We're surprised to note that nowhere in the flood of articles about the new year have we seen anyone mention the numeral "13". Do people think that mentioning it would be akin to letting a black cat cross our path? Is it because we have had so much bad luck in recent years that they either think it cannot possibly get worse, or do they not want to tempt fate? We're not sure, but we remain confident in the future because of the positive way in which supply chain management (SCM) is evolving.
In addressing the outlook for the coming year, we have a couple of upfront observations to make. First, we are struck in the literature as well as experiences with clients by how the "Make" element of the SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) model has regained attention and respect. For a long time it was the main (only) pillar, and while the other elements (Plan, Source, Deliver, Return) seem to have caught up, people are again remembering how important Make is.
Second, as we have discussed many times in this space, risk management has really come to the fore in SCM and, with it, the need and appreciation for more sophisticated financial understanding. Indeed, we have seen several articles featuring the new coinage FSCM (Financial SCM). It is all about recognising the importance of optimisation (considering many different key factors) including evaluating alternative scenarios for truly effective Sales & Operations Planning. We always have maintained that Finance types are best suited to lead that activity because of their aptitude and acumen.
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