Late in December we have the tendency to simultaneously examine the year that has been while contemplating the year that is to be. While I am interested in history, to understand and learn from the past, I am more interested in what lies ahead, where we can make a difference.
On my desk in front of me is a copy of a special year-end edition of TheEconomist titled ‘The World in 2013.” I always find year-end predictions to be intriguing and not surprisingly this issue has plenty of content on risk due to political or economic instability. But, there is also good news for many of our readers in this special edition.
“In 2013 the improvement in America’s economic health will become more evident, lifting the pace of growth above 2.5 percent by year-end and pushing unemployment further below 8 percent.” __ Greg Ip, “Back from the Cliff”
“With the economy still sluggish, Latin America will stand out as a relatively bright spot.”__Michael Reid, “Latin America’s New Normal”
“More remarkable than the speed of Indonesia’s growth is its consistency. Only four other economies in the world … can boast a steadier pace of expansion (as measured by the coefficient of variation) over the past 10 years.”__ Simon Cox, “The New Neighborhood Heavyweights”
In a section called “The World in Figures,” the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts the following:
- Sub-Saharan African gross domestic product will grow at a rate of 4.8 percent, faster than any other region of the globe, save Asia. This will be largely due to Mozambique, Rwanda, and Ghana all growing at a rate of 7.6 percent or more.
- Although Europe will continue to suffer as a result of the debt crisis, the Euro zone will pull itself out of recession.
Daniel Franklin, editor of this special edition, sums it up this way: “In short, triskaidekaphobiacs may have their reasons to fear a year with the number 13 in it. But it might not be so bad after all.”
Out of uncertainty comes opportunity
For the last four weeks we have been exploring various aspects of “Manufacturing the Future: The next era of global growth and innovation,” which was recently published by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). MGI is bullish on manufacturing. Also, its experts appear to be very impressed with the opportunities for supply chain professionals to become strategic leaders in their organizations if they take hold of the possibilities.
For example, McKinsey projects that the global consuming class will grow to 1.8 billion by 2025, dramatically expanding demand for products manufactured in both advanced and emerging manufacturing economies. Added to that, is the belief that innovation will further drive both demand and productivity higher. This means that supply chain professionals “with the analytical skills to turn data into insights or new operating improvements” can make substantial contributions to their companies’ ability to serve the customer and gain market share.
Opportunity plus determination is a very powerful thing. How resolved are you to be the supply chain professional of the future? How are you going to invest your time in the coming year to prepare yourself for the next? Will you earn your CSCP? Will you attend an APICS risk seminar or one of our conferences in Mumbai, London, Chicago, or Orlando? Will you engage in local education and networking opportunities with an APICS partner? Will you follow APICS practitioner research to gain insights into what others are doing? Will you diligently read APICS magazine cover to cover?
As always, APICS is dedicated to ensuring that you have the information, education, and credentials you need to meet the demands of the complex and ever-changing world of supply chain management. And we will redouble our efforts next year. Will you?
I encourage you to continue this discussion in the Operations Management Now communityon the APICS Supply Chain Channel.