Spinal Column: An effective supply chain will help make businesses productive

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

A bill I authored to maximize economic development opportunities in the state was recently signed by Governor Snyder. Public Act 76 of 2013 improves Michigan’s logistics and supply chain management laws.
Logistics and supply chain management involves an integrated approach to planning, implementing, and controlling the flow of information, materials, and services from raw materials to the distribution of finished products to customers.
It is important that our laws help support and strengthen this chain for businesses and consumers alike.
PA 76 renames the Michigan Supply Chain Management Development Commission the Commission for Logistics and Supply Chain Collaboration to reflect the group’s new focus. The commission is responsible for developing a plan to attract, develop, and grow the international trade, supply chain, and logistics industries by advising them in regard to the state's transportation and economic development programs.
The commission has been moved from the Department of Treasury to the Michigan Strategic Fund, and it now has ten members instead of 15. Two of the group’s members—Michigan residents appointed by the governor from lists of individuals selected by the Senate majority leader and speaker of the House—must have education in, experience with, or knowledge of supply chain management and logistics.
The governor will appoint an additional five individuals with similar education, experience or knowledge of supply chain management and logistics.
The former law required the commission to make recommendations to the governor and the Legislature on various topics. Now, rather than requiring recommendations, the law requires the commission to develop strategies to directly address these topics.
Collaboration and sharing of information between the private sector and public sectors on freight and supply chain issues are also required.
The organization has been streamlined and refocused. The changes in the law make the group more nimble and better able to address new business development opportunities.
The new law will allow the commission to better maximize opportunities in and around Michigan, promote collaboration between state departments, and result in outreach to universities, industry, and nonprofits.
The law creates new opportunities for a more efficient and effective logistics and supply chain system, which will mean more productive Michigan businesses and more satisfied Michigan consumers.
Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.
Note: This column first appeared in the Spinal Column.