The Supply Chain of the Future – Tomorrow's Vision or Today's Reality?
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Today's challenges, tomorrow's achievements
It must have been a supply chain management (SCM) professional who said, "what is impossible today is possible tomorrow." It's certainly a familiar refrain to SCM professionals, who accomplish seemingly impossible tasks every day, everywhere in the world.
How are we able to do that? By being lifetime students, always learning, improving, and evolving, and by keeping abreast of new and innovative research to gain a broad understanding of current trends and issues. Clearly, continued education is a critical element of a successful SCM career.
Supply chain professionals also achieve a great deal through our strong interpersonal skills. We need that ability to communicate well, both inside our own companies and externally with suppliers and customers, because effective communication is the foundation of successful collaboration. And without collaboration, of course, supply chains would merely be a collection of companies, each following its own path.
Thanks to those characteristics—our dedication to lifelong learning and our skills in communication and collaboration—we are able to serve and satisfy our customers while concurrently promoting innovation and driving more efficiencies. We have been so successful, in fact, that supply chain management has in many cases become a transparent function, taken for granted and practically invisible to the people we serve.
But that appears to be changing. As we emerge from this economic downturn, the term "supply chain" is on the lips of an increasing number of financial analysts and business leaders around the globe. Supply chain management, moreover, is becoming a more strategic function than ever before, and SCM is one of the most dynamic and high-performing professions in the world today.
This is an important time to make ourselves heard, both for our own good and for that of the companies we support. We are obligated to educate global business leaders about SCM's significant and irrefutable impact—from production to distribution—on the bottom line and on the long-term viability of our organizations. We are duty-bound to demonstrate that supply chain management is a critical component of business success, and one that requires expert talent to manage.
CSCMP can help you become that expert talent. Whether you are a practitioner, an academic, government or military personnel, or a student, CSCMP is committed to offering the educational resources and global connections you need to stay up-to-date while expanding your knowledge, skills, and connections throughout your career. Together we can continue to turn the impossible challenges of today into the milestone achievements of tomorrow.
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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 2010: Today's challenges, tomorrow's achievements"> . We will publish selected readers' comments in future issues of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or for length.