Are Things Looking Up? As 2023 began, the global economy
focused on ination and recession fears. Now add geopolitical tensions and domestic challenges in key markets that are slowing return to sustained growth, according to KPMG’s latest Global Economic Outlook report. Pressure on global supply chains has eased in 2023 and shipping costs have dropped, which should alleviate some inationary pressures and improve supply capacity, the report contends. However, global trade remains relatively weak. Consumer demand may also pick up in 2023, with European markets already seeing slight improvements. “How we get back to sustainable, long-term growth is the big question facing boardrooms and political chambers around the world right now,” says Regina Mayor, global head of clients and markets for KPMG. “The actions taken over the coming months are likely to play a signicant role in the pace and nature of the world’s economic recovery.”
TURN UP THE TECH Driven by the need to improve visibility and better manage the workforce, nearly three-quarters of supply chain leaders are increasing technology and innovation investments, finds the 2023 MHI Annual Industry Report, The Responsible Supply Chain: Transparency, Sustainability, and the Case for Business , conducted with Deloitte. Sustainability is also top of mind, as nearly half of respondents (48%) face increased pressure from consumers, regulators, and industry groups to adopt a greener supply chain. The report cites the top five challenges supply chain executives say they face in 2023: 1. Hiring and retaining qualified workers (57%) 2. Talent shortages (56%) 3. Supply chain disruptions (54%) 4. Out-of-stocks (52%) 5. Customer demands (52%) Many companies are responding to these challenges by investing in technology. For example, labor shortages are forcing companies to examine technologies that improve eciency and reduce repetitive, manual labor. The hope is that this technology creates an environment with more rewarding supply chain jobs that appeal to top talent and upskill current employees.
April 2023 • Inbound Logistics 19
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