Inbound Logistics | January 2024


You’re Writing a Book About How to Manage Supply Chains in 2025. What’s the Longest Chapter?

PEOPLE ARE THE MISSING PIECE. While technologies allow practitioners to rethink supply chain management and add value from data, the real value comes when people—the practitioners themselves—e‹ectively leverage these tools. The emphasis is on developing progressive leaders, the key driver of success. –Omer Abdullah Co-Founder, The Smart Cube INDIA, THE NEW CHINA? As companies diversify manufacturing away from China to build more resilient supply chains, India is one of the primary options for friendshoring as it o‹ers low geopolitical conflict and a low cost base. However, the lack of infrastructure support poses another significant challenge that takes time and resources to address. –John Donigian Senior Director, Supply Chain Strategy Moody’s Analytics

TRUE PARTNERSHIP. This would be even more essential in 2025. You see supply chain cycles happen every 4-5 years; this puts us due for another spike in rates and lack of capacity in 2025 and 2026, for both land and ocean movements. I’ve seen this time and time again in my 26+ years in this industry. Many supply chain managers choose the lowest cost carrier that doesn’t have crappy service. When the supply chain shifts, these carriers immediately look for the highest paying freight or tell you their new high rates are e‹ective tomorrow. What kind of partnership is that? Managing supply chains is about finding true partnerships that will be with you when the (well, you know what fits here) hits the fan, and in turn, you will be there for them when your freight volumes dip. –Mitch Luciano CEO, Trailer Bridge

AUTOMATION—WHY IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GOOD DATA. Managing supply chains in 2025 will be all about automation. The longest chapter would explore the limitations of the hype and discuss why a focus on the data building blocks is core for successful automated supply chain system deployments. –Brian Krejcarek Co-founder and CEO, Reelables NOT SO HAPPY RETURNS? With the return of physical retail and record- setting online commerce, returns could hit an all-time high. Building agile inventory management through artificial intelligence-based assortment and allocation planning, fulfillment, returns, and pricing based on real-time data will be crucial for retailers to stay competitive. Taking this approach, retailers can optimize their inventory position without sacrificing margin. –Inna Kuznetsova CEO, ToolsGroup PREVAILING WITH ALTERNATIVES. The focal point is adeptly handling and capitalizing on alternatives—a top supply chain strategy. Spanning across raw materials, production, logistics, freight contracts, and 3PL providers, the emphasis lies in managing these alternatives for enhanced flexibility, strategic negotiation leverage, and comprehensive risk mitigation. –Chris Dodd

You’re Walking a Tightrope But Who has the Net? 1 This chapter explores risk management—the balancing of what we can control along the supply chain in the face of what we cannot control. I will start by quoting Burns’ 1785 warning about best-laid plans; and, after a 240-year romp, end o‹ in 2025 with where we are post-COVID and pre- net zero 2050. –Dr. Darren Prokop Professor Emeritus of Logistics, College of Business & Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage

Head of Operations Gelmart International

12 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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