Good Question: What phrase would you create to describe a supply chain trend or development?

Good Question: What phrase would you create to describe a supply chain trend or development?

From the “productization of delivery” (think super delivery) to “dot plot mania,” readers get creative and coin terms describing the latest supply chain developments.

Brandflection. What is being reflected to a customer in a single delivery experience? Retailers must pay attention to their delivery brandflection, or reflection of their brand. Most consumers don’t distinguish between stores and their delivery partners, so the people and technology used for delivery need to accurately represent a brand’s image.

–Brian Kava

Productization of delivery. Customers want delivery options and they want them to be fast, reliable, and easy. They’re willing to pay a reasonable price for these choices. It’s time for every business to adapt and harness the power of the productization of delivery. It is meaningful as the delivery itself becomes a real physical touchpoint in a digital world.

–Bill Catania
CEO & Founder




1. An exclamation of sharp sudden pain due, or as a reaction, to an out-of-stock event (i.e., an event that causes inventory to be exhausted).

“Stockouch! I just read that shortages cost Super Supply Company $15M in lost sales in Q2.”

1. The repercussions, or overall detrimental impact, resulting from stockouts (also known as out-of-stocks). This can occur along the entire supply chain, but the most visible kind are retail out-of-stocks in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

“While most companies that survived last year’s e-commerce waves emerged rattled at best, the stockouch for most was a severe hit to profits—triggering a ‘bullwhip effect’ in which those companies ended up over-purchasing stock as a safety cushion.”

2. The loss of sales, or cost otherwise accrued, from a retailer’s attempt to build up its inventories after suffering from stockouts.

“Rather than benefit from the surge in demand, retailers suffered. In a recent survey, almost half said they experienced stockouts, leading to a serious case of stockouch on their businesses’ bottom lines.”

–Eric Allais
President & CEO
PathGuide Technologies

Multi-vendoring. Companies requiring a local sourcing option for any raw materials that they need for any new products.

–Arjun Chandar
Co-founder and CEO

Freightology. Analyzing a company’s middle-mile logistics and determining the best method of shipping based on time or cost that most benefits the customer.

–Amber Crosby
Head of Client Success

Distro-facturing. Small to mid-size distribution businesses diversifying offerings to compete with large enterprises and meet customer needs. The seismic shifts of the past years have forced many SMBs in manufacturing and distribution industries to shed traditional roles and empower themselves with expanded in-house capabilities to make, move, and sell amidst an ever-changing supply chain landscape.

–Vaibhav Vohra
Chief Product Officer

Chaos hacking. Using all of your current sources of data, information from suppliers/customers, and external risk information to build a picture of the supply chain and make effective decisions despite uncertainty.

–Tony Pelli
Practice Director, Security and Resilience

Supply chain visalytics. Supply chain visibility + market analytics. Innovative supply chain managers are increasingly using market-level analytics to benchmark their own performance. Everything from container dwell times to rollover rates to lead times are being implemented to streamline their own performance, reduce costs, and provide the best experience for their customers.

–Josh Brazil
VP, Supply Chain Insights

Dot plot mania. In 2021, bankers’ interests were piqued with the buzzword rate-flation, resulting in an abundance of dot plot graphs. Now, with the Federal Reserve taking a hawkish position on interest rates, we expect bankers to ramp up their use of dot plots to measure shipping rates vs. interest rates—with a lot of questions about the Why Axis.

–Gregory W. Tuthill
Chief Commercial Officer
SeaCube Containers

Sustain-agility. The trend of shippers wanting sustainable deliveries and also the ability to maintain flexibility for their dynamic shipping needs. In other words, a last-mile shipping model that enables both flexibility and sustainability.

–Adam Bryant

Economic roadkill. When you see tire rubber on the highways increase, you know the economy of scale is the creation. As the supply chain gets worse, it brings on what I call casual carriers—here today, gone tomorrow, leaving their lack of maintenance on our highways as economic roadkill.

–Reo Hatfield
VP, Business Development
TA Services

Chain tracks. In today’s volatile global economy, an organization’s supply chain must be lean and agile to successfully support the business. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways (or “tracks”) using a combination of people, process, and technology.

–Paul A. Myerson
Adjunct Professor, Supply Chain Management
Kean University

Rainy-day-lytics. Think rainy-day fund meets analytics. As businesses further adopt analytics into the supply chain, and delays and shortages continue, companies are setting aside extra stock, just-in-case.

–Matt Heerey
President, Manufacturing Division
ECI Software Solutions

Contract-palooza. The past 6 months have been all about contract freight. We’re seeing carriers in search of contracts, and shippers are looking to lock in rates that have come down off their peak.

–David Spencer
Director of Business Intelligence
Arrive Logistics

Congestification. The resulting ripple effect(s) and supply chain delays, due to port congestion.

–Mike Williams
Executive VP for Commercial & Logistics
ContainerPort Group

Omni-mile visualization. Supply chain management has been broken down into first, middle, and last mile, but modern approaches require holistic views of the entire supply chain—enabling managers to make informed decisions, mitigating delays, providing better predictability and analytics, leading to precise ETAs and routing, and reduced cost and emissions.

–Stuart Ryan
VP, Sales & GTM (Americas)
HERE Technologies

Disrupstainflation. The trifecta of inflation, disruption, and sustainability is top of mind with business and supply chain executives, driving the need for improved resiliency, visibility, and collaboration across the ecosystem to make informed, real-time decisions to meet customer demands, regulatory mandates, and financial objectives.

–Richard Howells
VP, Cloud ERP and Supply Chain

Supply chainsmokers. Supply chain executives who have resorted to bad habits as the pressure to meet unrealistic timelines mounts due to ongoing disruption, bottlenecks, lack of capacity, equipment and warehouse shortages, extended dwell times, and rising rates.

–Lisa Aurichio
BSY Associates Inc.

On-suring. Relocating operations and suppliers closer to home to create a more controlled and seamless supply chain. This trend directly impacts distances by bringing the parties closer together, creating more sustainable supply chain efficiencies.

–Mike Garcia
Market Manager—RPM
ORBIS Corporation

Freight of Thrones. Defined as the myriad of brokers ruthlessly vying for the same shipments. Summer is ending. Winter is coming. He who holds the freight is King—and the market is dark and full of terrors.

–Chris Bahr
Vice President of Brokerage Operations
TA Services

Boundary spanning. Companies need to adopt a “boundary-spanning mindset” as the supply chain digitally transforms. As they embrace modern technologies, this means empowering every worker—regardless of their technical skill level or where they sit in the organization—to seek timely and higher-quality answers by using no-code/low-code analytics platforms.

–Gib Bassett
Solutions Marketing Director

Equipment readiness. As peak season kicks off, equipment readiness for distribution and fulfillment centers is crucial. Ensuring warehouse equipment health is the first step in achieving operational demands. By performing audits and asking questions about the reliability of equipment, assessments can be made on the most efficient ways to achieve peak performance.

–Keith Fisher
Honeywell Intelligrated

Frictionless freight forwarding is an ideal to aspire to. In an industry that has traditionally been wrought with heavy paperwork, disconnected systems and data, and lots of back-and-forth, the time has arrived to digitize and streamline processes. It’s become necessary to meet modern expectations for customer experience, speed, and value.

–Gary Nemmers

Unchain. “Supply chain” is a misnomer for meeting the realities of today’s world. It suggests linear and constrained thinking. In reality, supply chains need an ecosystem mindset internally and externally. We now have no choice but to collapse legacy corporate silos to align our customers, employees, and partners as “supply networks.”

–Saurabh Gupta
President, Research and Advisory Services
HFS Research

Inventory hangover. From not enough inventory last year to too much this year, retailers are suffering from inventory hangover. As consumer preferences change from pandemic favorites such as furniture, appliances, and leisure wear, retailers find themselves needing to unload inventories to free-up warehouse space ahead of the holiday season.

–Jared Wilson
Customer Operations, Managed Transportation
Transportation Insight

Shipflation. Harming e-commerce shippers’ ability to compete with shipping costs that keep going up even for the largest shippers in the United States—especially with peak surcharges back into effect.

–David Packee
VP of Sales and Client Success