Time to look forward

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Sitting in the middle of a blizzard, it would be easy to focus on the difficulties supply chain professionals face at this time of year.  But I am much more interested in looking forward into next year and opportunities ahead.

And there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic – the recovery might be slow and a bit hesitant but growth is continuing. And one of the lessons of the recession surely has to be the critical role that supply chain now plays in major corporations.

The implications of this will come under scrutiny at the Extended Supply Chain conference in April. For example, David Warrick of Microsoft will explain how the group has moved to an out-sourced supply chain which has led it to be truly demand-driven.

And Henrik Hjalmarsson of Findus, a company in a very different market, will be looking at building a responsive and more agile supply chain in a dynamic and turbulent environment.

The theme of transforming supply chains was in the spotlight in the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards this year. The overall winner, Primark, demonstrated how to go about that change. The judges reported: “Change over the last three years has been truly transformational, without turning the business or the supply chain on its head.”

And looking ahead, we are likely to see more examples of such transformations as companies realign there business models to meet changing market demands. And I am sure that this will be reflected in the entries for the Awards in 2011.

This is Supply Chain Standard’s last Executive Briefing of 2010 – we will back on 11th January 2011.

In the meantime I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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