Inside Supply Management®’s Best of 2020

By Dan Zeiger

2020.

For supply management professionals, the mere mention of the number will invoke the most challenging year of their careers — and for many, changes on the job were accompanied by significant personal-life adjustments. The staff of Inside Supply Management® can relate, as we documented the impact of a once-in-century pandemic on companies, industries and supply chains on laptop computers in makeshift home offices.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) will indelibly define the year, and our staff’s work. Inside Supply Management®’s contribution to Institute for Supply Management®’s (ISM®) COVID-19 Resource Center includes two white papers and several dozen e-newsletter articles on the pandemic’s impact on supply management and logistics. The cover story of our July/August issue covered how the coronavirus was affecting lead times, finances, inventories and workplaces, among other issues, based on surveys by ISM Research & Analytics.

But the year was about much more than COVID-19. Even without the pandemic, it has been a historic year for supply chain disruption threats. Inside Supply Management® kept that in focus, while continuing to cover issues that regularly impact procurement while celebrating successes and lifetime achievements.

At the end of business on Wednesday, ISM begins its end-of-year close; we’ll be back on January 4. Before we go, Inside Supply Management® presents its fifth annual “Christmas card” to readers: work from the previous 12 months that we’re most proud of. These articles from the magazine (available to ISM members) and e-newsletter (available to all readers) are worth revisiting or discovering in case you missed them:

Climbing the Ladder of Responsibility,” January/February issue. For some procurement executives, the skills, knowledge and experiences gained in the function have made them attractive candidates for C-suite positions outside supply management, including COO and CFO.

Revolutionizing Manufacturing, One Part at a Time,” March/April issue. Ideal for parts that can’t be produced any other way, among other uses, 3-D printing is making headway as a tool for prototyping, product development and part replacement.

Developing Antibodies for Supply Chains,” July/August issue. The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges and opportunities, as well as shaped new strategies, as practitioners try to build a sourcing “immune system.”

Sourcing For the Moon — and Beyond,” September/October issue. With its sights on another series of lunar landings, NASA has combined science and research with supply management to create boundaries as limitless as space.

“ ‘Peak Season’ Has Been Here For Months,” November/December issue. The pandemic had already raised the stakes, but for procurement and logistics organizations, the expected increase in holiday e-commerce sales was expected to be a test of their supply, materials handling and delivery networks.

In our Inside Supply Management® Weekly e-newsletter, the ISM® Report On Business® Roundups continued to gauge reaction to the monthly release of the Manufacturing PMI® and Services PMI, as well as the new Hospital PMI; The Monthly Metric kept examining analytics that help supply managers make critical decisions; and a high-school student in Rhode Island was inspired to research and write about the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) — and those efforts might spark a career in supply management.

When Inside Supply Management® returns to work, we’ll be ready to push the button on a January/February issue that focuses on an issue — diversity and inclusion — that has long been an ideal at ISM, as well as our annual look at the economic landscape. And we’ll continue to monitor how supply chains are facilitating COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

We wish you a happy — and most importantly, safe — holiday season. See you in 2021.

About the Author

Dan Zeiger

About the Author

Dan Zeiger is Senior Copy Editor/Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, covering topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.