Unpredictable. That’s one word for the current supply chain environment. Needless to say, this past year provided quite a ride for DC managers working to get their customers the inventory they needed to serve their end customers. The 2021 environment made it impossible for firms to continue to maintain targeted performance levels across the supply chain. Everyone struggled with performance, even as revenues continued to increase. This rollercoaster is reflected in this year’s Top 12 metrics.
As for what 2022 might look like, the environment is not getting any easier. We are now dealing with the global supply chain implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the world’s response. China continues to go on full lockdown in cities where someone tests positive for COVID-19. The U.S. still has a significant labor participation rate challenge. Supply chain managers everywhere are facing pressures to perform against capacity shortages, labor scarcities, unprecedented inflation rates, and the government’s attempt to create helpful policies that will most certainly have unintended consequences across the supply chain. The question instead, we believe, is how to think about strategies for performance moving into 2022?
One thing is certain, even as uncertainty continues to abound: The supply chain industry is full of innovative thinkers and passionate leaders who will continue to work diligently to serve society with both essential and non-essential goods. Keep swinging folks. You are making a difference and the world needs you!