Last week I attended the ISM 2014 International Supply Chain Management Conference in Las Vegas. It was interesting to hear what the top issues are for supply chain managers in companies from very small to Fortune 500:
- SRM – supplier relationship management – looks like CRM but looking up the supply chain
- Supply Chain Risk Management – this was an issue I spoke on at the conference – many companies (including Fortune 500) are just now beginning to pay attention to this, but they are making it a high priority
- Supply Chain Strategy – most companies and many speakers focused on this issue. Specifically, the need to tie supply chain strategy to the business strategy and go way beyond simple cost management was top of mind.
- Reshoring – several key note speakers dealt with the fact that the United States is leading the world in unit labor output and costs. Unit labor cost includes factors of productivity, currency value and labor cost. The US has the highest productivity and lowest unit labor cost in the world. That is driving substantial reshoring activity and is making the US very competitive on the world stage.
All of these issues should be top of mind for supply chain managers. The basic outcome of the meeting was to develop an innovative supply chain strategy to help the company meets its business objectives.
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