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The way forward
At CSCMP, part of our mission is to develop and disseminate research that helps our members understand how to do their jobs better. Knowing how logistics and supply chain costs affect and are affected by the larger economy is a key part of this understanding. For this reason, CSCMP believes it's important to sponsor the annual "State of Logistics Report," which we present with support from Penske Logistics.
For the past 22 years the report, currently authored by Delcan Corporation analyst Rosalyn Wilson, has tracked and measured the costs associated with moving goods through the U.S. supply chain. Many supply chain professionals use the "State of Logistics Report" to quantify the size of the U.S. transportation market and the impact of logistics on the U.S. economy. (The entire "State of Logistics Report," by the way, is available free to all CSCMP members at cscmp.org.)
For the past several years, the study's findings have also told the story of an economy struggling to recover from the "Great Recession." Through hard data, the 2010 report shows how elusive and prolonged the recovery from the recession of 2008-2009 has been. Unfortunately, this slow economic growth may well mean another year of challenges for all of us in the logistics and supply chain profession.
The statistics and industry insights contained in the "State of Logistics Report" can help companies better prepare for the business demands that lie ahead. That's because this research does not just identify macro trends and how they are affecting logistics operations; it also suggests ways that companies can capitalize on the recovery as it moves forward. That's essential knowledge for anyone who wants to have a well-managed, dynamic supply chain. When we released the report in Washington, D.C., in June, Penske Logistics' Joe Gallick said that a well-managed supply chain was a crucial part of coming through the recovery even stronger than before. Effective supply chains, he said, can help companies drive down costs, manage inventories, respond to recalls, and adjust to sudden economic shifts and global crises.
Joe was one of several speakers at that presentation who discussed the significance of the report's findings to their companies and the entire industry. Others included Adrian Gonzalez of Adelante SCM Corporation, John Lanigan of BNSF Rail, Jeffrey Pilof of Macy's, John White of Fortna Incorporated, and U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary John D. Porcari.
These panelists did an excellent job of translating the report's facts and figures into real-world terms. They'll reprise their analysis on October 3 in a "Current Issues" track session at CSCMP's Annual Global Conference in Philadelphia. We hope you'll join us then for an in-depth discussion of this important topic.
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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: The way forward"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.