100 Is Just a Number

This year’s SDCE 100 Great Supply Chain Projects provides even more solutions

Barry Hochfelder, Editor, Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Barry Hochfelder, Editor, Supply & Demand Chain Executive

If you’re like most folks in supply chain, you’re too busy to do it, but if you happen to spend some rare free time counting the honorees in the annual Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, you’ll find that there are actually 133 of them.

When we started this program a decade or so ago, we did limit it to an exact 100, but so much happened over the years, and the industry evolved so much with innovations and technological advances that we couldn’t hold the number to 100. Out of around 200 submissions from supply chain professionals around the world, we trimmed it to the 133 you can read about in this issue and online.

No matter what area of supply chain you’re involved in, you can find a solution here that just may ease your business pain. There are innovations here that help reduce costs, smooth out kinks in distribution networks, improve forecasting accuracy, solve warehousing and transportation problems and much more.

For example, one enabler created a storage solution that increased the number of pallet locations by 66 percent. It freed 126,000 square feet of warehouse space for additional storage, allowing the customer to receive a total of 36,000 product codes with more than 3 million pieces of inventory.

Generational Change

One of the biggest issues facing supply chain is talent management. Where are the new folks coming from? How do we recruit them? How do we keep them? How do we develop teams? How do we motivate talent? For the first time ever, we have four generations in the workforce: Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y.  

Here are a couple of ideas for you: Supply & Demand Chain Executive is hosting a pair of webinars on Aug. 20 and Oct. 9 dealing with just this topic. The first one will talk about the four generations and how to meld their different values, ideas, ways of getting things done and ways of communicating in the workplace into a cohesive unit. In the second webinar, we’ll discuss how to attract the best and brightest to supply chain and, once they’re in the fold, develop their talent to keep them engaged, challenged and not looking elsewhere.

Consider the 30s. No, not the 1930s, but 30 Under 30. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and ThomasNet.com established the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars program to encourage and honor those who already are making a difference.

“This is a pivotal moment for the supply chain profession,” said Mark Holst-Knudsen, president of ThomasNet. “Baby Boomers are retiring, and carrying their knowledge and skills out the door. Now is the time to attract and engage Millennials to take their place. In just 11 years, this generation will represent about 75 percent of the workforce.”

The program will recognize 30 professionals from the U.S. and Canada whose initiative, collaboration, innovation and/or leadership led to notable accomplishments. Nominees’ contributions to their companies, professional associations and the industry at large will be considered. All nominees must be 30 or younger as of Dec. 31. Nomination forms are available at www.thomasnet.com/30under30 and the deadline is July 31.