American women will do almost anything in their power to slow the aging process, including spending millions annually on moisturizers and creams. That's despite the fact that people in their mid to late 50s are generally happier and experience less stress, compared with young adults in their 20s, according to a study published in March 2010.
It turns out, well-being changes with age. Things get better. People become less stressed and enjoy themselves more. The study on aging suggests that after age 50 both women and men had about the same levels of happiness and tended to feel better overall about their lives.
I'm wondering if the same is true for high-tech supply chains. About 96 percent of the executives managing their companies' strategies now feel pressure to increase efficiencies and boost profit, according to a recent state-of-the-industry report from Eye For Transport.
In the survey, high-tech electronics manufacturers and retailers were asked to identify the most effective supply chain cost-cutting measures. Low and behold, improving internal efficiencies came in at 77 percent; improved forecasting, 49 percent; and cheaper or better sourcing of materials, 45 percent. The responses were markedly similar to a previous study, with the exception of a reduction in the number making staff or salary cuts.
As the supply chain continues to mature it seems as though companies need to dig deeper to find the cuts to save money and improve profits. The study suggests this level of satisfaction — call it happiness — could come from the ability to quickly implement platforms and processes, which could include integrating cloud computing or software as a service (SaaS) applications. In an earlier blog post I ask the EBNOnline.com community to provide feedback on how cloud computing might improve efficiencies in the supply chain. (See: Google Chrome Might Improve the Supply Chain.)
Ironically, the results revealed a changing perspective among high-tech executives with regard to forecasts. The survey indicates that in many cases the recession highlighted the danger of relying too heavily on forecasting to determine how to manage supply chain operations. It also points to the importance of risk management.
Interestingly, the study showed that a greater number — 11 percent — of retailers have recently discontinued using certain Asian suppliers. The report suggests more companies have begun to move away from Asia and are relocating operations closer to home. (Have you done this? Why?)
So, what will your company's supply chain look like this year, compared with the past, as it ages and the concept of system optimization continues to mature? How do you cut costs from an aging supply chain to keep it happily increasing profits? Will the more experienced supply chain executives prevail?