U.S. is defaulting on credibility, but supply chain hangs tough

Sick of the talk and double-talk about the debt limit talks going on in Washington? Personally speaking, it is definitely starting to wear on me a little bit.

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The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
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Sick of the talk and double-talk about the debt limit talks going on in Washington? Personally speaking, it is definitely starting to wear on me a little bit.

Seriously, look at the ongoing menu of rhetoric coming at us on this whether it is on TV, the Web or whatever that is filled with terms like: “signs of progress,” “baby steps,” “cautiously optimistic a deal will get done,” “both parties are coming up with separate plans” or “Wall Street is coming up with a backup plan” (gee, I feel better now-grin).

Isn’t it fair to say we have all been dealt a very tough hand in recent years—at least back to 2007 anyhow? In that time alone, we have seen enough negative things occur, that wondering when things will even come close to getting back to normal—whatever that may be—seems truly futile at times.

But regardless of the cards we are holding, we all have to make do with what we have got and look hard for a silver lining, no matter how hard it is to find at times like these.

To see the antics on display regarding the debt limit at the moment really makes the entire country look bad no matter which side you are on.

Looking at what could happen should the U.S. not be able to, you know, pay its bills is particularly difficult to contemplate, too. After all, it is not like the financial crisis of 2008 was that long ago.

We saw what that contributed to and caused and, as you know, it was not a pretty picture. Some of those after-effects are still playing out in the logistics and transport sectors on a daily basis, whether it is tight credit availability, constrained budgets, murky outlooks, or any other number of things.

But as has been the case in the past when a crisis arrives, it is hard to not see how these sectors are prepared and ready to adjust to a situation.

The business of moving freight, regardless of mode or locale, requires agility, speed, and smarts. During the time I have covered this space, it is easy to observe I have seen these things at work on myriad occasions.

These things can be seen in the form of taking a clear and defined path to sustainable supply chain practices (although there are many more steps to go), smart inventory planning, and route optimization and leveraging best practices where and when it matters most, among many others.

While economic uncertainty is everywhere, we all need to keep our eye on the ball. Even if our elected leaders in Washington are having a hard time connecting, it is clear that supply chain managers and logistics leaders are adjusting to difficult conditions and staying on base.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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Is Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns
The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
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