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May 5, 2023
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


This Week in SCDigest

bullet The 10 Significant Trends Impacting Businesses - and Supply Chains bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts
first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


Top 10 Truck Bottlenecks 2023


This Week's Supply Chain Numbers

Amazon eCommerce Sales Flat again
US PMI below Key 50 Level again
Some Jobs are Hugely Exposed to AI
FedEx Closing Freight Terminals



See Who Took Home the Prize

Expert Insight

How can a WMS be used for your Micro-Fulfillment Center?


Its Purpose Consists of Bringing the Logistics arm of Your Operation Closer to the Customer and end Consumer


Victoria Cardenas
Strategic Account Executive


Read Now


The Importance of Pre-Shipment Inspections for Supply Chain Diversification



Pre-shipment Inspections can Mean the Difference Between Success and Failure in Today's Competitive Global Market


Viktor Haggstrom
Marketing Content Specialist


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 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week

What US truckload carrier operates the most tractors?
Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


The 10 Significant Trends Impacting Businesses - and Supply Chains

The consultants at McKinsey are just out with a set of 10 trends that are impacting businesses - and all 10 seem very applicable to supply chains as well.

So let's take a look.

1. Increased speed, strengthening resilience: McKinsey says that half the respondents in its survey of 2500 executives say their organization are unprepared to react to future shocks. "Those able to bounce forward - and quickly - out of serial crises may gain significant advantages over others," McKinsey says.



There appears to besome real green shoots seem to be growing, even if many are being fertilized with government money.

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In fact, the report says those companies that had high resilience - without explaining how that was measured - saw shareholder returns 50% higher than the average company in 2020 through 2021.

2. "True hybrid" - The new balance of in-person and remote work: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, about 90% of organizations have embraced a range of hybrid work models that allow employees to work from off-site locations for some or much of the time. McKinsey says it's important that organizations provide structure and support around the activities best done in person or remotely.

McKinsey notes that 4 out of 5 employees that have worked under this model want to keep it.

3. Making way for applied AI: AI is more than just a potential opportunity to boost a company's operations; it can also be used to build better organizations. Companies are already using AI to create sustainable talent pipelines, drastically improve ways of working, and make faster, data-driven structural changes.

McKinsey says that companies have double the use of AI from 2018.

Obviously, there are many supply chain roles that are at risk from AI, and perhaps more specifically the even smart Chat-GPT variety. From demand planners to dispatchers to maybe even wave planners in a distribution center, jobs are at risk. A recent study by OpenAI, inventor of Chat-GPT, said that 100% of accounting jobs are at risk from its technology, among other depressing news.

AI will transform supply chains just like everything else, for better or worse.

4. New rules of attraction, retention, and attrition: McKinsey says workers are revising their attitudes both to work and at work. Organizations can respond by tailoring employee value propositions to individualized preferences in ways that can help close the gap between what today's workers want and what companies need.

This it seems to me applies to both white and blue collar employees. Research from warehouse staffing firm ProLogistix, by the way, show distribution workers now value schedule flexibility almost as much as wave levels.

5. Closing the capability chasm: McKinsey says that companies often announce technological or digital elements in their strategies without having the right capabilities to integrate them. To achieve a competitive advantage, organizations need to build institutional capabilities - an integrated set of people, processes, and technology that enables them to do something consistently better than competitors do.

I guess we can all agree with that. Just how you do that, especially in the supply chain, is the tough question.

6. Walking the talent tightrope: Business leaders have long walked a talent tightrope - carefully balancing budgets while retaining key people, McKinsey notes. In today's uncertain economic climate, they need to focus more on matching top talent to the highest-value roles. McKinsey research shows that, in many organizations, between 20 and 30% of critical roles aren't filled by the most appropriate people.

7. Leadership that is self-aware and inspiring: McKinsey says that leaders today need to be able to lead themselves, lead a team of peers in the C-suite, and exhibit the leadership skills and mindset required to lead at scale, coordinating and inspiring networks of teams. To do that, they must build a keen awareness of both themselves and the operating environments around them.

Does that describe you, if you are are a supply chain exec, or you're CSCO if not?

8. Making meaningful progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion: Organizations are prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), but in many cases, the initiatives aren't translating into meaningful progress. To realize DEI aspirations, leaders will need to identify opportunities to make progress both in their organizations and in their communities and broader society, McKinsey says.

9. Mental health - Investing in a portfolio of interventions: This one caught me a bit by surprise to be honest. Maybe that supports the point that this is an area in need of attention. McKinsey says about nine of ten organizations around the world offer some form of well-being program. But global health and well-being scores remain poor. Organizations need to refocus their efforts on systematically addressing the causes of mental-health and well-being challenges; one-off and incremental fixes won't be enough.

10. Efficiency reloaded: They might have saved the best one for last, and certainly this is a supply chain challenge. More than one-third of leaders in the survey list efficiency as a top three organizational priority. Boosting efficiency is about more than managing immediate crises or getting the same work done with fewer resources; it means more effectively deploying resources to where they matter the most.

So there you have it. I must say it's pretty good - and all very relevant to supply chain as well.

What would you add - or delete?

What is your reaction to these supply chain trends? Let us know your thought at the Feedback section below.


See as Web page/Printable Version

On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon

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On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

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On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Feedback will return next week.

What US truckload carrier operates the most tractors?

A: JB Hunt. at 23,000+

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