2012 turned out to be a great year for supply chains.  Transportation was obtainable, costs to serve remained low, inventory reductions continued to occur, customers became a little happier with their suppliers and all supply chain organizations became very used to the “once in a lifetime” supply disruptions that occur once every quarter.  What will be more interesting is how 2013 will progress but one aspect of 2012 will absolutely continue into 2013

Execution will be the primary focus of retailers and manufacturers and more visibility into this process will be sought.

This encompasses all aspects of execution from planning through product delivery.  The total product supply chain will continue to evolve to ensure that all players in the chain will move in lock step with one another.  Companies will focus on this critical aspect of the business even if it is not widely publicized and it will only become more critical.  Why?  Because consumers are fickle and organizations will focus on catering to this.  Whether that is moving manufacturing bases back to the US, adding additional forward warehouses or creating better ways to move products faster companies will find a way to deliver on this single requirement.  Planning will always be critical to an organization but being able to quickly compensate on the “forecast error” in a plan will be a larger and larger differentiator.