Summer is a wrap, school is in session and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference (#CSCMP2015) in San Diego is on the horizon. Here are a few supply chain trends that will no doubt be discussed during CSCMP 2015:
- Internet of Things (IOT) – The internet of things consists of connected everything -- cars, semi-trucks, trailers, warehouses, home appliances and much more. The capture, analysis, integration and management of all this data up and down the supply chain could provide manufacturers, suppliers, and 3PLs with greater insights into products, services and end customers.
- Omni-channel – The omni-channel continues to evolve. In recent months we’ve seen major grocers and power retailers like Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Kroger offering online ordering and fulfillment, and others offering grocery home delivery and/or online ordering and in-store pick-up. Emerging grocery competitors like Instacart are also in the mix. Distribution, supply chain and fulfillment models in the supermarket and retail sectors are being re-imagined and re-defined.
- M&A – There has been no shortage of mergers and acquisitions activity in the supply chain and logistics space. UPS, FedEx, Geodis, Kuehne & Nagel, and even Penske Logistics have made or announced pending acquisitions.
- Talent Squeeze – From warehouse workers and truck drivers to supply chain and logistics engineers and technologists, manufacturers and logistics service providers are finding it difficult to keep pace with the impending cascade of retirements from their workforces while also attracting and retaining top talent.
- Global Economy – Major economies like China and Brazil are struggling while the U.S. economy is seemingly holding its own but not without experiencing bumps like the late-summer drop in the Dow. Meanwhile Mexico continues as an economic standout by attracting automotive manufacturers, suppliers and logistics providers as a near-shoring destination.
- Social Responsibility – From working conditions in developing nations to running more environmentally-friendly truck fleets, supply chain transparency and social responsibility are increasingly linked and playing a part in sustainable and socially responsible business strategies.
- Capacity – In thinking about the current state of logistics and supply chains, the topic of capacity comes up often. For example, can East Coast ports and warehousing providers handle the freight influx from super container ships as a result of the Panama Canal widening? How much of an impact is the truck driver shortage having on freight hauling? Is this a boom time for freight brokerages as shippers seek additional trucking capacity?
What other hot supply chain or logistics topics are you looking forward to learning about during the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals Annual Global Conference? Be sure to connect with Penske Logistics (@PenskeLogistics) during the event and attend our sessions. Our CSCMP schedule is here.
By Randy Ryerson