Well, here we are, in a brand new year, with all of the promises of a better tomorrow—a year that certainly has the potential to surpass 2011 in any number of areas.
In spite of the sluggish performance of the past year, the economy appears to be on the upswing, and there is much optimism that we will be able to sustain this momentum. 2012 is beginning on a good note with the solid earnings reports from the latest round of public companies reporting earnings. This, coupled with some other metrics going in the right direction, such as the 50,000 new transportation and distribution jobs added in December and modest growth in manufacturing, is pointing the way to a much-improved economic forecast.
Supply chain management professionals (that’s us) continue to increase our value to those we serve—our customers, our corporations, and our communities. We know we can make a demonstrative positive effect on company performance; we’ve proven this time and time again. And, we continue to see supply chain leaders rising to the ranks of corporate officers as they prove that their skills are portable to general management.
CSCMP is committed to ensuring your success in the supply chain management profession. We design our programs and services to make sure that you are positioned for advancement in this growing field. This is one reason why we developed our new, globally-relevant rigorous certification: SCPro. Find out how you can become one of the first to join the ranks at cscmpcertification.org.
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and successful New Year!
Why is it that so many young people are not aware of the term “supply chain management?” I think about my own kids and wonder if I wasn’t a part of this ever-growing community of supply chain management and logistics professionals, maybe they wouldn’t be aware of the fields as well. Shouldn’t we, as leaders of the profession, let young people know how rewarding a career in supply chain management is as well as its importance? I believe that more high schools and middle schools need to start discussing the real world impact of transportation infrastructure and how importing and exporting works. They should teach students how everybody makes a positive difference in the world when they are a part of a supply chain. So, pass the torch. The next time someone asks you what you do for a living, tell him or her that you are a supply chain management professional and that you make a difference in their lives every day!
By definition, a mentor is a “trusted counselor or guide.” Being a mentor to someone is one way to give something back to the supply chain management profession. For me, giving back to the profession is so important. I feel that I am contributing in a very significant way by helping someone succeed and further his or her career. There are so many different (creative) ways you can mentor someone, but at its core is the giving of yourself and your time.
CSCMP’s mission statement is to lead the supply chain management profession by developing, advancing, and disseminating supply chain knowledge and research. By doing so, we are also able to help develop and advance individuals’ careers. Our mission thus becomes a mentoring program of sorts for all of us.
During this holiday season of giving, remember those who helped further your career and reach out to those who are just beginning theirs. We all need a little help from time to time, and this is one powerful way to give.
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In this day and age, we make more connections online through LinkedIn and Facebook than we do in person, but to transform these e-connections into solid business relationships requires more than just a click of the mouse. It’s critical that you reach out to your online connections with a phone call and plan to meet them in person for lunch or at an event like a workshop or a conference. Building personal relationships with the people you connect with will help you and your business succeed. These individuals will be able to offer insights and solutions, or pass along a resume to the right people. They will also be a conduit to your next professional contact.
CSCMP is the perfect place to make those connections and build relationships with supply chain management professionals around the world. Join our LinkedIn group, attend a conference, or participate in one of our 110-plus global roundtable events. You are guaranteed to meet someone who will impact your company and your career. There is no better formula for success than building relationships with your connections!
Lately, I have been thinking about how we take the vast experience that exists within today’s leaders and transfer it to the next generation of logistics and supply chain pioneers. We have come a long way in the past 50 years, the achievements enabled by many pioneers of the past, most of who are still with us and practicing today.
But how do we take what they have learned, the experiences they have had, and convert those into meaningful knowledge upon which future careers can be built? Sure, there are books and whitepapers which serve us well. But in total, it would be a shame to allow that generational history, those building blocks of our modern day business processes, to be sunsetted only to be referred to on occasion by those with great memories and the ability to recollect the past.
Well, we are going to work on this. I will martial up a team to try figure out a way to capture this history, these decades of work that built what we enjoy today. Think about all the evolution in our profession that’s taken place, through thick and thin; the business process innovation, the technology, the academic achievements, the education of our worth to those we serve, and the leaders that have emerged. We need to make sure that we mark this history and transfer the knowledge to another generation. We need to give them that head start, so they can accelerate the yet to be determined advancements that will undoubtedly take place. If you have ideas about this, please contact me!
See you in Philadelphia at our 2011 Annual Global Conference! http://cscmpconference.org/
I have been talking of late to lots of folks about our upcoming CSCMP Annual Global Conference this year, to be held October 2 – 5, in Philadelphia. It’s always exciting to talk about the event, as our committees work tirelessly to bring the most up to date, relevant, and action oriented information to the conference attendees. This year is sure to be quite an event, just puruse the sessions in each track! http://cscmpconference.org/
In addition, although we all embrace communications technologies and social networking, the thought of meeting face to face, rubbing elbows with your peers from around the world, sharing a story or solution to a problem, a business card, a joke (yes, we can have fun!) is creating a buzz. Back to the future? Possibly so, but nevertheless, logistics/supply chain pro’s are really looking forward to coming to Philly and reinvigorating their supply chain spirit.
I hope to see you there, Come join us, share your knowledge, see old friends, create some new ones. You can’t beat it!
America needs to move toward energy independence…now. The US government needs to authorize the exploration of our energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources so that we can be a susatianable country.
Whether it’s moving towards energy independence or designing greener warehosues, responsible businesses must demonstrate sustainable practices and a corporate social conscience. And, according to a recent Aberdeen Group study, provide verifiable evidence of the social and envionmental impacts these produce.
Today’s supply chain managers are leading the charge in their efforts to operate their companies and their supply chains more sustainably. We have been at the forefront of this dynamic movement for decades, and will continue to blaze the trail to a leaner, greener, and better tomorrow.
More on Cost Cutting and Corporate Concern: Is it at the Heart of Supply Chain Sustainability? Part 3Written by RickB on May 3, 2011 – 10:49 am
Many organizations, such as Costco Wholesale Corporation, have implemented formal sustainable policies. The company released a new sustainable seafood policy this year, outlining which products it will not sell. Costco partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in an effort to source only from fisheries that use sustainable practices and to enforce a set of standards for those fisheries.
Finally, in order for a nation to be truly “sustainable,” it is vital that it be able to get the energy it needs–without interruption–to power its economy. Energy, whether it be oil, or natural gas-, nuclear-, or petroleum-based, enables the global supply chain to continue flowing. Thirty years ago, the US imported 28% of its oil. Today, that figure is closer to 60%, with much of it coming from the Middle East. So, when you see the crisis escalating in that region of the world, it’s disconcerting that the US government does not have an over-arching energy policy that addresses this issue.
Texas oil and gas executive and entrepreneur, T. Boone Pickens, maintains that the US is rich in natural gas reserves. He believes that we should convert our heavy equipment vehicles, i.e., 18-wheelers, to natural gas. Although the cost to convert a diesel engine to natural gas is not cheap (roughly $60,000), the savings would be well worth the investment. Natural gas costs about a quarter of what oil does, and burns cleaner, too.
Major players around the globe are seeing the value of employing sustainable practices, not only in terms of increased bottom lines, but also increased consumer goodwill. Carmakers are producing more efficient vehicles. Transportation industry leaders are exploring new engine models that reduce C02 emissions, and innovative truck designs such as aerodynamic profiles and sloping hoods that reduce wind drag, and therefore, reduce fuel costs.
Long-duration truck engine idling also has a significant (detrimental) impact on our environment and our economy, according to the EPS. New technology called electrified parking spaces (EPS) addresses this issue by supplying heating, cooling, and electrical power independent of a truck’s engine, allowing it to be turned off when not on the highway.
Companies are developing more environmental-friendly packaging for their products as well by reducing the amount of packaging they require, thus reducing the waste they generate. There are also several sustainable pilot programs in the works where warehouse roofs are being retrofitted with solar panels so that solar energy can be used to either run the operations or sold back to the grid.
The simplest way to define supply chain sustainability is “reducing costs while eliminating waste.” But true sustainiability goes beyond lower costs and less waste. In fact, at its core is genuine corporate concern for those who will be following in our footsteps. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (WECD) defined sustainable development as that “which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
When your company, your employees, and even the partners you conduct business with employ sustainable practices, you are sending a message to the world that you are ablout them because you care about the environment. Sustainability is here to stay in the logistics and supply chain management arenas. This is a good thing–for our companies, our customers, and our communities. And let’s not forget our grandchildren.
The global recession may have slowed down some organizations’ sustainability initiatives, but growing numbers of them are making this one of their top strategic priorities for 2011. Although government regulations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act are driving some of the these initiatives, there seems to be a corporate consensus among leading companies to reduce their carbon footprints throughout the end-to-end supply chain of their own volition. It’s just smart business.