Most dominant categories of OpRules in 2011

Since June we have been following all the significant supply chain and operations news, categorizing and recording them in OpRules. With over 120 posts, it is interesting to analyze the categories and note the most prominent topics.

The category that clearly dominated the news has been supply chain risk which was heavily influenced by two major ctastrophic events this year – the Japanese Tsunami in March  and the floods in Thailand in September. In addition, the fear of cyber attacks, terrorism, theft and the pervalence of counterfeits make risk management a very prominent topic.

The second topic was manufacturing with the anxiety over the decline of manufacturing in the US and attempts to understand and revitalize it taking center stage. There are some encouraging trends towards regional manufacturing  that David Simchi-Levi discussed with Business week, Hope for American Manufacturing?

The third topic was sustainability with many companies initiating their own projects for more efficient packaging and practices. On the legislative front California approved a carbon cap and trade , Australia instituted a new carbon tax and there is talk of a UN carbon fee on cargo ships. Therefore, there is pressure on companies to invest in reducing carbon emissions and sustainability despite the seeming lack of interest at the US federal level.

Finally, technology is advancing on many fronts including increased use of RFID for tracking,  focus on end to end traceability, migration to cloud computing or SaaS and innovative use of tablets and cell phones in retail.