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December 12, 2017
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CSCMP: Your voice in government on supply chain competitiveness

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By participating in the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, CSCMP is helping to ensure that the U.S. government considers supply chain issues and priorities as it develops economic policy.

Did you know that CSCMP plays a key role in an important U.S. government advisory committee on supply chain competitiveness? I have been involved with it from the start and would like to tell you about the committee's work.

The Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, which I chair, was launched in October 2012. It was formed to provide the U.S. Secretary of Commerce with consensus advice from the private sector on a policy approach to supply chain competitiveness. The goal is to support U.S. export growth and national economic competitiveness as well as to encourage innovation. Under its charter, the group provides detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary.

CSCMP was asked to play a major role in this important committee because we understand the end-to-end supply chain and bring unbiased perspectives and ideas to the discussion. We're able to lead the charter mission without advocating for any particular group's position.

The committee acts as a liaison between industry and government, ensuring regular contact with supply chain-focused entities, including manufacturers, distributors, and exporters. It has had a series of notable successes. For example, the National Freight Strategic Plan proposed in October 2015 by the U.S. Department of Transportation incorporates the committee's recommendations for the use of commercial supply chain management techniques to develop a vision for freight policy in the U.S.

The committee also issued two well-received sets of recommendations on the implementation of the International Trade Data System (ITDS), the comprehensive "single window" for electronic filing of customs and other federal agency documents required for processing U.S. imports and exports, which is scheduled for deployment by the end of 2016. ITDS is expected to reduce customs processing times and costs.

In addition to recommendations on infrastructure financing and trade topics, the group is now analyzing the origins of and potential solutions to recent port congestion problems on the U.S. West Coast from a supply chain management perspective.

The committee's efforts have introduced a fresh and valuable perspective to the U.S. government. "A real strength of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness continues to be the direct connection to the professionals who run supply chains for a living," says David Long, director of supply chain and professional services at the Commerce Department. "This perspective was new when the committee began its work, but through its work, commercial supply chain has become an established part of trade and investment policy debates across the government."

CSCMP is committed to advancing the disciplines of logistics and supply chain management, as well as to enhancing the value that we, as professionals, offer our companies, our country, and the economies we serve. I, along with the other committee members, will work hard to provide relevant insights and guidance to Department of Commerce leaders so they can achieve their supply chain goals, which will, ultimately, help us achieve ours.

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

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