COVID-19, coronavirus ... we hope the uncertainty, fear, and negative impacts of these words fade fast. The entire world has been affected, and we have seen an incredible surge of collaboration, innovation, and planning discussed and debated at length on television and digital media. I am an optimist and always look for the silver lining, and one of them is this ... we have seen the words "supply chain" become part of daily commentary on a mass scale. Those that had never uttered the terms before are now hyper-aware of things like inventory and demand planning and this cool thing we at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) know of as supply chain. The awareness of what goes on within today's supply chain has changed and will prove beneficial to our industry and the professionals serving within it for a long time to come.
So where do we go from here? We are surrounded by exclamations on what supply chains need to change. Companies will have to answer questions like: Do we need to maintain higher levels of inventory? Do we have the ability to allocate supplies in need earlier and more rapidly? Do we need to bring manufacturing closer to the markets those products serve? Do we need to change regulation and trade agreements that depend on stronger relationships with partners and countries that are more suited to one another?
While I don't have the answers to these questions, here's what I do know: Supply chain professionals always figure it out. We will learn from this disruptive event. We will strengthen our relationships, collaborate with one another, and pay it forward, sharing our best practices and lessons learned.
All organizations, in all industries, in all parts of the world need to step up their confidence and competence in their supply chain activities.
Where to start? Join CSCMP. We are the global group you need to be part of to begin taking supply management seriously.
As for us here at CSCMP, we will continue to do our part. We will continue to advance our discipline and educate those who are entering the field or seeking to better understand what it is we all do. We will continue to strengthen relationships and improve processes that support all the good we do. At our EDGE conference this September 20-23 in Orlando, Florida, you can bet the discussions will be intense. But these conversations will be, as they always are, constructive, demonstrating why we must gather, exchange ideas, and create new ways to work together. Once again we will prove that supply chain professionals always get it done.