business 1137362 640What is a “customer centric” supply chain?

Over the past couple of years, global markets have experienced dramatic shifts on two dimensions: geographically and demographically.

In the first part of this century we witnessed a near doubling of the middle class, with much of the growth taking place in emerging markets. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2030, 4.9 billion people will call themselves “middle class” and most of the growth will be coming from emerging markets. It is also estimated that 525 million people in Asia already count themselves part of the middle class. This rapidly growing middle class is creating new market opportunities for domestic and international companies. For example, China is already the world’s largest market for automobiles and mobile phones. This, of course, increases the demand for products, as well as stretches the logistics networks that must satisfy this demand.

boxes 979578 640Managing excess inventory is a challenge for supply chain and operations management professionals in even the most efficient organizations. Overage issues can drain profitability and take your focus away from core priorities and operational objectives. When faced with excess inventory, many companies try the following common—though misguided—strategies.

shoes 842339 640Good news for retailers - according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), last year’s global holiday sales were expected to increase 3.7% over the previous year and top $630.5 billion. While price remains shoppers’ primary driver, options that save time and provide added value like free shipping also win. That’s likely why leading shippers were also expecting record numbers over the holiday season.

business 1012761 640Supply chain automation is often thought of as machines and robots replacing humans to lower costs, improve quality, and reduce risks in the production and movement of materials and finished products. As companies integrated their supply chains with suppliers and customers and eliminated siloed functions within their own organizations over the past thirty years, however, ensuring that data is easily accessible by the right people at the right time has become critically important.

At long last, Supply Chain World magazine has added a blog feature to our website. In this section, we will bring forward our own ideas and observations on supply chain issues, but we will also bring insights to you from external contributors. These industry experts will share their stories and strategies here on our blog, and some of the blog posts will also find their way into our print and digital editions.

This addition to our online presence will help Supply Chain World to live up to our billing as the authority on best practices in supply chain management. Just as our traditional profiles and features bring interviews and contributions to you from experts who know the process first-hand and are finding ways to improve efficiencies, our blog will give us another tool to help inform and educate. It all starts now...stay tuned!!

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