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Supply Chain Is Bigger Than Ever in 2012

As American manufacturing is hauled back from the brink and the economy picks up steam, effective supply chain management will grow dramatically in imp...

Freddie Pierce
|Feb 23|magazine7 min read

As American manufacturing is hauled back from the brink and the economy picks up steam, effective supply chain management will grow dramatically in importance, according to Rick Blasgen, President of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

“The supply chain is a shock absorber, managing the difference between what is planned and what actually happens,” Blasgen said in a speech at the Modex Show in Atlanta.  “We facilitate a lot of what happens in our economy, and we don’t get a lot of credit for it.”

Guilt-laden regrets and belated well-wishes for supply chain managers everywhere can be sent to the SCD offices, where they will either be promptly forwarded to their rightful recipients or discarded unread.

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Joking aside, Blasgen’s message is well-taken: proper supply chain management is critical to all companies, and with globalization proceeding apace, it’s getting more attention than ever.  Where things come from, how your workers are treated, and what you do about it goes a long way towards shaping the future.

It’s not just Blasgen’s opinion, or even a veteran supply chain manager’s point of view: it’s a documented fact that supply chain interruptions are poisonous to profits.  A recent Georgia Tech study cited by Blasgen in his speech demonstrated an average 8% drop in stock price “when something goes wrong with the supply chain.”

Recent floods in Thailand, and the corresponding recently announced dire quarter for computing giant HP, demonstrate how crucial supply chain sophistication really is.

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