The struggling Global economy has inevitably seen the supply chain industry having to adapt during 2012 – a theme that will continue into 2013 according to end-to-end supply chain consultancy Crimson & Co.
Dave Alberts, Director at Crimson & Co claims that weaknesses in the western economies in 2012 has changed the way supply chains operate. “The economic climate has continued to drive an emphasis on cost reduction. Against this cost cutting background, businesses are still being asked to respond to the ever increasing pace of innovation. Innovation is vital for sales, and businesses are trying to find ways to manage the complexity this creates.”
Natural disasters of recent years still weigh heavily on the mind of supply chain professionals; with companies exploring sourcing options more actively and risk management gaining a larger role. The last year has also seen more companies looking at their logistics operations and how they can gain revenue, something which is especially true for high margin sectors such as pharmaceuticals and energy.
“As we look to next year, supply chain dynamics will change,” said Alberts. “Adapting from a relatively local supply chain to a global supply chain with appropriate localisation will become commonplace, presenting new challenges.”
As markets become more segmented and product lifestyles shorten, businesses need to ensure the benefits of managing at a regional or global level are balanced against the local requirements. Alberts comments: “Customer demands are getting more complex and ‘one size fits all’ will not provide competitive benefit. Those tailoring their supply chains will see a more successful 2013 than those that don’t.
“The next wave of supply chain thinking needs to take an holistic approach to cost reduction, service and cash flow improvements whilst accepting that complexity is here to stay whether we like it or not,” concluded Alberts.
About Crimson & Co:
Established in 2003, Crimson & Co is a fast-growing supply chain consultancy with a strong reputation for developing and implementing end-to-end supply chain solutions across the globe.