Supply Chain Digest recently ran their 2007 Supply Chain Year in Review where they identified what they believed the top ten stories of 2007 were. In their opinion, the top ten list is as follows:
- Mattel Toy Recall Fiasco
Mattel had to recall millions and millions of toys made in China, including those in iconic Elmo and Barbie lines.
- Oil Nears $100 a Barrel
Petroleum-based material costs are rising across the board.
- Green Supply Chain goes Mainstream
There was an explosion of interest in green issues.
- Wal-Mart’s RFID Program Stalls, Changes
Late in the year, Wal-Mart announces a “change in focus” in its RFID strategy, with an emphasis on promotional items, category management trials, and and Sam’s Club pallet location management, confusing suppliers.
- Port Congestion Disappears
A modestly slowing overall economy, the collapse of the housing market and new construction, the decline of the US dollar and other factors led to a swift reduction in the volume of US imports.
Commodity prices in general, and agricultural prices in particular, saw continued strong price increases in 2007.
- Wal-Mart Struggles to get its Mojo Back
Some store sales have flattened, and overall growth has slowed dramatically.
- Boeing Finds Outsourcing ain’t Easy
The much praised approach to the 787 Dreamliner falls flat.
- Mexican Truckers Almost Enter US
Thirteen years after the NAFTA agreement to let 100 Mexican trucking companies fully operate cross-border, it almost happens.
- Lawsuits Cite Carrier Fuel Surcharge Abuse
Suits were filed against multiple carriers that use multiple modes of transportation.
In summary, costs rose, imports fell, the AlGorites gained a foot-hold, and uncontrolled globalization backfired on a large number of Fortune 500 companies. Regardless of the stories you picked, those are most of the major trends of 2007 across the supply-chain as a whole. The only major story missing is that the software and services sector considered to consolidate, with a large number of acquisitions.
What will this mean for 2008? Come back for Part II where we review Supply Chain Digest’s attempt to answer the problem.