Well, it has been easier to take a longer leave of absence from the blog than I first imagined. :-) There is no escaping that this is primarily due to focusing most of my time on the new job at Manhattan. Where my previous job was so mundane that the blog was my refuge for exploring the supply chain industry in East Asia and elsewhere, in addition to some very strategic and high-level topics, the job with Manhattan has been a 180-degree turn for the better. I am foreseeing that the solid hands-on project management experience and exposure to some of the best supply chain technology in the industry while at Manhattan will pay dividends for blog-writing down the road. At this time however, I am enjoying simply working on a very ground-level project and seeing how it all fits into the topics I have discussed here before: resilience, advances in the supply chain industry, and the interconnectedness of East Asia to the rest of the world and within.
Specifically in relation to Japan, many of the difficult logistics industry issues I experienced while working with a Japanese logistics firm are definitely present with the bigger-name companies I work with today. Of these, the most critical is acquiring and maintaining workforce talent. A big name is no guarantee that the best people can be acquired, nor that your best people will stay on for the longer haul. The speed at which the workforce needs to adapt has never been greater, and yet, based on the talk of friends and acquaintances, this magnifies even more the shortfall of good people.
For now, I am thinking of switching modes here from article commentary (not that I have been doing any of that recently) to more of an online journal regarding my experiences here in Japan. With work being more intense, it will be a good release but also allow some time to reach another level of supply chain understanding before tackling issues in the industry.