Our focus on growth markets
Growth markets, especially in the fuel and energy sector, will power global economic growth over the next twenty years. In the next four years overall global consumption is forecasted to reach $62 trillion USD, and half of this increase will come from the emerging markets.
Taking population growth into account, there will be an extra 1.8 billion consumers, the vast majority living in emerging regions. For manufacturers, the story is even more compelling. We estimate that emerging markets will be the destination for sixty-five percent of the world’s manufactured goods in four years. Consumption starts with the basics, and the purchase of capital-intensive goods (such as cars, building products, and machinery as well as fuel products) is driving the shift.
Now, the challenge for companies such as JMR isn’t just to understand how demand is changing at the state rather than the country level. It is also to ensure that production capabilities are developed sufficiently close to the company’s most important new markets, especially given that military bases are all over the place. This ensures that we either reduce transportation costs or minimize the challenges associated with fuel transportation, such as theft and fire hazards.
Moreover, we have the freedom to choose where and how to operate across the globe. However, the key challenge for us in the coming decades will be not just picking the right mix of production locations but also learning to operate as efficiently as possible in these highly diverse environments. To do so, we believe we will have to focus on three broad sets of skills. First, we must manage the complexity required to meet specific DLA needs. Second, the organizational capabilities to accommodate this complexity without sacrificing productivity. Third, the manufacturing agility to meet fast-changing DLA demand more effectively than our competitors do.
To meet the needs of our consumers, we have to clearly understand those needs. To do so, we conduct our research properly. By doing this, we are able to understand the market much better, plus all the competitors in the region. Moreover, customers are not the only important stakeholders in these markets. Different regulatory regimes, political environments, input costs, and capabilities in local supply chains can all influence product designs and manufacturing decisions.
In today’s market, the need for talented people is high. The problem lies with acquiring and retaining personnel with the right technical skills, which has proven to be quite a challenge for manufacturers all over the world. This problem is particularly acute in emerging markets, which may lack the educational infrastructure or pool of competitors to provide the right people.
Organizations in the logistics field are quite flexible, as fuel products are tuned to meet the diverse needs of the local markets. They need to be agile, too. Consumption patterns in emerging regions can be volatile and fast-evolving, and companies must therefore respond quickly to keep up. That will require not only flexible logistical technologies but also flexible approaches to staffing (for example, the thoughtful use of contract and temporary labor to balance the ebbs and flows of demand).
When deciding the design of logistical systems, we focus on balancing costs, flexibility, and the ability to adapt standard methods and practices across our worldwide operations. We make the most of the additional agility inherent in our systems: lower personnel costs will continue to let them adopt more labor-intensive methods, for example, so they can adjust the number of operators and relocate resources in response to changing demand. For many businesses, emerging markets have become a significant source of growth. Capturing it will require companies to think and act more globally, and more locally, as well.
We have developed a truly global pool of talent, and we have built enough agility into our technologies and processes to match rapidly evolving—and increasingly diverse—demand. We know pretty well that most successful companies manage to combine efficiencies of scale and standardization with the flexibility and insight to meet diverse customer needs.