Even More Eventful

Even More Eventful

I was reminded a few weeks ago that this year marks five years since the Ten Commitments of the Philippine Logistics Sector was signed and formalized. A product of deeper collaboration between the government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry, and industry groups like SCMAP, it outlined initiatives that aim to strengthen the logistics sector in many fronts, from regulatory reform and infrastructure development, to talent development and even stronger linkages between stakeholders.

Five years later, a lot has happened. Anyone who reads this column regularly probably knows some of these things by now, especially my belief that the principle of “unhampered movement of goods” embraced by the government during the height of the pandemic would not be possible without these commitments. And the work continues: we at SCMAP are heavily involved in deliberations for several legislative proposals, including a bill to split the Philippine Ports Authority to address concerns of conflict of interest.

The stronger focus on supply chain that we have seen in the past few years is one factor as to why 2023 has been a very eventful year for SCMAP. The other factor is – finally – our return to seeing each other face to face. We were only dipping our toes in the water last year when we conducted our flagship SCMAP Supply Chain Conference in person. This year, we went all out: in-person editions of our Supply Chain Outlook and Supply Chain Immersion events – the latter, we held twice, the first in Cebu and the second in Tarlac – as well as the introduction of our Member Meets events, where members can visit facilities of key supply chain players.

The return to in-person events meant more opportunities for benchmarking, alongside the usual networking with peers and catching up on ongoing developments and trends. With all this talk we’ve seen in the past few years about pursuing digitalization, embracing sustainability and fostering collaboration, what better way to illustrate it than to see examples of such successes in action? We intend to do more of these events in the coming year.

Our efforts to promote supply chain education have also gone to the next level. Back in August we were formally named as lead of the NCR TVET industry board on logistics and supply chain, expanding on our collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and allowing stakeholders to better address skills issues among logistics personnel. This builds on our work in crafting National Certification programs for warehouse personnel, as well as the Philippine Skills Framework on logistics and supply chain launched in 2021.

In addition, our Certificate Course on Enterprise Supply Chain Management in partnership with De La Salle University continues to be well-received by students, with two in-person runs already in the books. We look forward to expanding our partnership with the university in the coming year as we further address increased demand for upskilling and reskilling in the supply chain sector.

One of the things I have been personally excited about (and you’ll know this if you’ve read my previous column) is our expanded collaboration with other organizations within the Philippines and across Southeast Asia. This is one proof of SCMAP’s status as the premiere supply chain organization in the country, recognized as a repository of industry knowledge and expertise. In the coming year, we are already working on further collaborations which should see us have a presence in key logistics events in our neighboring countries. I invite you to keep in touch through our website and social media channels to learn more.

An eventful year indeed – but then, the past few years have been eventful for us in supply chain. And the coming year promises to be one as well. Again, all this talk of digitalization and emerging technologies, of sustainability and our impact on our communities, of enhancing the customer experience and strengthening partnerships – these topics are picking up pace and will be key concerns moving forward. There are many opportunities to be seized and many challenges to be faced head on – and we at SCMAP are happy to be part of your journey towards more competitive supply chains, meaning more value for our customers, shareholders and the economy as a whole.

On our end, we promise to deliver through more relevant events and more meaningful initiatives. Already we have taken steps; to ensure stronger continuity we are extending our entire Board of Directors’ term to two years, as well as beefing up our team. All of these, however, would not be possible without your continued support.

But, for now, on behalf of the SCMAP team, I wish you all a happy Christmas and a meaningful new year.

Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications director of SCMAP, and editor-in-chief of its official publication, Supply Chain Philippines. More information about SCMAP is available at scmap.org.

PREVIOUS COLUMN: Our Neighbors’ Yards