On June 29, 2017, more than 30 industry professionals from firms such as Ingram Micro, Multisorb, and Peerless Mill Supply attended the second annual June Supply Chain Forum led by executive-in-residence Jack Ampuja and associate professor Dr. Jim Kling. The breakfast program was sponsored by the Niagara University Center for Supply Chain Excellence and designed to update supply chain professionals on important industry data and recent trends.
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) released its summary of 2016 supply chain trends the previous week, and Ampuja provided insight into the data. Most transportation shipping costs declined due to excess industry capacity, according to Ampuja, but small parcel shipping costs shot up due to the increase in e-commerce. Ampuja also believes 2017 will be a better year for most businesses despite the political uncertainty of international trade relationships. One sector to keep an eye on is food retail; Amazon.com is acquiring Whole Foods while the German firms Aldi and Lidl have aggressive U.S. expansion plans.
Dr. Kling provided his update on inventory trends by reporting that the worrying buildup of inventory seen a year ago has subsided, but he remains concerned about excessive inventories in the automobile industry. Dr. Kling’s energy update provided a picture of a well-supplied oil market and a discussion of global “peak oil demand” replacing fears of “peak oil supply.” Dr. Kling sees oil prices per barrel remaining in the $40-$60 range for the next several years.
The program concluded with almost 30 minutes of lively questions and answers.
John Manzella, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, attended the forum and offered praise.
“Jack Ampuja and Jim Kling’s program was excellent,” Manzella said. “They offered valuable insight and analysis I’ll be sure to employ.”