Supply Chain and Logistics Talk – Four year trend – Customers

It’s been about four years (give or take) since the Financial Crisis caused so many firms to rethink their business.  In general there was a big move to circle the wagons and do what you do best.  But in the time since, there has not been a lot of strategic analysis in the supply chain space.

Supply Chains are very much like living organisms.  They require a steady diet of customer orders and take in all kinds of raw materials and goods to meet those orders.  Doing my best not to take this analogy too far, the wrong diet or the wrong orders can throw things out of balance.  And unlike a living organism, a supply chain will have a hard time telling you its stomach hurts.  But if you look hard enough you may see costs going up and margins going down.

The Great Recession caused an event that many companies haven’t dealt with in their strategy – customer relocation.  There has been a significant move of people back towards urban centers in the last five years.  This causes significant change to supply chain demand and in how you meet that demand.

If you haven’t looked at where your customers are today versus 3 to 5 years ago, it may be time to take a look and see if your strategy needs to change with it.

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