The manufacturing industry is coming back to life in the United States and because of that, Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, said he believes the role of supply chain management will become more important in the coming years.
Blasgen delivered that message during his keynote speech at the Modex 2012 supply chain trade show, but he highlighted his belief with optimism about the direction in which domestic logistics is heading. He said that logistics spending in the U.S. constituted 17.9 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 1980, but in 2011, that number dropped significantly to just 8.3 percent.
As a result, the value of supply chain managers to customers, businesses and communities is mounting.
“The supply chain is a shock absorber, managing the difference between what is planned and what actually happens,” Blasgen said during his presentation. “We facilitate a lot of what happens in our economy, and we don’t get a lot of credit for it. We need to get out and tell our story.”
He explained that the notoriety of the field is growing, and cited a university which had 21 of its 32 students who earned MBAs in supply chain management find jobs with investment firms to assist in the evaluation of their supply chain practices.
Making the system more efficient is a problem that Blasgen said needs to be addressed, and should prove to be a prolonged effort. The United States spent $1.2 trillion on logistics, and $768 billion of that was on transportation costs.
While he said this is an area that the government needs to improve, universal label compliance and enhanced tracking and traceability could make for a dramatic difference in the industry.