Sunday, November 18, 2012

Discussion at Michigan State

I had the pleasure of speaking to the Broad China Business Society this past Friday concerning my thoughts on where global logistics is headed, what are the big issues or mega-trends and what are some of the things we logisticians can do to solve these issues.  I first want to thank the group for inviting me and say how incredibly impressed I was with the leadership and the membership of this group.  All incredibly intelligent students and it makes me feel really positive about our future.  With these students as leaders, the world is in good hands.

After showing the state of our industry as measured by efficiency and quantity of goods (the state is healthy but has some challenges) I then went into 5 major challenges:

  1. The continued rapid explosion of global trade
  2. The evolving infrastructure issues around the world
  3. Global security issues - this deals with supply chain disruption for any reason
  4. Global climate and sustainability issues
  5. The "war" for talent and the need for great talent in our industry. 
While I will not go into this in depth here I do believe all of these issues are issues the logistician and the supply chain professional will need to study and deal with over the next 10 - 20 years.  Each person will have to evaluate these areas relative to the industry they are in, the goals and objectives of their business and their business' current situation.  

I warn people - there are not one size fits all solutions to these issues.  What works for a CPG company may not work in consumer durables.  Again, the tough work of detailed analysis in your own business must be done to determine where you will take your strategy. 

I also caution people to reevaluate these periodically.  While these trends will stay with us the severity of each one may change which may change your prioritization of what to work on.  

The discussion was almost an hour long so the details are beyond the scope of a blog.  Thank you again to Michigan State University and I hope to do this again soon!

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