Preparing for 'The Great Comeback'

Preparing for 'The Great Comeback'

Supply chain consultant and blogger Jim Tompkins is increasingly bullish about the prospects for economic recovery, despite the bad news of the first quarter.

He's already urging companies to "shake off the funk" and start planning for what he calls "The Great Comeback." Starting earlier this month, he began a series of blog posts on the recovery he sees coming, and what businesses should be doing to prepare for it on his "GoGoGo!" blog.

"This has been 'The Great Recession' and depending upon your industry sector, 'The Great Comeback' is either starting now or will start soon. It really does all depend on your industry sector — your sector has either bottomed or will be bottoming soon and it is paramount that you begin planning now for The Great Comeback.

Tompkins, president of Tompkins Associates, has been an educator,  consultant and author (26 books) in the supply chain field for more than 30 years, and he brings the experience of previous recessions to bear on this one. Among his predictions:

* The bottom for some industries will be the second quarter of 2009; for others it will be the third and fourth quarters. For some it will come in 2010. "It really depends on your industry sector," he says.

* With investment lagging, capital spending will continue to be weak and unemployment will continue to rise throughout 2009.

* Consumer confidence will return in the second half of 2009 within the food, cosmetics, beverage, pharmaceuticals and inexpensive consumer electronics sectors. Lower priced goods will gain demand, strength and momentum before higher priced goods.

* Housing and automotive industries will continue to suffer throughout 2009, but stabilize and return to growth in 2010.

* The comeback will occur first in North America, then Asia and then Europe.

“Although 2009 will continue to be difficult, the global and technological nature of today’s business operations actually works to hasten the recovery,” said Tompkins.