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February turned out to offer some very special challenges to logistics professionals with the heaviest snowfalls for almost two decades followed by flooding. The snow might have brought London and the South East to a virtual standstill- but that didn’t stop the Logistics Link Exhibition at Sandown Park. With a remarkable display of logistics prowess the show defied the elements and went ahead.

If the year has started in a challenging way, there is no doubt that the challenges are going to keep on coming for supply chain professionals. The motor industry is clearly hurting, but then January saw a surprise rise in retail sales – up 3.2 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium. Perhaps less surprisingly, the UK’s trade deficit in goods fell to an 18month low in December.

Clearly, companies need to look at taking cost out of their supply chains, but perhaps even more important is the flexibility to redeploy resources efficiently to meet changing market requirements.

And in these circumstances, opportunities to examine innovative approaches to the supply chain, combined with opportunities to share experiences and best practice with others are particularly valuable.

So the timing of the Extended Supply Chain conference could not be more opportune. It includes a rare opportunity to learn about Zara’s mould-breaking supply chain strategy.

And the line up of speakers includes world leaders in supply chain management such as BASF, Intel, Sony Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, Oracle, Marks & Spencer and Dyson. You can find full details on page 26. It promises to be a fascinating two days. I hope to see you there.



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