Season’s Readings: Inside Supply Management®’s Best of 2023

December 19, 2023
By Sue Doerfler, Melanie Stern, Dan Zeiger

With 2024 on the horizon, most supply management professionals are anticipating a “new normal” — one that will undoubtedly feature new disruptions as well as continuing challenges and accomplishments.

Inside Supply Management® has compiled its eighth annual “holiday card” to readers, featuring work from the previous 12 months that we’re most proud of. Articles from the magazine — available to Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) members — and Inside Supply Management® Weekly e-newsletter as well as ISM’s “Supply Chain — Unfiltered” podcasts (both available to all) are not only worth revisiting or discovering in case you missed them, but can also help you prepare for the new year.

One conversation that dominated this year and will continue into next is around artificial intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI. Inside Supply Management® was at the ready: We tailored our September issue around AI, data and analytics, including a feature on DuPont’s efforts in the generative AI space, “Full Speed Ahead.”

Many Inside Supply Management® Weekly e-newsletter articles also discussed AI, including “Exploring the Intersection of AI and Civil Rights.” And it was also a podcast topic: Susan Walsh, the Classification Guru, examined why cleaning data before AI integration is imperative on “Cleaning Up Dirty Data Before ChatGPT.”

Other hot topics that will be a continuing focus in the new year include:

Socially responsible supply chains. Among our 2023 favorites: “Coffee, Chocolate and Socially Responsible Sourcing,” published in the March/April issue, and the “Slave Trade, Supply Chains and Enabling Solutions” podcast.

Logistics, including shipping, last-mile delivery, ports, holiday peak season strategies and risk mitigation, among other subjects. In the magazine, ocean shipping took center stage in “ ‘The Freight Party Is Over’,” (May/June issue) while “Recovering Value in Reverse Logistics” (November/December issue) discussed the monetization of returns.

The e-newsletter focused on logistics in such articles as “Cargo Shipping — and Likely Consumer Prices — Impacted by Panama Drought,” “Demurrage and Detention Charges Down, But Issues Remain at Some Ports,” “The Strait of Malacca’s Global Supply Chain Implications” and “Visibility Without Oversight Increasing Shipping Vulnerability.”

The magazine covered a variety of topics, and favorite feature articles include:

A Global Rush for ‘White Gold’,” November/December issue. Argentina is part of the Lithium Triangle, home to largely untapped reserves of the material essential to powering the next generation of technologies.

The Changing Hospital Procurement Prognosis,” May/June issue. Product and labor shortages still abound — and cost is still paramount — but health-care systems are realizing the value and opportunities their supply chains can bring in other ways.

Constantly Calling Audibles,” May/June issue. When the Super Bowl came to Arizona, local suppliers discovered the flexibility required to handle the challenges — exacerbated in some cases by an incomplete playbook from the NFL — of working football’s biggest event

A Tangled Labor Tug-of-War,” January/February issue. Supply management employment issues have rarely, if ever, been more complex — and will likely remain so in the next few years.

In the e-newsletter, the ISM® Report On Business® Roundups continued to gauge reaction to the monthly releases of the Manufacturing PMI®, Services PMI® and Hospital PMI® data, and The Monthly Metric kept examining analytics that help supply managers make critical decisions.

Additional podcasts of note:

Finally, we’d like to express appreciation to talented guest authors who contributed throughout the year, including diversity expert Suzanne Weston; Charlotte de Brabandt, DBA, whose 10-part series of articles covers all aspects of advanced technologies and how they relate to procurement; and Chris Caplice, Ph.D., chief scientist at DAT Freight & Analytics and senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Transportation and Logistics.

At the end of business on Thursday, ISM begins its end-of-year close; we’ll be back on January 2, with the next e-newsletter release on Wednesday, January 3 (after which we’ll resume the normal Tuesday publishing schedule).

When the staff of Inside Supply Management® returns to work, we’ll put the finishing touches on a January/February issue that is annually one of our favorites. It’s our yearly economic outlook issue, with an overview of the U.S. economy and feature articles on long COVID for supply chains, crafting a U.S. response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and creating value through supplier diversity. In addition, the magazine will feature an expanded leadership column.

We wish you a happy and safe holiday season. See you in 2024.

About the Author

Sue Doerfler

About the Author

As Senior Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, I cover topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.

About the Author

Melanie Stern

About the Author

Melanie Stern is Manager, Communications at Institute for Supply Management®.

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.