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Supply Chain News: CSCMP to Revamp Annual State of Logistics Report with New Author, Vision


AT Kearney Awarded Lead Role for 2016; Expect Report to Expand Scope and Context, CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen Says

Feb. 23, 2016
SCDigest Editorial Staff

The late Bob Delaney of Cass Information Systems produced the first State of Logistics report in 1988, and it has remained one of the most important research documents published each year in the supply chain.

Logistics professional Rosalyn Wilson began working with Delaney on the report in the late 1990s and upon his death in 2004 took over as sole author of the report, keeping the same basic methodology. The then Council of Logistics Management (CLM), now known as the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) also picked up sponsorship of the report in 2004 after Delaney left Cass at the end of 2003.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

AT Kearney is sure to bring some fresh perspectives and additional resources into the mix that we expect will move the effort strongly forward when the 2016 report is delivered and debated in June.

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The headline news each year concerns total US logistics costs, both in absolute terms and as a percent of GDP. The report has been presented in June at the National Press Club for most of its history.

But now, a change in direction. CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen tells SCDigest that starting with this year's report, consulting firm AT Kearney will be taking over the authorship.

"We just decided we wanted to see what else we could do with the report, give it a bit of a jolt, so we created an RFP that attracted a significant number of consultants and other firms bidding for the work," Blasgen told SCDigest this week. "In the end, our selection committee awarded the job to AT Kearney after an extensive review of the candidates, and we think we've made a great choice."

Blasgen added that in addition to a fresh perspective and aggressive vision for the report, Kearney will be able to tap into its internal research arm, the Global Business Policy Council, relationships with the World Economic Forum and Cornell University, and more to improve the final product.

While Kearney will largely keep the same methodology with regard to calculating logistics costs to maintain consistency of the data over time, Blasgen says Kearney is likely to get more granular in some areas of the analysis, and will bring added focus on what is driving the numbers being reported.

CSCMP and Kearney will likely also beef up the quarterly updates that were launched a few years ago, and Blasgen said Kearney is expected to conduct a number of interviews with supply chain and logistics professionals to gather more context for data.

The AT Kearney effort will be led by Sean Monahan, a partner at the firm focused on the consumer products sector. Kearney also will simply able to apply more resources to the effort than single authors ever could, Blasgen says, noting that Kearney recently brought a team of five to CSCMP headquarters near Chicago to discuss the 2016 effort.

(See More Below)



This year's report will once again by sponsored by Penske Logistics, and the delivery of the report in Washington DC in June will again be followed by a panel discussion of leading supply chain and logistics executives that dives into the numbers and trends from the report in more detail.

One challenge of the report in today's age, SCDigest has noted in the past, is that by the time it is delivered in June, the previous year it covers is well in the rearview mirror.

Blasgen told SCDigest that is a factor of some of the data needed for the calculations not being available until well into the next year. He says the quarterly updates throughout the year are one answer to this challenge, but that he expects CSCMP and Kearney will look at this issue down the road to see if there is way to move the schedule up a bit.

Our view: The State of Logistics Report is an important and valuable piece of research each year, but was starting to feel a little stale. AT Kearney is sure to bring some fresh perspectives and additional resources into the mix that we expect will move the effort strongly forward when the 2016 report is delivered and debated in June. This is a smart move by Blasgen and CSCMP.

Any reaction to this change for the State of Logistics report? What improvements would you like to see? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below or the link above to send an email.


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