Gaining a Supply Chain Edge

It Was a Good Friday, Indeed

Eighteen months ago, I began writing and talking about The Great Recession and my view of The Great Recovery.

A few of my major points included:

The recession was not just another recession, but it was The Great Recession.

Companies needed to maintain their talent and stay focused on their business and supply chain strategy.

Companies needed to be wise about supply chain cost reduction and reduce all other costs while planning for their Great Recovery.

Different industry segments would bottom at different times and recover at different paces.

The bottom to The Great Recession would be in the second quarter of 2009.

Growth in employment would occur in the first quarter of 2010.

Now looking back, we know that:

The recession was really, really bad.

Companies that maintained their talent and their strategy are returning to prosperity much better than firms that only cut, cut, cut.

Companies that reduced all costs, other then talent and strategy, while planning for their Great Recovery are ahead of their competitors and gaining momentum.

As predicted, the recession was much less severe for the pharmaceuticals, food & beverage and cosmetics industries and much more severe for the housing and automotive industries.

The Great Recession bottomed in June 2009.

Here's the really good news: The recent Good Friday report showed that employment for March 2010 grew by 162,000 jobs!

Let me present a little more detail on this Good Friday report. This past Friday, the Labor Department reported that in March the U.S. economy added 162,000 non-farm jobs. In fact, this is the third month out of the last five in which the employment number was positive.

However, it is the first month since November of 2007 that the growth number was more than 100,000, which is widely believed to be higher than the number we need to absorb all new workers entering the job market.

Looking at the employment numbers over the last year is even more interesting. In the first quarter of 2009 the economy lost an average of 753,000 jobs per month. By the fourth quarter of 2009, this was down to a loss of an average of 90,000 per month. For the first quarter of 2010, we see a growth in the number of jobs of 54,000 per month.

This is very, very good news that we can now confirm the growth in employment in the first quarter of 2010.

There remains two amazing things to me about The Great Recovery:

1. Washington, DC seems to be surprised by the recovery and still is uncertain about it really being the recovery.

2. The recovery took place on the backs of American consumers, workers and business people without much help from Washington.

So, congratulations to the American consumers, workers and business people for the great job they have done in bringing about this Great Recovery.

Let me reiterate why this recovery is real and why it is The Great Recovery:

Corporate profits are up.

Corporate capital expenditures are up.

Consumers are both saving and spending.

The Consumer Confidence Index, the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index were all up in March.

Growth in employment in March was up across all major industries, except for trailing financial and information industries.

Sure, housing is still down and unemployment is still at an unsatisfactory rate, but we are seeing The Great Recovery take place. Of course, it would be great if Washington got in the game. But even if they do not, The Great Recovery is occurring as predicted, and I see a long string of good Fridays unfolding before us.

Tompkins Associates

TAGS: Supply Chain
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