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December 13, 2017
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The "buzz" around supply chain management

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At the recent CSCMP Annual Global Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I was reminded over and over again what an exciting time it is for supply chain management professionals.

At the recent CSCMP Annual Global Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I was reminded over and over again what an exciting time it is for supply chain management professionals. Everywhere I went at the conference, I heard energized, animated conversations—"buzz," if you will. At networking events and in the hallways, people were talking about the trends that are changing the way global supply chains operate, what the future holds, and how to shape that future.

CSCMP recognizes that supply chain professionals must deal with momentous changes, now and in the future. That's why our annual conference served up high-quality presentations that provided solid, actionable information attendees could take home and immediately put to use. The feedback from attendees confirmed that we were on target with the mix of topics and educational opportunities in Atlanta. We'll continue to build on those offerings and also try some new ideas at the 2013 conference in Denver, Colorado.

More broadly, the kind of education attendees experienced at the conference will help our profession gain influence at progressive companies worldwide. But that influence is not limited to private industry. Now we're seeing evidence that supply chain management is earning recognition from governments, too.

The United States government, for example, has taken note of the importance of supply chain management to the nation's economy. To underscore the critical role supply chains play in U.S. manufacturing and exports, the U.S. Department of Commerce recently created the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. Members of the committee, including 40 senior-level experts appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, will advise the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other federal agencies on supply chain issues that affect the international competitiveness of U.S. businesses. I am proud to be a member of this committee, and proud that CSCMP has been asked to contribute to this important initiative.

CSCMP will mark its 50-year anniversary in 2013. This golden anniversary is a fitting time to reflect on how and why the organization came into being, and to mark the path it has traveled through the decades. It's also a good time to celebrate the leaders who developed the supply chain management profession and helped to extend its boundaries beyond what the early practitioners could have imagined.

The U.S. government's recognition of CSCMP and of the importance of supply chain management shows how far the discipline has come in the past half-century. But that's not the end of the story. CSCMP—and the profession—will continue to evolve, pushing the frontiers of technology and knowledge management, with a new group of visionaries leading the way. In short, supply chain management will only increase in importance, and there'll always be something new and innovative to "buzz" about.

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

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