Supply Chain Management Review released an excellent case study cross section done on large, public manufacturers with large supply chains. Their purpose: to discover whether supply chain-driven companies are more or less prepared for the coming recession than in the Great Recession of 2008.
I was fairly shocked at the results. Overall, most companies fare worse on most metrics that matter: see figure 2 and 3. Specifically, while most have increased revenues, they’ve done it at the expense of profit margins and have added more people than their revenue growth dictates they should. So much for the more productive worker impacting the supply chain industry over the past ten years!
In addition, businesses have a higher percentage of fixed costs today, meaning it will be harder reduce them—much like it will be more difficult to downsize personnel—when the time comes as revenues fall.