The best way to understand supply chain trends

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Anyone looking for trends in supply chain and logistics could do no better than examine the entries in the 2013 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards.

The Awards, organised by Supply Chain Standard in association with PwC, attracted entries from 160 of Europe’s leading companies.

The development of online shopping has forced traditional retailers to come up with strategies to compete with the online specialists. Not only that, there are companies that started out as online only retailers that are now opening stores.

Not so long ago we were talking about multi-channel. But increasingly we live in an omni-channel world – one where the supply chain must be as responsive to a buyer on a mobile phone as it is to a shopper in the store.

Visibility and control of extended supply chains has been a major issue for manufacturers and retailers alike. And the need to be able to respond quickly to changes in the market has seen growth in near-shoring.

The trend towards strong collaborative supply chain partnerships was also highlighted by the Awards entries.

As the economy has moved from recession to growth, the demands on supply chains have also been changing. Then, recession meant that the over-riding priority for many organisations was to cut supply chain costs. 

While there will never be a day when costs don’t matter, there is now more scope for innovative thinking – enabling companies to be more agile, responsive and resilient – and ultimately delivering a better customer experience.

And there was plenty of evidence of all these qualities among the entries.  It took exceptional performances to take the top slots.

The winners deserve all our congratulations.

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