I met Maria Villablanca, Co-Founder & CEO Future Insights Network, in person for the first time last September at the Transporeon Summit conference in London. We were the bookends of the conference: I gave the opening keynote and Maria wrapped up the conference by sharing her takeaways from the event and moderating an insightful panel discussion. Maria and I have kept in touch ever since, and last November I was a guest on her podcast Transform Talks, and I recently turned the tables on her and welcomed her to Talking Logistics.
Since Maria speaks to a lot of supply chain and logistics executives via her podcast, especially executives in Europe, I asked her, “What is top of mind for these executives as we begin 2023? What challenges and opportunities come up the most in your conversations with them?”
Maria highlighted several trends that are certainly top-of-mind for executives here in the United States too, including:
Uncertainty and complexity are here to stay: “It’s about building resilience through that complexity,” Maria says. “How do you do that? What does that mean? It’s about having the ability to adapt faster to unforeseen circumstances. One of the things supply chain executives are looking at is ensuring their teams, processes, and technology are all able to be resilient for what’s ahead.”
Sustainability: “Looking at logistics companies in particular, how are they going to face the pressure to use fewer resources, cut transport emissions, and become more ‘green’?”
Talent Gap/Skills Shortage: “I sometimes joke, how many elementary school kids say they want to go into this career? But we do have a problem with filling this huge labor/skills gap that is getting bigger every year.”
(The latter point is a topic I have written about too, see for example “The Labor Shortage Problem: Why It’s Bigger Than You Think And How To Address It.”)
Maria expanded on that last point in her response to my question about other areas where she believes the industry is falling short or where more could be done to drive positive change and innovation. Watch this short clip for an excerpt of her response:
Maria and I discussed other topics, including the current state of sustainability in supply chain and logistics and the key actions supply chain and logistics leaders should take to thrive in 2023 and beyond. Therefore, I encourage you to watch the full episode for all of Maria’s insights and advice. Then post a comment and share your perspective!