Delivering more than $10m in cost savings, spearheading a new global distribution model and driving a start-up's exponential growth are among the outstanding personal achievements of young professionals named winners in the ThomasNet and Institute for Supply Management 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars Recognition Program.
You have an earache and decide it's time to see the doctor. You call the office, sit on hold with a receptionist, and finally schedule an appointment – but not until five days later. As if waiting around for your appointment doesn't waste enough of your time, it's only the beginning of a tedious process – driving 20 minutes to the doctor's office, sitting in a crowded waiting room and filling out paperwork.
A sales manager recently spoke about an embarrassing scene that unfolded before an important client meeting. "Two teams from our firm were waiting in the lobby when the client walked in, and the groups didn't recognize each other. What a contradiction of our promise to provide integrated solutions! We looked like the Keystone Kops."
Innovation continues to rise in importance. In The Boston Consulting Group's tenth annual global survey of the state of innovation, 79 percent of respondents ranked innovation as either the top-most priority or a top-three priority at their company, the highest percentage since we began asking the question in 2005, when 66 percent said innovation was their top or among their three top priorities.
Operating ethically and operating profitably are no longer mutually exclusive concepts. Leading companies are "walking the walk," balancing the goal of achieving profitability with gaining social and environmental advantages.
As a company's supply chain grows, so does its exposure to risk. Experts recommend that companies periodically audit their supply chains to identify vulnerable links, but the value that such audits actually deliver is up for debate, for a variety of reasons.
Over the past few years, supply chain management has evolved from a labor-intensive local process to a "low-touch" - in some cases "no-touch" - complex global network. Today, SCM involves end-to-end and integrated planning and execution processes with real-time collaboration across the value chain. Such a system possesses tremendous flexibility in adjusting to a dynamic and consumer-driven marketplace.
For most companies, growth has slowed. Profits are sluggish. Complexity reigns and cycles are longer. The challenges and opportunities of business are greater. Supply chain excellence helps a company to better balance demand and supply. It also helps companies to be more resilient: weathering demand and supply volatility while maximizing opportunities and mitigating risks.