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Logistics Trends and Transformation

Supply chain management professionals cope with constantly escalating challenges that create both risks to be managed and opportunities to be maximized. Heightened customer expectations, evolving business models, and intense productivity requirements are key issues facing the industry. Meanwhile, promising new technologies aid in collaboration and efficiency yet often lead to even greater levels of complexity. A wait-and-see approach is unwise in such a taxing marketplace; businesses must prepare now and respond tactically.

“For consumers facing a constant barrage of news about what’s conceivable in both last-mile delivery and late customization or personalization, expectations are high,” says Dana Magliola, director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at the North Carolina (NC) State University Poole College of Management. “The professionals who are most prepared to adapt to ever-increasing customer expectations will prosper, so innovation has to be a part of the equation.”

This and related trends are calling into question prevailing business models and reshaping the field in ways that are only just starting to become clear. According to the 2016 PwC report “Shifting Patterns: The future of the logistics industry,” supply chain management professionals are in an era of unprecedented change as digitization takes hold and customer expectations evolve. Authors Andrew Tipping and Peter Kauschke advise, “The race is on to define the industry’s future.”

Read the full story in the March/April 2017 edition of APICS Magazine