By PJ O’Connor, Vice President, Client Initiatives, OC Reilly, Inc.

(Jan. 6, 2020)—They say change is the only thing that doesn’t change, and that seems to be truer than ever in today’s global marketplace.

While the U.S. economy continues to post positive trend numbers, the specter of tariffs and the unpredictability that can result from them keeps investors and strategic business planners on their heels, wondering which predictive models can be trusted for long-term success.

Last year, the American economy avoided a potentially rocky situation with Mexico, as threatened tariffs got pulled after a new agreement was reached. According to the American Trucking Association, more than $424 billion in goods flowed across the U.S./Mexico border in 2018 alone, so maintaining that level of trade represents a critical economic advantage. Trade relations with China – another key economic partner – however, remain unresolved.

The ripples from disruptions and even possible disruptions like these can have a direct impact on supply chain processes and decisions. The ability to remain flexible – with alternative options identified, verified, and ready to be implemented quickly – can determine which organizations weather these sorts of choppy waters successfully or not.

Planning with advice from a supply chain professional helps an organization understand its options, limitations, and opportunities – even as the prognosis for the marketplace overall contains a level of uncertainty and doubt. It starts with having the most cost-efficient and workable supply chain system in place. Then, working from that solid platform, backup plans can be developed with a sense of confidence and reliability.

And in today’s global marketplace, confidence and reliability have become highly valued advantages. Getting your supply chain program in shape holds the key.

© 2020 OC Reilly, Inc.