This year SCMAP enters its 28th year of existence. A lot has happened in those years, not least the evolution of this organization, from its origins as the Distribution Management Association of the Philippines in 1989, and its recognition of the changing role of distribution — and later, logistics; and much later, supply chain — not just in the competitiveness of a company, but of a country’s economy as well.
The way we work to achieve this goal has also evolved over the years. DMAP was founded to ensure fair transport costs; now we connect with different stakeholders from end to end. We have also worked to ensure the adoption of policies and development of infrastructure projects that enhance our logistics capabilities and ensure the continued growth of the economy — and that it benefits everyone. An example of this is our involvement as a private sector partner of the DTI-DPWH Convergence Program.
We are also working to expand supply chain education, not just to managers and supervisors but to every level. This is evidenced by our continued collaboration with TESDA for a nationwide certification for warehousing personnel, our recent partnerships with the University of the Philippines and GoNegosyo, and our plans with De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University.
Watching this all unfold from SCMAP’s simple offices it’s amazing to see how many parties have recognized us as the premier supply chain organization in the country. But why, exactly?
We tried to answer this question during our recent strategic planning held last January 14. It all boils down to three factors:
- We are made up of experts in supply chain. Our members are represented by those who have worked in the field for years, and are very much in the pulse of recent developments affecting the industry. This is true not just of those who work directly in warehousing or transport, but also in the allied industries: those working in retailing, in production, even those who provide equipment and technological solutions. Each has an insight into what matters for our supply chain to become truly competitive.
- We are made up of the nation’s biggest companies. This year’s Board of Directors, for instance, is composed of representatives from major industries: food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retailers, and logistics providers, too. (A board with directors from Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Unilab, among others — that is a big deal.) And our reach is not limited to Manila, with an active Visayas chapter, an upcoming chapter based in Clark (which will be launched on February 15), and some members in Mindanao.
We have demonstrated the capability to affect change and reforms in the industry. One can easily look at SCMAP’s record of ensuring fair and justified shipping costs, as well as its continuing advocacy for relevant and practical policies affecting transportation and logistics.
- The challenge for the organization now is to continuously utilize these factors to truly make the Philippine supply chain industry globally competitive. These are interesting times: the economy is booming, the government is keen on boosting spending on infrastructure, and there is strong demand for enhanced capabilities in supply chain. SCMAP is in a unique position to connect every stakeholder to ensure these dreams are realized.
That brings us to our battle cry for this year: “Connect. Engage. Move.”
SCMAP vows to connect to more stakeholders, and attract new members too. We are particularly interested in inviting members from the retailing sector, recognizing their key role in the supply chain industry.
We also vow to engage stakeholders and members alike, with more meaningful events and activities. We are continually working to improve our events (especially after the success of last year’s SCMAP Supply Chain Conference) and also ramp up our communications with members, especially with the launch of our new website and expanded social media presence.
Finally, we hope that all these efforts will result in us moving the supply chain industry — towards competency, towards competitiveness, towards a stronger economy that benefits all. We hope to count on your support this year, and in the years to come.
Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications executive of SCMAP. A former board director, he is also editor-in-chief of the organization’s official publication, Supply Chain Philippines.