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Plan Ahead for the Supply Chain Challenges of 2014

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“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ~Abraham Lincoln
[caption id="attachment_7" align="alignright" width="358"]Assembly-JK-small.jpg Is your supply chain ready to ring in the New Year?[/caption] For logistics providers, preparation is always at the forefront of our minds. As much as we understand the need to be flexible to cope with unexpected strikes and transport bottlenecks, the very nature of the business is to find the most efficient supply chain solutions and stick to the plan that moves goods through in the quickest, most cost effective manner. We find that many common logistical hitches occur due to last-minute planning, highlighting further the importance of taking time to look at what lies on the road ahead for your business. For that reason, we offer a timely reminder to keep one eye on your preparations for next year, even as the busiest time of this one is upon us!

Plan for 2014 Growth Now

The economy stabilized somewhat during 2013 and forecasts for 2014 are looking promising for growth. U.S. Chief Economist Doug Handler says of November's 'flash forecast', "Third-quarter real GDP grew at a 2.8% annual rate—well above consensus expectations." Along with other economic factors such as manufacturing and employment indices, many signs point to supply chain managers needing to build in extra capacity to fulfill orders at a higher level in the year to come. While it's all too easy to become focused on the hectic holiday season and putting out any logistical fires that crop up in your supply chain, don't neglect the longer term planning. Review where you've been successful in 2013 and where kinks in your supply chain could be ironed out to smooth the way for 2014. Making such proposals well ahead of time shows not only preparation internally, but can help customers externally when you highlight potential problem areas and make their lives easier by helping to eliminate them early on. What are your supply chain challenges for the New Year and where did you excel in 2013? We 'd love to hear your success stories and predictions for 2014 here in the comments, or on Facebook/Google+/Twitter.