Our holiday supply chains are shaping up to be relatively smooth and successful this year. Although there were early concerns about the ongoing labor shortage, Christmas tree scarcity, inflation, high fuel prices and other Grinchy disruptions, their impact has thus far been minimal. And for this — and so much more — all of us here at ASCM are grateful to everyone who comprises our global supply chain community.
You enabled your organizations to become more efficient and resilient, opening up many of the bottlenecks created by the pandemic. Port delays eased and freight costs came down 80%. Meanwhile, retailers gave themselves plenty of preparation time, and shoppers bought gifts earlier to avoid the last-minute crunch. As Timothy Fiore, chief procurement officer at Ryder System, told the Los Angeles Daily News: “Supply chains are really not the problem anymore.”
Of course, there will always be challenges to overcome. Some organizations are still struggling with excess inventory and rising shipping costs. And come January, many will face high return rates and related reverse-logistics complexities. If this is on your mind, be sure to check out the numerous articles about reverse logistics in the ASCM Insights blog:
- “Better Returns Management” presents clear tips for maximizing sustainability while carrying out a broad, holistic returns approach.
- “Use AI to Improve Reverse Logistics” describes how to use predictive analytics to improve service, streamline operations and avoid customer churn.
- “Turning Reverse Logistics into Profit” offers strategies for tapping into the secondary retail market and moving returned items to the next possible selling point as efficiently as possible.
Each week, our blog explores supply chain best practices, the latest innovations, industry trends and much more. Take a look, and I'm sure you’ll find some great reads for your holiday downtime.
Finally, on a personal note, I want to acknowledge the fact that ASCM would not be the premiere provider of supply chain organizational transformation, innovation and leadership without you. Thank you for your contributions, for lending your expertise and your volunteer hours, and for being part of our community. Have a wonderful holiday.