Commonwealth Supply Chain Advisors, a Boston-based consulting firm, recently celebrated their 10th anniversary with a customer appreciation dinner at the ProMat 2019 conference in Chicago. The dinner was attended by a variety of customers and consultant staff. President Ian Hobkirk founded the company in 2009 to provide services such as distribution center design, supply chain network optimization, and Warehouse Management Software (WMS) strategy.
In the last decade, Commonwealth (www.commonwealth-sca.com) has completed 246 projects for 170 companies. While the company’s primary customer base has been in the United States, the firm has performed projects in locations such as Israel, Australia, China, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.
Hobkirk recently stated during an interview, “When starting the company, one of our core principles was being an objective advisor that wasn’t simply trying to sell technology to our customers.” He continued, “I’m really proud that we’ve stayed true to that vision and haven’t muddied the waters by selling software or partnering up with vendors. Our clients know they can trust us to be the guardian of their business interests.”
Hobkirk also reflected on the changes he has seen over the last decade: “When we started up, we were in the depths of the ‘great recession’, but over the last decade we’ve experienced one of the longest periods of economic growth in our lifetimes. We’ve seen trends like e-commerce really transform supply chains in some interesting ways. We’ve been privileged to help so many companies design flexible supply chains that have also been resilient enough to weather these changes and support their business growth.”
When asked what the next ten years might hold for the company, Hobkirk identified several trends he sees as key to future growth: “As consumers’ expectations increase every year for faster delivery times and greater availability of inventory, retailers are having to be very creative to adapt and compete with the large e-commerce players like Amazon. Fulfilling e-commerce orders directly from store inventory is just one example of strategies that companies are asking us for help evaluating. Labor costs and availability are becoming major issues, especially in cities that are emerging as logistics hubs with multiple companies competing for the same workers. This is making the case for warehouse automation even more compelling; the U.S. is starting to catch up with Europe in that respect. We’re constantly adding employees with experience in areas like omni-channel distribution and automation, and I’m confident that the next decade for Commonwealth will be even stronger than the first.”
Commonwealth Supply Chain Advisors is a leading supply chain consulting firm that helps companies of all sizes optimize their supply chain networks, design distribution centers, and select and implement Warehouse Management Software (WMS). Commonwealth has offices in Boston and Cincinnati and has completed nearly 200 projects for more than 100 clients across the globe. Every year since 2013, Commonwealth has been named a “Top 100” supply chain partner by Supply Chain Brain publication. Commonwealth’s insights are widely respected and regularly published in journals such as Supply Chain Management Review, Supply Chain Quarterly, and The Wall Street Journal. For more information, visit www.commonwealth-sca.com.