I recently acquired one of the newest smart phones, and its capabilities are astonishing compared with what was possible even a couple of years ago. The technologies we take for granted today often far surpass what the most visionary thinkers of a generation ago could even imagine.
I'm looking forward to hearing from the closing speaker at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Global Conference, which takes place later this month in San Diego. Jack Bacon, a former NASA scientist, is billed as a futurist. In a period when the only certainty is uncertainty, I cannot imagine a better time to hear from someone who may have some insights into what's over the horizon.
We see the uncertainty in successful corporations' hoarding cash rather than investing, in investors' retreating from stocks, and in financial analysts' predicting everything from catastrophe to at least modest economic recovery. We also see it in political foes' expressing seemingly irreconcilable world views, in wars that seem endless, and in peace that seems fragile. These are interesting times indeed.
I don't want to suggest the sky is falling. In many ways, what we face is a modern take on age-old issues. Take our own little slice of the world, for example. In the 20-plus years I've been writing about transportation, logistics, warehousing and distribution management, and supply chains, the same themes have recurred time and again. What we've seen in that time is tremendous innovation, particularly in the technologies that allow managers to handle all that complexity with greater speed, agility, and—especially important right now—resiliency. As uncertainty increases, building that resiliency into business systems becomes more crucial. One of the tracks at the CSCMP conference, led by old friend Joe Andraski, now head of the Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions Association, is titled "Managing in Turbulent Times." It may prove one of the most popular.
DC VELOCITY and our sister publication, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly, will have a full staff of editors on hand in San Diego to bring news and insights to readers both in print and online. One of the best things about the annual CSCMP conference, at least for me, is the chance to re-engage with thoughtful, intelligent, and innovative professionals to learn what they expect and how they are preparing for whatever lies ahead—and to share that with readers. As an old newsman, I have to believe that the best way to be prepared for uncertainty is with good information, and the conference has never failed to offer it.