Welcome to the January 2019 edition of Supply Chain Navigator.
I am not sure when, but somewhere along the line, it seems as if people have become conditioned to think of change as an obstacle. It’s ironic really. The tech sector was built on the shoulders of individuals motivated by the unknown; pioneers who ate change for breakfast and went back for second helpings. Yet, just about every business and economic forecast I have read in recent weeks decries a looming menu of “uncertainty,” with a side of slower growth – as though there has ever been a time when we could predict with any degree of accuracy how financial markets will behave or what new trends consumers will embrace or reject.
There is no question that Brexit, tariffs, component allocation and currency fluctuations will continue to challenge growth in the coming year, but these situations also represent an unprecedented opportunity for supply chain professionals to shine.
In this issue, we offer a glimpse into some of the operational strategies and technology implementations leading supply chain organizations are leveraging to build the financial and foundational strength needed to enable businesses to innovate and grow.
In the spirit of the season, we also asked some readers to share their professional “resolutions” for 2019. Interestingly enough, despite the continued buzz around digitization in the supply chain, “soft” skills, like time management and communications, appear to be a priority for many supply chain executives this year.
Finally, we have a fantastic One-on-One interview with Professor Yossi Sheffi. Yossi is the Elisha Gray II Professor, Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Professor, MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering; Director, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and a prolific author and lecturer. In a departure from our usual format, we dedicate the entire interview to a single topic – sustainability, which is the focus of Yossi’s most recent book, “Balancing Green: When to Embrace Sustainability in a Business (and When Not to).” Yossi sets the record straight on his somewhat controversial, and often misunderstood, approach to sustainability.
We hope you enjoy the issue and welcome your feedback.
President, Avnet United and Velocity
About Supply Chain Navigator
Supply Chain Navigator is an online journal produced three times a year by Avnet Inc. SCN provides executive readership with expert insights and best practice examples that may help them drive greater productivity, cost-efficiency, security, sustainability and profitability from their extended, global supply chains. Each issue is produced in collaboration with supply chain professionals experienced in managing complex global supply chains both upstream and downstream, as well as distinguished academics and prominent market analysts. The publication reaches more than 120,000 purchasing, supply chain, manufacturing, operations and logistics professionals throughout the global electronics industry.
Supply Chain Navigator has received a number of awards and recognitions for the high quality writing, distinct content, thought-provoking insights, including the APEX Award for Excellence (2018, 2017, 2016) in business media, a PRSA Phoenix Copper Anvil Award of Merit (2018, 2017), listing on the Feedspot Top 75 Supply Chain Blogs (#16) as well as one of the “25 Best Supply Chain and Procurement Twitter Accounts” to follow.
Supply Chain Navigator is produced by Avnet’s Velocity business unit. Velocity is Avnet’s Mode 2 supply chain innovation group. Velocity architects cutting-edge, discrete, end-to-end supply chain solutions for both digital and physical supply networks throughout the global electronic component ecosystem.
President, Avnet United and Velocity