Strategy is key to surviving economic downturn

Attendees at last week’s Smart 2009’s Breakfast Series seminars received insights into the strategy secrets for ensuring supply chain and logistics organisations stay relevant and successful during the current recession.

Co-hosted by Microsoft Dynamics the events, held in Sydney and Melbourne, focused on optimising supply chain management and provided industry practitioners with a unique opportunity to stay ahead of the pack in uncertain times.

Bond University of Queensland’s Professor of Marketing, Dr Chris Dubelaar, presented details of his research into supply chain management, revealing that improving supply chain efficiencies alone isn’t the solution to a successful supply chain.

He outlined how companies lacking a supply chain strategy relevant to their specific needs are at major risk in today’s financial climate.

In his presentation, The New Logic of Logistics: Why ‘Best Practice’ isn’t always best, Dr Dubelaar encouraged attendees to take a step back and examine their strategies with an objective view, rather than assuming what works for a competitor or the industry in general will be the right solution for their organisation.

Microsoft Dynamics director of the Asia Pacific region, David Goad, also focused on the importance of smart supply chain strategy in his presentation, looking specifically at the best solutions for weathering the financial storm we’re currently experiencing.

Drawing on almost 20 years of experience, Goad explained how organisations can position their business to not only survive but thrive during a recession, and how times of uncertainty provide opportunities to diversify, implement new ideas and strengthen relationships with existing customers.

“This is not your traditional boom-bust recession; it’s more psychological. Just because you’re big, doesn’t mean you’ll survive and doing what you did before, will not work. Now is the time for smart companies to build a strategy and leverage technology to increase their chance of survival. The really savvy operators may even thrive,” said Goad.

According to Goad, organisations shouldn’t see the recession as a short-term situation, but instead as a complete change in the way things are done — supply chain operators need to ensure they update their strategies in order to remain relevant.

Innovation and the impacts of the current global financial climate will be among the key topics of discussion at this year’s Smart 2009 conference, themed ‘Bridging the Gap with Innovation and New Business Strategy’.

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