A NEW ECONOMIC INDEX based
on U.S. logistics activity, which
was launched by five universities
and is supported by the Council
of Supply Chain Management
Professionals (CSCMP), is seeking
The “Logistics Manager’s
Index” (LMI) is based on a monthly poll asking respondents to rate
whether factors such as warehousing capacity, utilization, and
prices; inventory levels and costs;
and transportation capacity, utilization, and prices are increasing,
decreasing, or staying the same.
The information can act as a leading indicator of the health of the
overall economy, according to
Dale S. Rogers, professor of logistics and supply chain management at Arizona State University.
Separate indices for the various
elements are combined to create the overall LMI score, which
is indicated as a percentage.
The November/December 2016
LMI came in at 62. 9 percent, an
increase of 8 percentage points
from the October reading of 54. 9
percent. A reading above 50 percent indicates logistics activity
is expanding, and a reading
below 50 percent indicates it is
In addition to Arizona State,
researchers from Colorado
State University, Portland State
University, Rutgers University,
and University of Nevada, Reno
are working on the index.
The index is still in its early stages, and the researchers are seeking more participants to take the
brief monthly survey. Interested?
Please contact Rogers at dale.
[NEW LOGISTICS INDEX
GAUGES U.S. ECONOMY’S
DIRECTION] focused on shipping cases and pallets.
Now, however, they will also need to
be able to handle individual items,
or “eaches.” Instead of developing
those capabilities in-house, many will
look to external partners, such as
third-party logistics (3PL) providers,
said Research Manager, Supply Chain
Execution John Santagate in an inter-
view. Some manufacturers might
also consider working with new part-
ners such as Flexe, a marketplace for
on-demand warehouse space, or work
with more traditional partners in less
traditional ways, he said. For example,
manufacturers that take orders direct-
ly from consumers might have a retail-
er handle fulfillment of those orders.
The growth in direct-to-consumer
fulfillment is just one of 10 predictions
the IDC report has made for manufacturing supply chains. See the full
list at www.idc.com/research/viewtoc.
WITH THEIR RECENT REPORT “Mobilising the Supply Chain Community to
Solve Global Challenges: Engaging the Private Sector,” the research group
SCM World and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have issued a call to
action to members of the supply chain community.
The report suggests that the biggest problems facing the world today—how to
provide food and health care to all and make the world more environmentally
sustainable—cannot be solved without help from supply chain experts. Report
author Barry Blake, vice president of research for SCM World, argues that
the foundation for solving these systemic problems is forming “shared value”
collaborative partnerships among the private sector, the public sector (such as
development groups and nongovernmental organizations), and government.
These three-way partnerships are necessary, according to Blake, because “no
standalone organization has the resource capacity, the full suite of capabilities,
or the means and motivation to independently tackle these challenges.”
The report provides several case stud-
ies of shared-value partnerships. For
example, Coca-Cola has set up porta-
ble retail kiosks in rural villages across
Africa. Made from shipping containers,
these stores act as distribution centers as
well as village centers, providing power,
Internet connectivity, access to clean water, and refrigerated storage for medi-
cines. Coca-Cola relied on government and nongovernmental organizations to
provide information about local communities and manufacturing resources for
The report acknowledges that creating a shared-value collaborative partnership is not easy. To help organizations that are interested in participating in this
type of initiative, it details the roles that each participant plays and identifies
potential barriers to success, such as a lack of trust between the various groups.
It also suggests next steps and outlines motivating factors.
To read the report, go to www.scmworld.com/provocative/content/.
A call to action for supply chain experts