‘Time waits for no man’ is a saying that could have been written about day to day life in Supply Chain Management. New developments and advances in technology mean Supply chain managers and their teams need to stay at the top of their game to keep up and get ahead of the competition. We are hearing more and more about the skills gaps that seem to be effecting every area of the supply chain, although logistics does appear to be the worst affected, on a global scale.

The rise of blockchain and the change in consumer demands mean businesses are facing increased levels of transparency and have more accountability than in previous times. Product knowledge now influences choice as never before enabling the consumer to make decisions based on their knowledge and assumptions. The integrity of the products and produce we purchase is now seen as an extension of our personal integrity and values, no longer is this about what we are seen to be doing it’s now how our purchasing decisions influence how we feel. 

A key factor in our purchasing decisions is consumer confidence and the key to this confidence is a clear view of the product’s origin and journey. Brand giants like Marks & Spencer’s and Lidl have been running TV ad campaigns that further strengthens the consumers desire to understand the ‘cradle to grave’ journey of everything they buy. For British businesses now taking this systematic approach to demonstrate their products integrity it would seem the UK Plastic Pact has been hitting the headlines at just the right time.

Recycling and reducing our impact on the environment has been an area of concern for the last few decades however it seems over the last couple of years the spot light has been shining brighter on this area with focus on businesses to play their part. Signing the plastic pact demonstrates a dedication by each pledging organisation to secure a better future for the country.

While these changes are certainly good news for consumers we cannot help but wonder at what cost they are being made. 2018 has seen the loss of a number of household names both from the high street and cyberspace.  While the costs of running a supply chain to match the increase customer expectancy levels are certainly on the up, consumers seem unwilling to pay more for their purchases, add to this the need to upskill workforces to meet industry standards and employee expectations it’s going to be a very challenging time for SCM’s.

IoSCM is the first international institute to represent the interest of the wider supply chain. Our aim is to improve the industry by setting standards and promoting best practice through high-quality training and qualifications.

As the Client Relations & Communications Manager for IoSCM I make it a priority to stay up to date with changes and developments in the Supply Chain globally, I write numerous articles for IoSCM’s magazine Supply Chain Outlook so I was delighted to be able to contribute to this edition of Forwarder magazine.

Kimberley Jayne, Client Relations & Comms Manager, IoSCM