SCMAP Perspective is our fortnightly column on PortCalls, tackling the latest developments in the supply chain industry, as well as updates from within SCMAP. On this column, we look back at the year that was for the organization.

“Eventful” is an understatement

Since it’s not always that this column is published on Christmas day itself, let me begin by wishing you a happy day ahead. I hope, for the next few hours or so, you set aside the stresses of your life and spend it in the company of loved ones.

It’s that time again when we look back at the year that was, and for us here at SCMAP, calling it “eventful” is an understatement. There were a lot of things going on. Arguably the work we have put in over the past few years – ensuring the organization remains strong and able to respond to the challenges posed by an ever-dynamic supply chain industry – has begun to bore fruit.

It all seemed so easy, especially back in January, when, during our planning session, we came up with the theme “Connect. Engage. Move.” It laid out what we wanted to do in the simplest of ways: connect with more stakeholders in supply chain, engage them through meaningful initiatives and events, and ultimately move the global competitiveness of the industry.

In a way, we benefited from good timing. People were recognizing the importance of robust and responsive supply chains to a competitive economy. This was not just a concern to businesses but to consumers as well, as they embraced new retail models and new technologies. But still, we had to work hard to truly reach out to these stakeholders, to make them understand not just the importance of collaboration in improving supply chain, but to see the role we as an organization can play to that end. This work continues into the coming year.

But it’s safe to say we have truly made strides. One indicator is our events, and I can personally say we have truly levelled up this year. The 2017 SCMAP Supply Chain Conference boasted the best line-up of speakers and topics compared not just to our previous conferences, but also to any other supply chain conference mounted in the country this year. We have tweaked the formula of our annual Supply Chain Immersion and made it truly immersive, with an engaging series of workshops accompanied by site tours and talks with business leaders from our destination city, Iloilo. We have also looked at our General Membership Meetings and made them more compelling, with a keen eye on emerging trends and some new formats, too. The success of these events prove to us that we are truly the premiere supply chain organization in the country.

Another highlight is the number of engagements we have made with stakeholders from government, industry and the academe. There was our engagement with the ROLL IT convergence program between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Public Works and Highways. There’s our continuing work with GoNegosyo, bringing supply chain education to MSMEs across the country – and, through that, we are also one of the pioneer mentors at the recently launched ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network. There’s our work with various government agencies on initiatives to strengthen the supply chain industry, such as the Logistics Efficiency Indicators survey unveiled last August. We have also been approached by students looking to gain insight into supply chain. It’s heartening to know that we’re making an impact on the youth.

We have also expanded our footprint, with new members not just in the national organization but in our regional chapters. We launched our North Luzon chapter earlier this year, while our Visayas chapter continued its growth, with the mounting of some really meaningful and thoughtful events addressing issues specific to the region. SCMAP’s value to the whole industry is spreading out to the country’s major economic centers.

But, again, there is more work to be done. Our successes this year pose an interesting challenge for the next: how do we level things up in 2018? We have to limber up. We will continue to improve on our events. (If you visit our website, scmap.org, we have put up our calendar of events for 2018 – kicking off with Supply Chain Outlook on January 26.) We will continue to work with more stakeholders. We will continue our efforts to strengthen the organization itself, to allow it to respond better to any development that arises. That said, we would not reach this point if not for the support of our members, partners and colleagues. We are truly thankful for your trust, and we hope to count on the same in the year ahead.

With that, you can now go back to your loved ones and enjoy their company. (And the food. Of course, the food, too.) Here’s to a prosperous year ahead.

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