Grant Thornton LLP and World Trade magazine hope that the third installment of recent industry surveys will offer “insights to help you better evaluate your own sourcing decisions.” After reading the report, I would have to say they hit their mark. While parts of the report may seem somewhat mundane, there are quite a few ideas on the current sourcing climate and future macroeconomic trends. The full article can be viewed by clicking here.

The report depicts an optimistic market with 32% of companies surveyed predicting a one to five percent increase in profits through 2011. On top of this, 8% even see profits climbing more than 20% during this period. We made it through what the report refers to as a “perfect storm” for economic troubles, and businesses are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The question remains, “How are they going to get to the light?”

The article points out four critical forces that will drive profitability and future growth. They explicitly cover the importance of leveraging technology, strategizing for raw material price increases, preparing for healthcare reform, and reacting to an uncertain tax environment.

Toward the end of the piece there is some great information regarding supply chain collaboration to drive profitability. According to Audit Partner Gerry Pombo, “A growing number of companies are figuring out ways to collaborate in order to reduce costs, particularly through innovative supply chain collaborations and partnerships.” In many instances, it is important to view both your customers and suppliers as symbiotic partners.

There are also a couple of nice infographics and a timeline that acts as a great “Healthcare Reform for Dummies.” We’re not out of the woods yet, but at least businesses feel like they’ve found a map. Overall the article was definitely worth a read.
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