Last Friday, there was a dramatic announcement concerning the world of supply chain print media.  Reed Business Information (RBI) announced the immediate closure of a number of well-known publications serving the supply chain community to include Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, Material handling Product News, Purchasing, and Supply Chain Management Review, effective April 30.  Most of these publications will publish no further print editions, and the respective web sites are scheduled to go dark by the end of the month. All of these publications will be missed, along with the talented people who made them run.

There will certainly be much speculation as to why these specific publications had to close, or what business factors led to their eventual demise. Too many print media titles have to rely on aggressively marketing promotional and advertising activities to sustain profitability. RBI-US represented a large conglomerate of many publications serving multiple professional audiences, and my guess is that there was never an amount of focused attention paid towards the supply chain management collection.  Readers are welcomed to share their observations as well.

One of the areas that was miscalculated was the emerging presence of blogs such as Supply Chain Matters, along with Sourcing Innovation and Spend Matters and others across the global supply chain community.  Blogs should exist to comment on the news of the day and inform readers on the potential implications of events, as they are occurring.  Independent blogs can be very complementary to print media but unfortunately some of the senior management in print media do not view blogs in that light, which is perhaps why this particular event occurred.

On the other hand, blogs and other supply chain focused web properties should not exist solely to collect and sell email listings that can be sold to providers, or become a mere platform for vendor-sponsored webcasts and other overt marketing activities.  Your privacy is and will be an important consideration for us and our business model does not call for selling the names and email addresses of our readers.

We trust that you will continue to gain insight and enjoy the commentary provided by Supply Chain Matters.  For our part, we will continue to provide you, our loyal readers, the insights and implications on global supply chain business process and technology developments.

 Bob Ferrari

Executive Editor