Research study

Compare your 2017 targets: Get the new AEB study on GTM trends now

Insights from over 330 experts on hot topics for supply chain management, global trade, and logistics. Find out if you are on the right track for 2017 in AEB's new research study.

Download the full research study in AEB's media center

Speed ranks first

Over 330 experts working in the fields of supply chain management, global trade, and logistics took part in a survey for our annual research study “Global Trade Management Agenda”. And they agree on this: fulfillment speed is more important than ever.

In the days of online shopping and next day deliveries, some of us might think “well, this can’t get any faster”. Fact is, however, that customer demand for fast shipping continues to increase. Customers nowadays want innovation, latest technologies, drone deliveries – you name it. They want it now and they don’t want to go without security and smooth processes either.

This puts great pressure on companies in the industrial and commercial sectors as well as on businesses offering transportation and logistics services. And as a result, our survey reveals that three out of four industry experts consider shorter lead times and less time to delivery their top priorities for 2017.

Relevance of changes

Global trade management is subject to constant change. New trade agreements and economic communities, sanctions and embargos – there is always something going on with potential impact on supply chain operations. So how did this year’s developments influence 2017 priorities?

Not much at all, it seems. The UK’s vote to leave the European Union, for example, was a significant – even historic – development this year. But, it did not change respondents’ assessments of priorities in areas one would expect compared to last year’s results. The nature of the beast – the dynamism of global trade itself – might be the reason for this.

Independent from market developments, experts always consider compliance with global trade regulations a challenge and risk minimization a key priority for their businesses. One of the key lessons to take away is this: whatever happens, flexible companies with the right tools to achieve agility in supply chains are in the best position to master regulatory changes and keep a competitive edge.

New talents? Size matters.

The greatest need for improvement in global trade management is seen in the area of talent management – the recruitment, training, and development of employees across industry sectors. Half of the respondents consider their own companies to come up short here, and for 47%, this topic is an important priority in 2017.

Quite interesting here is that the ranking of the importance of talent management is relative to the size of the companies the respondents work for. Results reveal that small and very large companies consider the issue of skilled labor shortage to be much less pressing than medium-sized businesses.

This may be based on the fact that smaller companies usually only need very few new employees and large corporations typically enjoy an image advantage as attractive employers in the market. This would leave medium-size businesses much more affected by the shortage of skilled labor in global trade management, explaining the differences in assessment across different sizes of companies.

Download the full research study in AEB's media center

But now, I don’t want to spoil any more surprises – it’s time to let you review the research study in peace and quiet ;). For a quick glance at the 9 top priorities for 2017 take a look at the infographic below. 

Please let me know if you have any questions. Or feedback, of course. I very much look forward to hearing from you – just get in touch via the website.

2017 priorities at a glance
2017 priorities at a glance