Once a year, just before the start of the new year, the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group and the Supply Chain Matters blog provide a series of predictions for the coming year. We have maintained this tradition since the founding of the blog in 2008. Over the next two weeks, the blog will feature a series of postings to provide detail around each of our predictions.

Predictions are provided in the spirit of advising supply chain organizations in setting management agenda for the year ahead, helping our readers and clients to prepare their supply chain management teams in establishing programs, initiatives and educational agendas for the new year.

Our process includes a re-look at all that occurred in 2011, a reflection of future implications and the soliciting of input from clients, thought leaders  and other supply chain and blogosphere observers. We incorporate a lot of thought into our predictions and will scorecard our annual predictions at the end of the year.  Throughout 2012, the blog will also be monitoring events related to each prediction, and will provide periodic updates.

We will kick-off this series with the full listing of our ten predictions for the upcoming year.  In upcoming postings, we will provide the detailed thoughts supporting each prediction. As in the past, the complete 2012 predictions report will also be made available in a free downloadable research report which can be accessed in our Research Center at the conclusion of this series.

This year’s effort was a bit challenging since the global business climate is in a period of high uncertainty and corresponding supply chains are in a fragile state. We probably could have come up with more than ten, and readers are encouraged to share their own predictions.

Here are the Supply Chain Matters Predictions for Global Supply Chains in 2012:

  1. A continued spillover of high uncertainty of events related to the global economy will make business growth highly challenged, and thus provide another challenging year in global supply chain management.
  2. Commodity and component price increase levels experienced in 2011, with some exceptions, will moderate in 2012, but procurement teams need to maintain a keen eye on both pricing and supplier health and performance and supply network agility.
  3. As a result of the major supply chain disruption events that occurred throughout 2011, senior management among global manufacturing firms will call for a re-visit of supply chain component and finished goods outsourcing strategies, weighing overall risk as well as low cost parameters.
  4. Three specific industry sectors, B2C, Pharmaceutical and High Tech, will be especially affected by significant supply chain challenges or turmoil in 2012.
  5. The concept for “supply chain control tower’ coupled with more leveraged use of predictive analytics will come to the forefront, but in 2012 there will be a need for vendors and consultants to focus on market education and early adoption support.
  6. Cloud computing and managed services options directed at enabling supply chain business processes will continue to gain more traction.
  7. Expect additional M&A and partnership activity among supply chain technology and ERP providers as vendors shore up application areas with the best prospects for sustained future growth.
  8. The challenges related to higher incidents of counterfeit products, cargo theft and other scurrilous activities within and across global supply chains will finally motivate government and industry to step-up process standards and corrective mitigation efforts.
  9. Wider scale leveraging and adoption of in-memory computing technologies among enterprise and specialty supply chain vendors, coupled with broader leveraging of data mining, have the potential to be game changing influences on supply chain business planning and response management.
  10.  The leveraged use of systems of engagement, namely mobility and social media applications within select supply chain, PLM and manufacturing process areas will gain additional momentum.


Keep your browser pointed to the blog as we take readers into each of the predictions.

Bob Ferrari

© 2011 The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group LLC and the Supply Chain Matters, All rights reserved.