Less then two weeks after Supply Chain Digest ran their 2007 Supply Chain Year in Review, that was summarized in Part I, in an attempt to answer their question, Supply Chain Digest asked seven “thought” leaders, which is their terminology for executives and academics – as there was not a single blogger in the group, what their predictions were for 2008. The responses were printed in the article on Key Trends Impacting Supply Chain Management and Logistics for 2008. The predictions of the executives and academics were the following:
Jim Topkins, CEO of Tompkins and Associates
- Total Delivered Cost will begin to take hold as a concept
- Strategy will become more important
- Enhanced Visibility and Automation will take hold in logistics
Jeff Karrenbauer, CEO of Insight Inc.
- Companies will re-examine their strategic supply chain design decisions with regards to outsourcing
- The required cross-functional focus needed to reduce costs will not get its due in most organizations
Jon Kirkegarrd, President of DCRA Inc.
- The firms that recognize that a fresh approach focussed on value, cash flow, and light, non-intrusive, web-service-based, value-add software components that work with existing solutions and technologies will be the ones that make progress.
- Successful supply chain technologies will become solution/results focussed, not just technology-focussed.
- Businesses will start to understand that supply chain efficiency is linked to price.
- Multi-stage manufacturing that allows for decision postponement and re-purposing of parts in-line with fluctuations in demand across product lines will start to become common.
Adrian Gonzalez Director, Logistics Executive Council of ARC Advisory Group
- Continued Activity & Hype around “Green” Supply Chain
- Software and Service Provider Business Models will Continue to Change
- On-Demand / SaaS will continue to gain traction – particularly in TMS
Larry Lapide, Director, Demand Management in the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics
- Extensive focus on controlling oil and logistics costs
- More companies will resume manufacturing in-house
John Langley, Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology
- Globalization will continue to take up a lot of organizational focus as they try to efficiently and cost-effectively manage their global operations.
- The need for Integrated Logistics will increase.
- “Green” Logistics will continue to attract mind-share, but until profitability is proven, market-share will lag.
Gary Girotti Vice President, Transportation Practice of Chainalytics
- Carrier bankruptcies will increase in 2008.
- Freight volumes will continue to fall in the first half of 2008, but will stabilize by the second half of the year.
- The biggest challenge for shippers will be maintaining service levels as carriers exit unprofitable markets and lanes.
- The biggest challenge carriers will face is staying afloat as lower volumes and reduced margins crunch their cash-flow.
Marshall Fisher, UPS Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- Store execution will emerge as an important area
Dwight Klappich, Research Vice President of Gartner
- SCM organizations will have to focus more time and effort on tactical and operational issues driven by economic and competitive pressures.
- Supply chain globalization is about to enter a new phase, driven by the recognition by many organizations that their initial off shoring decisions were made with a myopic focus on product cost, and not a thorough evaluation of total delivered cost.
So what does all this mean for 2008? Stay tuned for Part III.