Uncertainty in the Marketplace: Suppliers Staying the Course

NAFTA is being renegotiated. A U.S. tax reform bill is being negotiated. CVS is buying Aetna Insurance, reshaping the health insurance industry in unpredictable ways. Consumer activities are boycotting companies they believe do not meet their social and political values. Global supply chains are disrupted by natural disasters, strikes and political events. Innovative technology startups transform whole industries. It would be difficult to find a period experiencing more market turmoil than what suppliers are experiencing today.

The challenge is deciding how to manage the uncertainty. Should suppliers look for new opportunities or work to maintain the status quo? There is no right or wrong answer because each supplier is at a different stage of development and an ability to assume risks. The choice suppliers face is whether to be reactive to events as they occur or proactive in seizing opportunities to help customers stabilize their supply chains while growing their busine...

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