President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "we are beginning to see glimmers of hope" for economic recovery. At the same time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke noted that the recession may be bottoming out, despite disappointing news that retail sales fell in March.
Jim Tompkins, global supply chain expert and business blogger, agrees that the economy is on an upswing, and what he calls the "The Great Comeback" is either here or right around the corner.
"It really depends on your industry sector," Tompkins says. "And although 2009 will continue to be difficult, the global and technological nature of today's business operations actually works to hasten the recovery."
To help companies better understand and prepare for The Great Comeback, he advises taking these seven realities to heart:
1. Different Bottoms Exist: A sector-by-sector comeback has begun. Different sectors will hit bottom at different times, starting with food, cosmetics, beverage, pharmaceuticals and inexpensive consumer electronics in the second quarter of 2009.
2. Comeback to Be Rapid and Global: The global economy is connected and integrated, which caused a rapid, responsive global downturn and a Great Recession that is both deep and global. Likewise, The Great Comeback will be rapid, responsive and global--moving beyond recovery to include increased market share, growth and prosperity.
3. Consumer Confidence Is the Driver: Consumer spending and confidence is returning. U.S. consumers will continue to spend on necessities and will gradually gain confidence to begin spending on discretionary and big-ticket items. This will lead to an increase in business volume in the U.S., which will result in capital investment in China, which will in turn result in the improvement of the European marketplace.
4. Investor Confidence Lags Behind: Investor confidence will not return this year. Capital spending, housing starts and unemployment will continue to be a problem throughout 2009 and much of 2010.
5. Knowledge Equals Power: Understanding the economy, the marketplace, competitors and government involvement will allow companies to project the timing and level of sales during the comeback.
6. Upgrading and Benchmarking Are Key: Benchmarking and best practices and business process upgrades will serve as key tools for organizations to reach new performance levels.
7. Shake off the Funk and Plan: Beginning now, shake off the funk of the Great Recession and plan for the comeback.
For more on how to prepare for The Great Comeback, read Tompkins' blog series on this topic at http://gogogosupplychain.tompkinsinc.com/
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