What’s Next in Supply Chain—Two Blumers Share Their Thoughts

The Blume Global Team

This past week our Blumers Felicia Utami and Kyle Vamvouris attended CSCMP’s, “What’s Next? Supply Chain Predictions” panel, featuring our AVP of Solutions, Dipti Gupta. Here are their top takeaways from the event.

 

By Felicia Utami, Supply Chain Product Marketing Manager

I was a student member of the Phoenix Chapter of CSCMP during my undergraduate years at Arizona State University. It was an engaging and beneficial group to be a part of as a supply chain student and professional who wanted to learn more about the industry and grow my network.

Recognizing the value of the CSCMP community and events, I helped initiate Blume’s involvement with them and was excited to be able to attend this panel as a Blume employee. It was an engaging event where panelists and audience members could share their opinions on various predictions. Here is one that stood out to me from the panel:

Cybersecurity Attacks Will Be the Next Supply Chain Disruption

Disruptions within the supply chain happen on a regular basis: a storm will delay an ocean vessel, a snowstorm in the east coast will delay truck deliveries, or an engine failure can stop a train in its tracks.

However, we don’t often think about another kind of disruption: cybersecurity attacks. With more and more advanced hacking skills out there, I believe that a significant cybersecurity attack to a manufacturing plant or economy has potential to majorly disrupt the supply chain industry.

 

By Kyle Vamvouris, Inside Sales Manager

I am a firm believer that it is the responsibility of every individual to continue to learn and grow. It doesn’t matter how much of an “expert” someone believes they are, there is always more to learn. That’s why I really appreciate organizations like CSCMP who host thought-provoking events like the one I attended this week. This event brought thought leaders throughout the world of supply chain and logistics to discuss, and debate, their predictions for the industry. Today, I would like to highlight a couple predictions that resonated with me.

Tariffs on Goods Imported from China Won’t Increase Manufacturing in the U.S.

Ryan Inouye from Western Digital predicted that tariffs on good imported from China will not bring a meaningful amount of manufacturing back to the United States. Instead, he believes companies will move their manufacturing to other countries. We may see a little of that in the short term but over the long-term, manufacturing will move to other countries overseas. This was a strong point by Ryan and one that most of the attendees seemed to agree with.

On-Demand Supply Chain Will Increase Digital Supply Chain Platforms

Dipti predicted that the on-demand needs of current supply chains will lead to an emergence of digital supply chain platforms. These platforms will enable companies to scale up and scale down their supply chains based on demand. She believes this will be made possible by large networks of carrier partners across all modes of transportation.

This was a controversial prediction by Dipti that really bolstered conversation. The main disagreement came from the fact that the core competency of large shippers is their control over their supply chain. So, the question is, does more flexibility mean less control? Some would argue that if they supported an initiative to increase flexibility by leveraging carrier networks, they would also be giving up some control of their supply chain, which comes unnaturally to them.

The rebuttal to this is that the control would still be there, as long as the data is. When digital supply chain platforms are mandatory for modern supply chains, so will the data that powers them. The better the data between carrier networks, the more flexible the supply chain will be. This flexibility will be imperative to thrive in the complex world of supply chain and logistics moving forward.

Concluding Thoughts

These were just two of the 10 predictions that were covered at the CSCMP event. It shows that there are a lot of conversations still to be had as we head into the new year.

Checkout our Learning Center to stay up-to-date on the latest tends and conversations in the supply chain industry.

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