Now, about that bonus…

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I admit that I have no obvious examples to back up this claim, but I am going to make it anyway: supply chain initiatives saved some companies from bankruptcy during the recession.

It seems a fair bet at least – it is certainly true that for some organisations it was a revelation to see just how much cash was tied up in the supply chain. And for many, it has be a priority to manage cash in the supply chain more effectively.

So, as things pick up – and, according to Markit’s latest Eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Index, both manufacturing and services grew again in January – it seems only fair that supply chain professionals should get a breather, a pat on the back, and (even better) a bonus.

But what is fair and what is really going to happen are two different things. And what appears to be happening is even more pressure to build on these successes.

Some research by eyefortransport suggests that 96 per cent of supply chain executives in the hi-tech sector feel that they are under more pressure than ever to drive profitability at their companies.

But it is not just the hi-tech sector when organisations are looking for a financial boost from their supply chains.

Walmart last week announced a major initiative on healthier eating supported by US first lady Michelle Obama no less. This included a pledge to save $1 billion a year on fresh fruit and vegetables “through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transport and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain”.

Just straws in the wind, perhaps, but it’s a fair prediction that organisations that have seen real benefits from supply chain improvements will be looking to achieve more.

Now, about that bonus…


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