Implications: This is only a consumer trends story because it relates to previous postings about the nearly inevitable rise in petroleum, in response to the growing economies of India and China, as well as the (probable) increase in oil use by Japan. [See this ESE posting from June 1, 2011.] The cost of petroleum—and any product manufactured or shipped using it—is likely to gradually increase over the long term.
How will your company prepare customers for this likelihood? Are your competitors thinking about this issue? What kinds of efficiencies might make sense in the future (i.e., finding suppliers closer to home)? Consider manufacturing that was shipped overseas; in a labor market that is seeing wages stagnant—or in some cases, falling—and the cost of shipping on the rise, at what point does domestic manufacturing become a more attractive proposition?