CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
November 20, 2017
Supply Chain Executive Insight E-Newsletter
Each month the Supply Chain Executive Insight e-newsletter will include brief articles about developments that are often overlooked by other supply chain publications. We will present you with summaries of the latest research as well as new ideas on how to make your supply chain operations more effective. And we'll offer commentary that sheds light on what's happening in supply chains today.
Sign up now!

Most Read Articles

News from our sister publication
DC Velocity
Direct Connection
Direct Connection

Who keeps the engines of global commerce running?

Comment
Although what supply chain professionals do every day impacts commerce everywhere in the world, their role in corporate success and competitiveness generally has remained in the background.

No matter what industry they represent, supply chain professionals have played a key role in helping supply chain management become a visible force within the business community. Gaining that visibility has not been an easy task, however.

Achieving recognition for their contributions to overall company performance has been a long, slow journey. Although what supply chain professionals do every day—meeting challenges, solving problems, and creating revenue- generating opportunities—impacts commerce everywhere in the world, their role in corporate success and competitiveness generally has remained in the background.

For the most part, supply chain professionals have viewed this as merely another challenge to overcome. Together, they have continued to move forward, and with each step, they've come closer to the goal of visibility for the profession and its valuable contributions.

Today, at long last, supply chain management finally is being recognized as an area of critical business and economic growth—by Wall Street and by those who publicly measure company performance ... by governments that are beginning to realize that remaining globally competitive requires well-connected, reliable infrastructure … and by consumers who may not possess a professional's acumen but understand that, thanks to supply chain professionals, they have access to necessary goods and services.

But that's not the end of the story. Even though there are some signs of improvement for business and for the global economy, there is still a great deal of uncertainty, and supply chain professionals are facing unprecedented challenges. As Dr. Stephan Wagner noted in a recent article in CSCMP's Journal of Business Logistics, "Unforeseen or difficult-to-predict events happening within a firm, a supply chain, or the environment seem to occur more often and be more severe."

Certainly, the past year's catastrophes have seemed endless. And because the shock waves of a regional disaster ripple around the world, causing supply chain disruptions in disparate parts of the globe, such events have become more difficult to respond to than ever. Yet these challenges are set against an optimistic backdrop of futuristic technology, with palm-size smartphones that in reality are miniature computers; an expanding global marketplace with a copious selection of goods—from the necessary to the trendy to the luxurious; and an improving economic outlook, with more jobs and the promise of a better tomorrow.

When supply chain disruptions occur, the world counts on supply chain professionals to minimize their effects and move commerce forward by providing critical goods, services, and information. And as more regions of the world become accessible, supply chain professionals will be there to help establish and support these emerging markets, facilitating trade between them and other nations.

These are revolutionary times that demand leadership, dedication, and some creative thinking to meet society's and the global economy's needs. These are times that require supply chain professionals to keep the engines of global commerce running.

Rick Blasgen is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.


Want more articles like this? Sign up for a free subscription to Supply Chain Executive Insight, a monthly e-newsletter that provides insights and commentary on supply chain trends and developments. Click here to subscribe.

We Want to Hear From You! We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about this article by sending an e-mail to ?Subject=Letter to the Editor: Quarter 2011: Who keeps the engines of global commerce running?"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.

Want more articles like this? Subscribe to CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.