American Society of Transportation and Logistics

Look for an increase in mergers and acquisitions this year. With the market rebounding somewhat, but with supply chain infrastructure in disarray, we will see enhanced activity for optimizing supply chains, improving time to market and strengthening the skill sets of existing resources.

With so much downsizing of talent in 2009 and 2010, companies aren’t able to handle growth in an effective manner. Many of our members have reiterated that finding appropriate skill sets will be top priority.

As we predicted a year ago, the market saw a significant push in moving to a more direct fulfillment model. This will continue in most vertical markets. But time is limited, and supply chain professionals are wearing multiple hats. We will see a significant increase in certification and on-the-job training in transportation and logistics. Certification will allow the appropriate allocation of time spent to improve and represent broader skill sets.

By “broader skill sets,” I mean transportation and logistics for 2011 will be about supply chain optimization with a broader and deeper understanding of how finance, marketing, purchasing, transportation, production, forecasting and logistics converge to improve the bottom line and bring products to market faster.

If we do not “fit” our companies and educate existing talent with the appropriate skill sets, we will see companies lose market share and profits in 2011 and beyond.

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