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We’ve reached an inflection point. The world’s resources are growing scarcer and supply and demand curves are colliding. Resources have seldom been more tightly constricted. Nations and their people are feeling the tightening grip of constrained water, energy and raw materials. Demands on resources and infrastructure are escalating, as the global middle class rapidly emerges to what will be 5 billion strong in just 15 years. Meanwhile inside organizations across all industries and geographies, the increasing scarcity is having a major impact on supply chains and operations.
Companies face new economic realities where the hard-hitting pressures from the global economic downturn have not eased. The demands have increased and they are coming from all sides. While customers demand immediate and unwavering satisfaction, boards and shareholders call for better oversight at all organizational levels. And the growing complexities and volatility of supply chains make meeting those demands all the more difficult.
In order to respond to these economic challenges, enterprises large and small need to maximize their inputs and optimize their operations. This means continually identifying underused capacities and squeezing every scrap of value from what they already possess. It also requires a supply chain that is better able to predict supply shortages, reduce risk wherever possible and respond to unexpected change.
Organizations must master the art of doing more with less if they hope to survive against today’s global competition and the challenges tomorrow unfolds. Forward-leaning companies will take advantage of the global marketplace, new cultural mindsets, and novel and disruptive technologies, like 3D printing, analytics, cloud computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. Businesses must respond quickly and decisively to rising resource constraints. The fact of the matter is enterprise efficiency and resource optimization are no longer nice-to-haves—they’re core competencies.