Back to the future

12 January 2011
In clearing out a store cupboard yesterday we came across a number of interesting old issues of Supply Management. Of particular note was SM’s millennium special issue from 16 December 1999. Articles covered getting London’s Millennium Dome ready for its opening night, a look back over 1,000 years of supply chain management, and what some of the top buyers of the time hoped for the future. Cover of the 16 December 1999 issue of Supply Management magazineConrad Nowikow, who in 1999 was director of e-procurement EMEA at PwC, said he hoped European government would follow the US example and recognise the internet as a free-trade zone; Peter Williams, then director of group procurement at WPP Group and president of CIPS, said e-procurement is “not the panacea that many see it as”; and Fiona Annand, who was contracts officer at Essex Police, hoped procurement would position itself in a more commercial role. Unfortunately there’s some way to go until the dreams of Babs Omotowa, then head of warehouse services at Shell’s western division in Nigeria, are realised. He wanted to see a means of transport to replace aeroplanes and superpowers around the world identified by their abilities and innovation in managing their supply chains. See what experts told us the next five years holds for the profession here.
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