Daily Archives: January 20, 2008

Some 2008 Manufacturing Predictions

Supply and Demand Chain Executive recently ran an article on some 2008 Global Trade and Supply Chain Predictions that are worth restating. It’s predictions were as follows:

  • Green continues to grow
    Thanks to Al Gore and the China fiascos of 2007, this is a guarantee.
  • Manufacturers Lag in Environmental Compliance
    The article notes that despite the number of environmental regulations introduced globally over the past year, a large number of manufacturers are still in non-compliance with the new trade laws.
  • Sourcing Shifts from Asia to the Americas
    The article notes that the falling U.S. dollar, limited free trade agreements, high energy costs and rising production costs in Asia will all contribute to companies reevaluating extended supply chains and moving sources closer to their home markets. Uh, yeah! I’ve been pushing what I call home country sourcing for close to a year now. Glad to see that it might finally catch on.
  • Import Safety Initiatives Increase Burden for U.S. Importers
    After the huge number of recalls last year related to imports, and China imports in particular, it’s a guarantee that a number of new requirements are going to be introduced in the US over the next one to three years.
  • Supply Chain Security Initiatives Gain “Teeth”
    This is the year the global AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) security program is launched – and even though, like C-TPAT, it is not mandatory, because it’s being pushed strongly in Europe, this will be the year that even smaller importers and exporters start to demand compliance.
  • Trade Compliance Further Scrutinized
    This pretty much follows from the first five predictions.

This was followed by an article in Industry that stated Large Manufacturing Will Move Toward a Globally Integrated Business Model, based on Manufacturing Insights Top 10 Predictions for 2008 (registration or login required). Most of the MI predictions were also pretty good. They were:

  • Innovation management will be a prominent topic and garner attention … but industry will be slow to adopt innovation.
    I certainly hope that it becomes a prominent topic because innovation, which I’ve been pushing for since day one, is sorely needed. And although I do expect industry to be slow in adoption, recognizing the need is the first step.
  • Business models will migrate from multinational to globally integrated enterprises.
    Maybe. It’s coming, but I’m not sure if this is the year.
  • Collaborative decision environments will amplify the value of product life-cycle management and emerge as the next big IT investment area.
    They’ll definitely amplify the value of PLM – but whether or not it’s the next big investment area remains to be seen. Decision optimization, true spend analysis, and regulatory compliance – given the dire need, may take off first.
  • PLM will evolve from an application category of loosely coupled tools to an enterprise strategy.
    … and the technology to support it, SLM, has already appeared.
  • Renewed interest in knowledge management practices.
    Again, I certainly hope so.
  • Information democratization takes place, but in moderation.
    This may be the year that organizations recognize the need for information sharing and inter- and intra- organizational decision collaboration, but as to whether or not the information gets democratized, we’ll just have to wait and see.
  • Organizations cannot keep up with data proliferation; a new generation of analytics and search tools will emerge.
    A new generation of analytics tools is already available – and they’ll keep getting better. As for search – progress on contextual-based indexing has been going much slower than initially predicted, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for better search.
  • New business models will leverage remote service and machine-to-machine communication technology to create new revenue opportunities.
    From a remote service perspective, definitely. As for machine-to-machine communication technology – we’ve had that for years. It’s called EDI – and it was replaced by XML.
  • More software will bring more challenges.
    Unless you go SaaS.
  • With [the need for] compliance across the value chain, your suppliers’ and partners’ problems will be yours.