22. December 2011 15:54
As we quickly approach the passing of 2011, people and organisations begin the process of looking into the big crystal ball to see what 2012 will hold for them. I know that fortune tellers and supply chain gurus will be trembling with fear in the knowledge that I have dipped my toe into the supply chain prediction arena.
As I gaze into my crystal ball, it is hard to see anything but a difficult year ahead for all involved in the supply chain. The economic crisis within the EU will have a big impact globally and will lead to continued uncertainty within the business community. All areas of cost will continue to come under review.
- Both manufacturers and consumers will review mode selection.
- Increased transit times will be the trade-off against reduced price structures.
- More freight RFQ's will appear on local, regional and global bases with clients committing themselves to shorter-term contracts.
- High volume / value movements will be tendered on a spot-rate basis.
- Higher inventory levels because of supply chain issues experienced this year will lead to opportunities for 3PL and 4PL operators.
- Greater use of technology, and in particular, module-based TMS packages where investment costs are smaller and license fees virtually nonexistent: the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) option.
- The freight bill processing and audit market outside of the US will grow, as both global and regional organisations work to get better control of their supply chain process, and most importantly, supply chain cost.
Overall, 2012 will be a very tough year for all involved in the supply chain process, but potential opportunities exist for innovative and cost-effective organisations that add value to the supply chain.
Donal Brennan is VP of EMEA Operations at CTSI-Global. With years of freight forwarding experience in Ireland and the UK, Donal is a key player in supporting global clients.
What are your predictions for Supply Chain 2012? Please share your questions and comments!