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There's still a sense of hesitation in conversation about whether the recession is over. At a conference I attended last month, one consultant was a bit more emphatic: "The recession's over? Not according to the distributors I work with."
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But even if the numbers aren't there yet, there seem to be other signs that recovery is indeed underway. McKinsey & Co. recently released the results from its Global Survey, and those results demonstrate a shift in mindset among respondents with regard to challenges in the supply chain.
For example, companies identified "increasing volatility of customer demand" as the No. 1 supply chain challenge over the past five years. Yet when asked about expectations for the next five years, that challenge doesn't crack the top 5.
Instead, the No. 1 expected challenge among respondents to the survey was "increasing pressure from global competition," followed by "increasing expectations about customer service/product quality" and "increasingly complex patterns of customer demand."
While economic recovery may be occurring more slowly than many people would like, the survey results suggest "companies anticipate returning to a new normal, wherein they can focus on issues other than cost at least some of the time."
Order Now: MDM's 2011 Economic Forecast
Related article: The Rush to Meet Growing Demand