CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 16, 2019

Turning up the intellectual heat

CSCMP'S Supply Chain Quarterly was started with a mission: to be the premier journal of thought leadership for the supply chain profession.

CSCMP'S Supply Chain Quarterly was started with a mission: to be the premier journal of thought leadership for the supply chain profession.

Four times a year, we plan to bring you revolutionary ideas, profiles of best-in-class companies, groundbreaking research, and insight into emerging trends and developments in all facets of the supply chain—not just logistics, warehousing, and transportation, but also procurement, manufacturing, finance, human resources, and information technology. The journal will provide fresh ideas from the practical to the provocative, from the speculative to the strategic. And because today's supply chains span the globe, we will cover developments worldwide as well.

True to our mission statement, our debut issue includes contributions from noted chain leaders and visionaries. For example, one of the deans of the profession, Donald Bowersox, provides a look back at the evolution of supply chain management and offers his views on what's ahead. Another visionary, supply chain veteran Chuck Taylor, weighs in with an essay warning that the end of the era of cheap oil is at hand. He lays out a convincing argument that it's high time we started looking at ways to reduce our supply chains' dependence on fossil fuel.

We also have a provocative piece by Richard Sherman on why collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment (CPFR) has been adopted by very large companies but has not been extended to smaller suppliers.

We invite you to share your thoughts about this column or anything else that appears in this magazine by sending an e-mail to or by writing to Editor, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, Tower Square, No. 4, 500 East Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760 U.S.A. We will publish selected comments in the next issue. Correspondence may be edited for clarity or length.

Sherman argues that industry has paid too much attention to forecasting and not enough to synchronizing product flow with demand.

This issue also features insights into some of the profession's long-standing challenges. For example, "lean" champion Robert Martichenko and colleague Kevin von Grabe draw upon their considerable expertise to create a guide to mapping out a lean supply chain. Two top-flight academics— Mary Holcomb and James Foggin of the University of Tennessee—offer a step-by-step approach to conducting a network analysis. Gartner's Andrew White explains why master data management is needed to assure the seamless flow of information between trading partners. We also have an excerpt from a book by James Ayers and Mary Ann Odegaard about using activity-based costing to get a handle on retail supply chain costs.

What's particularly notable about the articles in this issue are the synergies that emerge among the subjects raised. For instance, in his discussion of strategies for coping with the looming fossil fuel shortage, Taylor talks about the importance of embracing "lean" principles. Sherman, meanwhile, refers to the work of supply chain pioneer Bowersox in his article on forecasting.

Because the authors are passionate in their views, they generate "intellectual heat"—a kind of radiant energy created by the interplay of ideas. We trust that CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly will transfer some of that energy and excitement to you as well.

James A. Cooke is a supply chain software analyst. He was previously the editor of CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly and a staff writer for DC Velocity.

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