Geopolitical dynamics and technological progressions predominantly influenced the logistics and MRO sectors in the last quarter of 2017. The changing global landscape has created numerous complex challenges for sourcing managers to make the right decision.
When it comes to liquefied natural gas (LNG) sea trade, leading LNG importing economies are shifting their primary focus from infrastructural development and long-term contract to logistics cost and lead time. This is transforming LNG procurement into a more geographically-specific and price-sensitive business. Asian countries have moved from distant Qatar to Australia for cost-effective LNG imports. Qatar, with reduced yearly exports, is strenuously engaging with other importers to counter this shift. Europe can emerge as an importer, driving opportunities for LNG sources in Qatar, Russia and America.
Asia has been at the forefront of digital revolution — catering to the global demand for semiconductors and other electronics. The unprecedented growth in smartphones, data centers and digitization across industries has caused a surge in the demand for MRO supplies. This has led to an imbalance in MRO supplies — semiconductor industry pre-empting other industries. Undoubtedly, procurement for MRO needs a fundamental shift in focus from cost-based to delivery time-based KPI.
Disruptive trends in technology are continuing to change the regular MRO product landscape. Increasing implementation of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) calls for an inclusion of new products in the MRO portfolio. The global manufacturing industry is embracing technology at a rapid pace by upgrading or installing new facilities.
Note: We have explored each of these topics in our quarterly category bulletins, which can be yours for free for a limited time. Please reach out to Anup.Shetty@gep.com to grab your copy.