Supply chain concept

Contributed by AFFLINK

Earlier this year, Michael Wilson, chief executive officer for AFFLINK, home to 300 independent distributors throughout the United States, published his predictions for 2023, specifically as they apply to distributors and the global supply chain.

But according to Wilson, the world is changing so fast, “it's getting very hard to predict the future in business. Everything can change in as little as a few weeks.”

Pausing midway through the year, Wilson reflects on some of his earlier predictions and how they apply to the second half of 2023:

Prediction: We Will Enter a Recession

Earlier in the year, Wilson agreed with studies that indicated we would be in a recession today. However, that has yet to materialize. Nor does Wilson believe it will occur in the second half of 2023, noting, “The U.S. economy has proved amazingly resilient, inflation appears to be cooling, we are adding jobs, and the unemployment rate remains at historic lows.”

Prediction: Supply Shortages Will Continue

After the pandemic, the world faced severe supply shortages, which many, including Wilson, predicted would continue into 2023. What we have seen, however, is that most supply chain shortages have been addressed. “I do not believe supply chain issues will be a significant factor for the remainder of the year.”

Prediction: Labor Shortages Will Continue

Wilson’s prediction holds true here. While job openings have increased, many workers have remained on the sidelines since the pandemic, no longer wanting to rejoin the labor force. “Now, employee retention is becoming a growing issue. We must support our [current] staff and give them all the tools they need to excel. This will encourage them to stay with a company and take leadership positions.”

Prediction: Globalization Will Decline

Globalization did decline during the pandemic but then rebounded. However, with reshoring and the recent U.S. and China “decoupling,” globalization may decline. “What is replacing it is called ‘regionalization.’ Countries within key regions of the world — such as North and South America — are increasing trade with each other. This will continue in 2023.”

Prediction: Sustainability Will Accelerate

Wilson predicted that more distributors would become sustainability-focused in 2023. His prediction has held true, “primarily because increasingly, many distributors realize sustainability can lead to greater profitability.”