At Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®), it’s the time of the year when some of us have Alice Cooper music ringing in our heads — although it’s not summer, we feel a little like children when school’s out. At the end of business on Friday, ISM begins its end-of-year close; we’ll be back on January 2.

The staff of Inside Supply Management® is renewing what has become an annual December tradition, presenting work from the previous 12 months that we’re most proud of, articles and blog posts worth revisiting or discovering in case you missed them. This is our third “best of” edition, and we like to think of it as our Christmas card to our readers.

Click on the title for a PDF file of the story, as it appeared in the magazine:

Creating the Las Vegas Experience,” May issue: In the last couple of years, Inside Supply Management® has aimed to spotlight the unique challenges of event and attraction procurement, and few organizations do it around-the-clock like Las Vegas resorts and casinos. MGM Reports International gave us an inside look at a side of supply management where quality, ambience and service is put before price.

Reaping the Benefits of Robotics,” August issue: From picking and packing to producing, highly-skilled jobs are being taken over by automation — a trend that will only intensify as technologies advance. We examined what that means for procurement and logistics, as well as looked at how four companies are maximizing the use of automation in their supply chains.

California, Here We Come,” September issue: Each year, we profile a country that has become a procurement and logistics hot spot. In 2018, choosing that “country” was as easy as a day at the beach — California, which has the world’s fifth-largest economy, boasts the location and infrastructure to be a serious global supply-management power.

Tools for a Trade War,” October issue: From the moment President Donald Trump fired the first tariffs salvo in January, no dynamic dominated supply management professionals’ world this year more than global trade. For much of the year, uncertainty ruled. But as companies began business planning for 2019, procurement organizations developed strategies.

Turbulent Waters,” November/December issue: The last decade has seen anything but smooth sailing for the container-shipping industry, which was rocked by the 2008 financial crisis. After the demise of a carrier giant, Hanjin Shipping, consolidations and new alliances were formed, but there’s still much uncertainty from cooling demand, stagnant freight rates, increased costs and global trade tension.

Also, we introduced Inside Supply Management® Weekly, an e-newsletter that features recent and new digital content on procurement trends and issues, the economy and more. On our blog, the ROB Roundup, which gauges the procurement and financial worlds’ reaction to the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®, became a monthly staple. We had blanket blog coverage of ISM2018 in May, including how the Conference was being captured on Twitter. We were also on the scene at UPMG2018 in September, as well as the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in May. And The Monthly Metric continued to tap the knowledge of some of the smartest numbers crunchers in the supply management profession.

At Inside Supply Management®, we expect 2019 to be an exciting year for content, in print and especially online. After taking advantage of ISM’s end-of-year close to relax, enjoy our families and watch football, we’ll return to the office to put the finishing touches on our January/February issue.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2019.

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