January 2018 | Commentary | Checking In

Status Grow? Yes.

Tags: Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Supply Chain

Felecia Stratton is the editor of Inbound Logistics magazine.

I often disagree with IL's publisher, but I can't argue with his perspective in this edition. There is a great opportunity for growth in many business sectors, and supply chain excellence is fundamentally important in that economic environment.

It wasn't always that way, however. This publication's mission since its inception in 1981 has been to curate, promote, and advance the idea of aligning business operations toward the demand point. Let your customers and your market pull through your enterprise; likewise, you do the same to your vendors.

Back in 1981, this idea was radical for most companies. They allowed their vendors to select modes, carriers, and shipment windows and worked around that by keeping plenty of inventory and supporting infrastructure (read: cash investment) on hand to serve their customer base.

Flipping that operational concept on its head by pulling instead of letting vendors push the process was especially important during the stagflation era of President Carter's administration. Those were rough times for most businesses facing high taxes and skyrocketing interest rates, high unemployment rates resulting in minimal consumer spending, and tough global competition for the domestic manufacturing sector. But, enough with the history lesson. Demand-driven logistics helped companies cope with an abysmal economic environment created by factors out of their control. Streamlining business operations to more closely match demand? That they could control.

But what about operating in today's growth economy? Can demand-driven logistics help in boom times, too? Or can companies ease off on redeploying supply chain assets to better serve the demand point because their business is up? As you'll see in the article U.S. Manufacturing: Resurgence Sparks Dramatic Change fortunes can change quickly. While certainly better than a bad economy, explosive growth, handled incorrectly, can be disruptive as well. Repetitive stockouts and missed delivery commitments because you can't keep up with demand rank right up there in destroying the customer experience.

Thankfully, if you adhere to demand-driven business practices, your ability to scale up has a head start. Our updated and expanded Logistics Planner Profiles showcase the best-in-class carriers, IT solutions and logistics providers to help you scale with minimum inventory touches, and maximum customer service.

These logistics leaders gained experience helping companies survive lean times, making them perfectly suited to help you effectively manage today's growth times. If you are wondering which way to go to grow, the companies profiled in the Logistics Planner can help show you the way.

Visit Our Sponsors