Diethylene glycol in toothpaste from China. Rampant film piracy in Canada. George Bush's recent push for greenhouse-gas reductions. All of these are "sensors," or signs of potential supply chain trends, according to the editors of Supply Chain 2020 Sensors Watch, a new Web log ("blog") posted by the Center for Transportation & Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The objective of this latest effort from MIT's Supply Chain 2020 (SC2020) program is to forecast future supply chain concerns from everyday news stories and events. The site also hosts a "Directions" section that includes more abstract, speculative reflections that are not related to specific events. Recent posts in that section have addressed the growing interest in "green" business practices and the open-source technology movement.
Contributions to Sensors Watch are not limited to predictions by academics. Rather, the editors strongly encourage supply chain practitioners to comment on and rate existing posts.
The Sensors Watch blog is just a small part of MIT's SC2020 multiyear research effort, which seeks to identify and analyze factors that will influence the success or failure of future supply chain management efforts.
[Sources: Supply Chain 2020 Sensors Watch Blog, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (sc2020.com/watch). "Signs of the Times," Supply Chain Frontiers Newsletter, MIT Center For Transportation & Logistics, March/April 2007: ctl.mit.edu/index.pl?id=7376]