an online webinar.

To aide in this effort, we seek and ask for your direct feedback as to what may be occurring in your industry, company or supply chain focused organization that has a direct relation to what may occur in 2017, and to what recent political events have implied for supply chain management response. You can either email your inputs to: feedback <at> supply-chain-matters <dot> com or adding to the Comments section associated with this posting.

For our part, we will continue with our ongoing research efforts to determine various forms of clarity related to 2017. We suggest that supply chain teams conduct their usual year-end annual planning and budgeting processes for the coming year with anticipated assumptions, but absolutely reserve a contingency for a lot of unknowns likely to occur in the upcoming year. If you need specific advice, give us a call.

Bob Ferrari

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