MHI Solutions - Volume 3, Issue 2 - (Page 103)
What the Roadmap
Has Taught Me This year
By GARy FORGER, MHI MANAGING DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAl DEVElOPMENT
o doubt about it. The past year
has been a huge one for the U.S.
Roadmap for Material Handling
Not only was it published and made
available at www.mhlroadmap.org, but
the Roadmap went on a tour of its own-
coast to coast and internationally.
Some of the cities it has visited
include Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles,
Charlotte, Trenton, Louisville and New
Orleans. You get the drift. It also went
to Quebec City, Canada and Zaragoza,
Spain. When all was said and done, the
Roadmap was presented at more than 20
events. And already in 2015, there have
been another half dozen stops.
People have heard the long version
and the short one. Most of them have
had a chance to give the Roadmap some
thought and prioritize the 10 core competencies that must be developed to
counter the 10 disruptors.
Every time, prioritization has been
thought-provoking. And usually, it's
the first time people have thought and
talked about the supply chain in the big
picture. We're all so caught up in our
day-to-day immediate concerns in a
tightly defined silo, that the big picture
doesn't always get much attention.
So, what have I learned from all this?
Quite a bit, actually.
To begin, people's supply chain priorities really do differ based on where
they fit. Equipment suppliers have different priorities than academics whose
priorities are different than practitioners and different than government and
association people. Their priorities don't
clash. They're just different.
And their priorities changed as the
year went along. Early on, e-commerce
was typically in the top 5. Today that's
not the case. It's almost as if e-commerce
went from being notable to being part of
the assumed landscape.
As the year went on, core competencies
such as planning/optimization, supply
chain visibility and collaboration became
important more frequently. The same
can be said for high-speed logistics, but
it cracked the top five less often for sure.
as well as workforce held their own
throughout the year as top priorities.
Sustainability floated, depending on
But the least understood of all the core
competencies is urban logistics. It rarely
registered in the top five priorities. And
when most were asked about it, blank
stares were the standard response.
Throughout all this, I have become
convinced that the world is changing
more rapidly than we think. Most are
still of the mind that we can deal with
today now and the future at some other
time-preferably when it is convenient to
do so. Trouble is, the rate of change says
that's no longer a feasible approach to
material handling, logistics and supply
chain. Certainly not with the Internet
in your pocket.
To that point, one of the topics never
addressed by the Roadmap is cyber security. The topic was mentioned only in
passing when we met with more than
100 people to build the Roadmap just 18
months ago. That "for instance" alone
should make the point of the "exponential exponential rate of change" we live
As you can well imagine, we will continue to keep the Roadmap in front of
people. It is the reason there is a Supply
Chain Workforce Summit at ProMat 2015
and why a supply chain technician certification is under development. We are
also in the process of going regional with
the Roadmap and building local models
in some key cities across the country.
There will be more news of Roadmap
outcomes as 2015 goes on. If you want
to get involved or have your own ideas
for building on what has already been
published, you can contact me at
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MHI Solutions - Volume 3, Issue 2
Wearable and Mobile Technologies
The Rise of Automation and Robotics in Supply Chains
The Power of the Cloud
Connections between Education, Industry Key to Training the Workforce of the Future
The Food and Beverage Industry
ProMat 2015 Preview
2015 MHI Innovation Awards to be Awarded During ProMat
Economic Market Analysis
Collaborate With Supply Chain Management Programs to Solve the Workforce Shortage
MHI Solution and Product Groups—Moving Forward
Solution Group Update
Where Are They Now
Index of Advertisers
MHI Solutions - Volume 3, Issue 2