Smyrna, GA – A recognized expert on the global supply chain is optimistic about the future for the print and graphic communications industry based on current trends – but with a few caveats.
Marty Parker, senior lecturer at the University of Georgia and partner at TechCXO based in Atlanta, was a keynote speaker at the Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia’s Annual Meeting last week. Mr. Parker told attendees to expect a “normalization” of the supply chain within the next year or so.
“I’m upbeat on the supply chain overall,” Mr. Parker said but acknowledged the ongoing challenges facing the print industry, particularly pertaining to paper products. He also recognized that unpredictable variables could impact his optimism, including hurricanes, a recession, the war in Ukraine, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, etc.
Mr. Parker shared his thoughts on the future of supply chain, noting that robotics, drones, and autonomous vehicles are already having a positive impact in many industries. He expects the trend to accelerate as the U.S. birthrate continues to decline, technologies improve, and companies seek to reduce the $2.3 trillion spent each year on maintaining inventory.
Mr. Parker stated that manufacturers in Georgia, including printers and their suppliers, are in an advantageous position due to our state’s relatively strong economy, accessible ports, excellent roads, and other infrastructure. He also noted that Atlanta is one of the fastest growing markets for supply chain, logistics, and automation startups.
In closing, Mr. Parker had some advice for the printing industry:
- Move away from RFPs and toward strategic partnerships with vendors
- Treat vendors like customers and/or strategic partners; solicit their feedback
- Upgrade computer and project management systems where appropriate
- Avoid bottlenecks by delegating approval authority to trusted employees
- Streamline hiring process to less than three weeks by utilizing virtual technology
- Extend your planning cycles and expand your contingencies
Marty Parker is a senior lecturer and member of the Department of Management at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. He is also a partner at TechCXO providing interim executive services to companies seeking to grow their business. He has more than 30 years of experience in operations, supply chain, marketing, strategic planning, international expansion, factory buildouts, mergers and acquisitions and process improvements. For additional insight, connect with Mr. Parker on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/martyparker/).
Additional information may be found at www.piag.org.