In the face of the several apocalyptic predictions that have surfaced, supply chain issues suddenly become trivialities. According to some predictions (including the Mayan calendar and interpretations of the infamous Nostradamus’ writings), the world may end on the upcoming 21st of December. Even the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard seems to be quite a fan of this theory. While this may mean that some businesses experience fundamental profit collapses (or worse, complete destruction), an apocalypse can also be considered a type of catharsis: no more worrying about insufficient availability, high costs because of overstocking or trouble with suppliers. No need to listen to any supply chain experts telling you that you need to improve your processes. Besides that, you can just forget any worries you may have about Christmas gifts that still need to be purchased.
But since we here at INFORM deal everyday with forecast algorithms and thus consider ourselves prediction experts, I can assure you: you can still read my blog in 2013. Predicting when the world will end is not something new to our society and the practice has even become a hobby of sorts for some people. As none of them obviously came true and there is no current data that would support any apocalypse fantasies, there seems to be a little too much gut-feeling involved (a known source of error for our customers).
The bad news: you may still have to improve availability, reduce costs or deal with unreliable suppliers in the New Year. While you might prefer being hit by a giant meteor or fighting against a zombie army with a baseball bat, I would strongly suggest you look at the New Year with a positive perspective. There are several new developments regarding supply chain matters in the works, which can help you design your supply chain in a more efficient and effective way. My prediction: 2013 will be quite interesting!
If you’re still not looking forward to the New Year and really want to look for evidence of future events in ancient stone tablets, the Mayan calendar (which is the most prominent source for the recent predictions) actually predicts a more positive outcome on the 21st of December. As most scientists say, it’s just one calendar cycle of 394 years coming to an end, with a new cycle starting after that one. In southern Mexico, the heart of the former Mayan territory, people say, that this changeover from one cycle to the next is symbolic of renewal and the people there actually look forward to this date.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2013!