1. How would you describe the sentiment among your technology sector customers today?
The tech sector is characterized as much by its sheer diversity as by anything else. The migration of technology into other sectors, from transportation to healthcare, is only increasing that diversity. Overall, however, sentiment among our customers is extremely positive. The global economy is progressing well. In emerging markets, companies are seeing improvements in demand — from China's fast-growing middle class, for example — and in accessibility, thanks to things like India's long-awaited sales tax reforms. And developments in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and the internet of things are turning these segments into significant sources of growth.
2. Are the new growth drivers affecting the demands placed upon supply chains?
Undoubtedly. We are seeing a continuous and accelerating evolution of the distribution of demand as companies expand in new markets and new industry sectors. And we are seeing a significant shift in service level expectations, as customers of all types call for faster responses, greater flexibility and easier interactions with technology vendors.
3. What are technology companies doing to meet those demands?
Innovating! Across the sector, companies have redefined and refined their strategies. Now they are concentrating on execution, and that focus includes the supply chain. We are seeing a rapid uptake in the use of new supply chain technologies, from advanced analytics to robotics and automation. And technology companies are also exploring new ways to operate and manage their supply chains, with growth in flexible outsourcing and the use of Lead Logistics Partner arrangements, for example.