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Looking back and ahead in the logistics world we live in

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
December 19, 2013

As the year draws down to a close, my inbox sees some e-mails with common refrains regarding what is happening “next” as in next year or “things to keep an eye on, or something along those lines.

With the window between sitting at my desk and starting vacation literally dwindling by the hour at this point, I thought it might be good to dig up a few of these lists I have received and share them in this space.

But before delving into that, I thought it might be a good time to look back at the year that was in 2013, even with a few days left in it. One thing for sure, this year, is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

How so? Well, for one thing, Congress. What exactly did they do that, you know, actually benefitted the people i.e. us that voted them in to their cushy seats in the first place? I am not one to rant too deep about federal government inefficiency but give us a break already, eh? Lack of traction on a long-term surface transportation reauthorization and the ongoing plight of the United States Postal Service are just two of the things that impact the sectors we cover when pondering federal government activity in the logistic and transportation worlds we live in. There are many others, of course, but we can save that for another day.

In case you missed it, LM recently provided a top ten list of news stories from 2013. You can find it here.  A quick perusal of this list shows that quite a bit happened from start to finish in 2013, including the new motor carrier HOS rules, the increasing influence of e-commerce on the supply chain, and others. That is one of the many reasons I really enjoy covering this industry; there is never really a dull moment.

Back to those lists I received.

One is from IDC’s Manufacturing Insights in the form of its top 10 predictions for 2014, which include:
1: Manufacturers begin to build 3D value chains;
2: Operational, information, and consumer technology converge to reshape approaches to technology management.
3: Operational resiliency will be the focus of supply chain strategies in 2014 and beyond
4: Supply chain technology investment will involve modernizing existing systems, while also trying new approaches
5: The modernization of the underlying B2B commerce backbone becomes an investment priority for IT
6: Product lifecycle management (PLM) strategies become increasingly global, multidisciplinary, innovation-based, and customer-focused
7: PLM initiatives will focus on value realization
8: “Servitization optimization” will be core to future profitable revenue growth and leading manufacturers will make the necessary investments to enable these strategies
9: On their way towards the factory of the future, 2014 will set the stage for a new manufacturing renaissance
10: Plant floor IT investments will continue to become a higher share of the overall technology investment portfolio

Each of these predictions could easily warrant an in-depth discussion and coverage, and LM will endeavor to stay on top of them in the New Year, but in the interest of brevity here is another list from non asset-based 3PL Transplace with its Supply Chain Challenges and Growth Opportunities in 2014.

Transplace cited the following as challenges impacting the supply chain:
-increased regulatory mandates;
-tightening of capacity; and
-increasing customer demands.

And it cited these as the ones focused on capitalizing on supply chain optimization opportunities:
-consolidation and mode shifts;
-become the shipper of choice;
-collaborative shipping opportunities; and
-working with a logistics provider

Like with the IDC information, each of these could merit lots of coverage and detail.
Back to the aforementioned point about there being so much going on in the sectors we live (you shippers and providers) and cover (we editorial types); that point being there is always something to do and cover.

You know what? I like it that way. Happy Holidays from Newsroom Notes and Best Wishes for a terrific 2014!

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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