Originally published on PR Newswire on November 27, 2012

Business managers and entrepreneurs can not only drive bottom line business results by leveraging emerging supply chain trends, they can also stand out in the crowd in today’s competition-intense new normal business environment, according to Lisa Anderson founder and President of LMA Consulting Group, Inc

“Those executives who stay on top of the latest trends and search for patterns and trends in their business are far more successful than their counterparts,” said Anderson, who works with executive leaders and management teams to transform people and process into profit. “The supply chain is an underutilized strategic opportunity in many companies. Why not optimize your supply chain performance and deliver superior customer service, shorten lead times, increase profit and accelerate cash flow?”

Emerging Supply Chain Trends

  1. Collaboration:  “You can no longer be successful if you aren’t focused on how to expand and add depth to your collaboration efforts,” said Anderson. Do you partner with suppliers or pound them over the head about price? Do you find ways to collaborate with your customers to get a better handle on demand data? If so, you’ll have superior service and cash flow. S&OP is one vehicle to consider.
  2. Innovation:  According to Anderson, “It is no longer acceptable to be an exceptional implementer; instead, you must innovate to stand out in the crowd.” How can you elevate customer service while reducing cost and increasing profit? Doing what you used to do better will not cut it! You must innovate.
  3. Risk Management:  “Risk management is no longer a mundane topic. It is vital to success!” said Anderson. What could be more important in today’s new normal global business environment? Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Political conflicts. Strikes. Currency swings. Are you prepared? How agile is your supply chain? Customers will still expect on-time deliveries of the highest quality!
  4. Sustainability: “What started as a way to improve the company image and address regulatory concerns is emerging as a competitive advantage. Sustainability is starting to offer profit improvement – the triple bottom line is here to stay,” said Anderson. How can we be green “and” increase profits? It doesn’t hurt if you circle back to innovation… You’d be surprised what you can achieve – even areas like packaging can be ripe with opportunity.
  5. Big Data:  According to Anderson, “As we are increasingly living in an information overloaded society, we must find ways to sift through the data to find what will matter. How do we glean intelligence from it and translate it into business advantage?” said Anderson. It is no longer limited to a techie topic; those who leverage big data to drive results will sustain a competitive advantage.

“Assuming you jump on these trends, the only potential roadblock is your people. It is becoming increasingly paramount – and difficult – to find exceptional supply chain talent,” said Anderson. Make sure your company stands out in the crowd and values supply chain talent, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving success.

Anderson summarizes, “Think about how these trends impact your business. Since my brothers used to be heavily involved in ice hockey, one of my favorite analogies becomes applicable here: How can you skate to where the puck is going instead of skating to where it is?”

About Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson is founder and President of LMA Consulting Group, Inc. She partners with her clients to synthesize and develop strategies and rapidly identify, prioritize and execute plans to increase profitability. She had been a VP of Operations of a leading absorbent products manufacturer.

She is the author of Leverage Social Networks to Drive Business Results, has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and the Los Angeles Times, and has published articles for the American Management Association’s MWorld, Industry Week and Corp! Magazine. She has also been a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program and has been a featured speaker at The Association of Operations Management (APICS) International Conference, the Global Supply Chain & Logistics Summit Conference and U Connect Conference.

Lisa is Board approved in Supply Chain strategy by the Society for Advancement in Consulting, an advisory board member for the Advanced Supply Chain Certification program at California State University Fullerton’s Extended Education and President of the Inland Empire Chapter of APICS. For more information, go to https://www.lma-consultinggroup.com and to sign up for her newsletter with articles and tips on achieving profit through people, go to https://www.lma-consultinggroup.com/newsletter.php.