How Did Our “Predictions” For 2016 Work Out?

So last year on December 31st 2015, we made some predictions for 2016. We did it in an ironic sense, making pretty general remarks on the basis that if any of us were really good at this game, we would be billionaire investors or gamblers! However, it is interesting to look back at what we said and what actually happened in 2016. (You will notice we did not make any political predictions, just as well really...)

- The movement in the oil price will surprise many observers.  Yes it did.

- Natural disasters will disrupt supply chains and show that many firm do not have robust risk and contingency plans in place.  Not a big year for natural as opposed to man-made disasters, but Volkswagen certainly showed that even the largest firms can be disrupted in surprising ways when they closed down their Golf plant because of a dispute with a supplier.

- More physical retailers will go out of business as online shopping continues to grow.  In the UK there were many who closed stores or went bust including American Apparel, Banana republic, Netto, and the big one  - BHS

- There will be a major scandal / problem in UK government procurement, but the real causes / who should be blamed will never be established.  Take your pick - the unusable airport at St Helena airport is one good example.

- Someone we didn’t expect to leave a major procurement job will make a surprising career move.  Anne Rung moved from being the US government top procurement honcho to Amazon Business Services.

- A major software firm will have a disastrous year and there will be calls for it to be broken up / sold off / the CEO to resign.  SciQuest was sold to private equity firm after the share price dropped by over 50% through 2014/15. Meanwhile the CEO of Basware, Esa Thilisi, unexpectedly stood down .

- A procurement software firm will go bust or require major re-structuring.   See above

- Another procurement software firm will undergo a merger that won't be a big success.  Actually, not too much in 2016 although the Selectica / b-pack merger in the previous year – the firm now known as Determine – has not exactly been a roaring success

- The multi-trillion dollar “opportunity” for supply chain financing will continue to be endlessly promoted. Uptake will continue to be disappointing (by the standards of the hype at least).  Well yes – looking at the results of firms such as Tungsten, the market has certainly not taken off.

- Analytics will solve every problem. Well, that’s what the analytics people will say. Yes, they did. But firms such as Spend 360, BravoSolution and AnyData Solutions are taking analytics into some interesting new directions and applications.

- The first issue of the “new” Supply Management magazine will be a major improvement on the previous version but will prove to be the best edition of the year.  We couldn’t possibly comment. The main problem is that physical content is just having a really tough time.   

- Procurement Leaders will increase the fees for sponsoring their events.  Who knows – you tell us!

- Thousands of words will be written about how procurement must focus on value. Most CPOs will be measured primarily on “savings”. Unfortunately, this is still true.

- Adele’s album 25 will continue to sell a huge amount of copies. The biggest selling album of 2016. In the world.

- Much loved actors, musicians and authors will die.   Oh my goodness, what a year. Bowie, Prince, Glenn Frey, George Michael, Leonard Cohen, Harper Lee, lan Rickman, Victoria Wood, Terry Wogan ….

- You will continue to do some things you know you shouldn’t. Many will be very enjoyable. Speak for yourself.

- Some bad things we are worried about won’t happen, some good things we weren’t expecting will. And vice versa. Indeed…

Enough of the philosophy. We really hope 2016 wasn’t too bad a year for you, and wish you all the very best for 2017! Happy New Year!

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