Supply Chain in the Year Ahead
By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE
During this first week of 2014, the news is full of articles about the world economy and the future of business. “US Mergers Activity in 2013 Back at the Trillion-Dollar Level,” “US Oil Exports Loom Large in 2014” “Ten Tech Gadgets We Want to See in 2014,” just to name a few. Add to these the news that the US Federal Reserve ended 2013 with a forecast of an improving economy, and we all might have some reason to celebrate.
Yet, supply chain and operations management professionals have more than economic growth to consider as they look to the year ahead. APICS research professionals anticipate that 2014 will be the year that rewards supply chains that possess the following characteristics:
- Sensitive enough to detect early change.
- Nimble enough to respond swiftly to that change.
- Tough enough to endure shock and upset caused by change.
One reason for this prediction is that information technology and data capture, including cloud and mobile computing, continue to advance. Professionals and processes are able to respond better than ever to the information collected, leading to innovation and the likelihood of disruptive change. Consider three disruptive technologies that have the potential to change supply chain: Google’s driverless car revolution; Bitcoin’s anonymous, open-source currency; and Amazon’s foray into tablets and television production.
Turn to APICS Research in 2014
Whatever comes your way, APICS and its research can add insight. For example, last year, we saw supply chains continue to evolve from mere tactical helpers into strategic players within organizations and business models. Key insights into this process will be revealed later this year when the initial results of "Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizons" are released.
This study is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components conducted by the APICS Foundation and the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Supply Chain Management, with the support of MSU Executive Development Programs and the Broad College of Business. The study examines factors in three areas: an organization’s business model, management and the interrelationship between the business model and supply chain operations.
Another APICS research initiative taking place in 2014 is the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional Job Task Analysis, which identifies developments in supply chain so that the credential can include necessary updates. You input, as an industry professional, will be necessary. Please stay tuned for more information on these exciting research offerings from APICS. Or, visit the APICS research site for insights anytime.