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Reflecting on 2023 predictions for distributors and the global supply chain
Earlier this year, Michael Wilson, chief executive officer for AFFLINK, home to 300 independent distributors throughout the US, published his predictions for 2023 - specifically as they apply to distributors and the global supply chain.
But according to Michael, the world is changing so fast, "it's getting very hard to predict the future in business. Everything can change in as little as a few weeks."
Pausing midway through the year, he reflects on some of his earlier predictions and how they apply to the second half of 2023...
Prediction: we will enter a recession
Earlier in the year, Michael agreed with studies which indicated that we would be in a recession today. However, that has yet to materialise. Nor does he believe it will occur in the second half of 2023 - well, for the US anyway, noting: "The US economy has proved amazingly resilient, inflation appears to be cooling, we are adding jobs, and the unemployment rate remains at historic lows."
Prediction: supply shortages will continue
After the pandemic, the world faced severe supply shortages, which many, including Michael, predicted would continue into 2023. What we have seen, however, is that most supply chain shortages have been addressed. "I do not believe supply chain issues will be a significant factor for the remainder of the year," he predicts.
Prediction: labour shortages will continue
Michael's prediction holds true here. While job openings have increased, many workers have remained on the sidelines since the pandemic, no longer wanting to rejoin the labour force. "Now, employee retention is becoming a growing issue. We must support our current staff and give them all the tools they need to excel. This will encourage them to stay with a company and take leadership positions."
Prediction: globalisation will decline
Globalisation did decline during the pandemic but then rebounded. However, with reshoring and the recent US and China 'decoupling's globalization may decline. "What is replacing it is called 'regionalisation'. Countries within key regions of the world - such as North and South America - are increasing trade with each other," notes Michael. "This will continue in 2023."
Prediction: sustainability will accelerate
Michael predicted that more distributors would become sustainability-focused in 2023. His prediction has held true, "primarily because increasingly, many distributors realise sustainability can lead to greater profitability," he says.
3rd August 2023