In part I, we reviewed Supply Chain Digest’s 2007 Supply Chain Year in Review article, where they picked their top ten news stories for 2007. Then, yesterday, we reviewed Supply Chain Digest’s Key Trends Impacting Supply Chain Management and Logistics for 2008, as identified by the nine executives and academics they asked to postulate what 2008 has in hold.
So what will this year’s top stories be? That’s hard to say. Although many trends can be predicted at the macro-level over a long period of time, it’s almost impossible to predict specific events at the micro-level over a short-period of time, and that’s what most stories are based on. For example, although it’s a statistical likelihood that a certain number of 28 year olds will die this year, we can’t predict how many will be celebrities and cause the next big media circus. Furthermore, one cannot predict what the next innovation will be that totally changes the landscape. Although we can estimate when the next major innovation might be, based upon historical trends, we cannot know what it will be or how large of an impact it will have.
However, we can speculate, based upon recent trends and the state-of-the-practice, what might happen this year. Since this is a constructive exercise, as it could alert an informed reader as to what might happen if they are ready, or not ready, we’re going to do something different this year and go for it.
The Top 10 Supply-Chain Related Stories of 2008 Could Be:
- Company X Toy Recall Fiasco
“Scared off by the recent Mattel Fiasco, Company X decides to shift production back to their former low-cost country location of choice, Mexico. However, their new supplier uses a low quality plastic, and the toys break easily, making them choking hazards to toddlers.”
- Well-Water is the New Spring-Water
“A record heat wave hits and water levels in the lakes and reservoirs drop to dangerously low levels. A new project to lay pipe-lines to wells in neighboring states is announced.”
- Gold Tops $1,000 an Ounce
“Global recession fears push more and more investors to invest in gold reserves.”
- Major Semiconductor Manufacturer X Files for Bankruptcy
“The rapidly rising pricing of gold coupled with stagnant demand for new processors has forced many chip manufacturers to the brink, and even X couldn’t handle the strain.”
- Company X becomes Number One Growth Retailer in the US
“Wal-Mart’s lost mojo is picked up by X who focusses on higher quality products, better customer service, and green products, versus just green supply chain practices.”
- US Exports in Manufacturing Rise Rapidly
“The low dollar, coupled with the introduction of new, more efficient technology and leaner practices makes the US the low-cost country of choice for Western Europe.”
- Port Congestion Re-Appears as a Result of a Natural Disaster on the West Coast
“The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are almost destroyed by a tsunami caused by a major earthquake off of the coast of California.”
- Agflation Continues to Rise
“Politicians give in to the AlGorites’ demands and mandate the production of more bio-fuels, despite their inefficiencies. Coupled with reduced crop production due to the massive heat-wave, this causes the prices for many basic food crops to increase by 30% or more.”
- Services Outsourcing Rises
“In an effort to contain costs, companies start outsourcing services, particularly in contingent labor management.”
- Major Multi-National X Moves it’s Headquarters to China
“Betting that China is the next global economic powerhouse, X moves its headquarters from the good old U. S. of A. to China.”
Will these stories happen? Unknown. Could they happen? Definitely! That’s why our next two posts will focus on how these situations could come about and what you can do to make sure that bad fates don’t happen to you.