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Game Changing Trends in Supply Chain

Trends come and go in supply chain with such frequency that it is sometimes hard to say what will and will not stick. In fact, sometimes so-called “trends” are only called trends because somebody with a professional background dealing with the idea decided to inflate its importance. An article from Supply Chain Management Review begins to discuss and explore a recent white paper outlining emerging supply chain trends that the authors believe are legitimate, and this is why: The ten game changing trends discussed in this white paper have their foundations in a landmark study done 13 years ago in 2000 and co-authored by Ted Stank on our faculty.  Based on our interaction with literally hundreds of companies annually (the largest industry network in the academic world), we absolutely believe that those trends can still serve as a foundation.  But the supply chain world has changed a lot over the past thirteen years. We think you will find it fascinating, as we did, to reflect on the changes made in each of the original dimensions. The ten trends they identified are:

  1. Customer service to customer relationship management
  2. Adversarial relationship to supplier collaboration
  3. Incremental change to a transformational agile strategy
  4. Functional focus to process integration
  5. Absolute value for the firm to relative value for the customers
  6. Forecasting to demand management
  7. Training to knowledge based learning
  8. Vertical integration to virtual integration
  9. Information hoarding to information sharing and visibility
  10. Managerial accounting to value based management

Over 160 supply chain professionals were surveyed to assess these ten trends in relation to the state of the industry. Among responses gathered, professionals believe that firms have made significant progress in the last decade in each of the ten areas but not ever at all ten at once, and also that progress has been made in customer relationships and cross-functional integration. Consult the full article for more info on trends that are likely here to stay.

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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