During my 20 year career in logistics, transportation and trade compliance, I have had to become smarter. I have kept up by reading and researching more. Google is my best friend. I do this because my clients and their supply chains are increasingly more sophisticated. A new generation of supply chain executives are looking for solutions to complex challenges brought on by globalization, new technology, limited resources and demand uncertainty. They are looking for smarter solutions to their supply chain.
Normally the passage of time helps bring clarity in an uncertain future. It has been over a year since the UK held their referendum on whether to stay or leave the European union and unfortunately the future is murkier than ever. Regardless of why the leave vote won, the repercussions and impact is still unclear. As a result of the unexpected outcome of the referendum, Prime Minister Cameron was forced to resign and replaced by an overconfident Prime Minister May that announced an early general election believing that she could consolidate power with a stronger majority. Unfortunately for her party, she misread the populace and her party lost seats to the Labour party creating greater uncertainty in leadership and direction for the UK.
Ecommerce is booming. Consumers are increasingly more confident with making purchases online and many consumer surveys show that more and more shoppers are preferring to shop online instead of bricks and mortar retail. Sales for traditional retailers have remained flat or decreased while some industry surveys reports online sales growing 15 – 30%. The convenience of online shopping is very attractive but many e-tailers are still not maximizing their customer’s online shopping experience.
What is the difference between a good company and a great one? Is it having a great product or service? Is it leadership? Is it being innovative? Is it vision? Is it listening and recognizing an unsatisfied need? Great marketing? These are all important but not the root source of success. The seed of great accomplishments are people. Specifically, engaged people that feel connected.
After passing the Lincoln tunnel, beyond the city limits, across the sea of swirly twirly gum drops and the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, you arrive at Christmas town. The village is very busy at this time of year in preparation for the big event. There are thousands of elves making millions of presents for all the boys and girls of the whole world. At the centre of the town is Santa’s Workshop where Santa’s crack supply chain team are meeting to talk about the issues of the day.
Horse racing is commonly used as a metaphor of competition. There are favourites and long shots. Dark horses and thoroughbreds. The expressions “neck and neck”, “by a nose”, “first out of the gate”, “reined in”, and “going the distance” have their origins in racing and are commonly found in other sports and the business world.
Long weekends have traditions all their own. Time off during a three day weekend is a great time to spend with family and friends. It may be a short trip to the cottage enjoying fireworks, barbeques and camp fires in the summer. Or a gathering of family to enjoy football and a turkey feast with all the fixings in the fall while getting sleepy from a carb induced coma.
The time off is well earned but for supply chain professionals that help manage the flow of raw and finished goods in a 24 hour, 7 day a week and 365 day per year economy, is there such a thing as complete time off from you supply chain.
I was having a philosophical moment while sipping on a glass of wine after a rewarding day in the supply chain and compliance industry. I asked myself the question: where is the customs brokerage industry headed?
It was a dark and stormy October night. The warehouse was quiet. Too quiet. Normally at this time of year the building is bustling with activity from merchandise for the important Christmas season. But this year, all was as hushed as a cemetery at the witching hour. The logistic manager was stuck in his dimly lit office rocking back and forth with anxious anticipation of his cargo. Why? Months before he decided to make all his transportation and logistics decisions based on cost.