Over 110 supply chain leaders gathered in the desert to discuss the future of supply chain management. With nine out of ten companies stuck in their ability to improve corporate performance through advancements in supply chain, the discussion at the 2013 Supply Chain Insights Global Summit was not a rehash of the past. Instead, the group was challenged to think about supply chains differently. During the Summit, as companies presented their ideas and panels debated issues, a graphic artist captured the spirit of the conference. This graphic is shown in figure 1.
Figure 1. Graphic Artist’s Representation of the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit 2013
(click the image for a MUCH larger version)
The key themes running through the discussions were building the right talent, reskilling the workforce to embrace new technologies, and the role of leadership in driving the vision for the supply chain of the future. A barrier to improving supply chain performance today is the view of “supply chain as a function” with limited control to affect the end-to-end value chain. One of the top-rated speakers, Rick Sather of Kimberly-Clark, shared how he had overcome this obstacle by making the supply chain a vehicle of growth and partnering with the commercial teams to drive a supply chain that could deliver on a growth agenda. Rick’s team of thirty people set a five year growth objective and beat it in the second year. He has aggressively moved forward with demand sensing, visualization and analytics projects.
Figure 2. Top Trends in the Race for Supply Chain 2020
As a part of the summit, we asked attendees to rate the trends that were the most important to them in defining their supply chain strategy in the Race for Supply Chain 2020. While the top three elements of the strategy—big data, demand sensing, and improved supply chain visualization did not change—the group left believing that digital manufacturing, corporate social responsibility and the impact of the collaborative economy could have a greater impact on their supply chain than before they came to the conference. The discussions and networking on new possibilities energized the room.
With over 91% of companies rating the conference as excellent and with more than 80% stating that they will attend again, the planning phase for the 2014 Supply Chain Insights Global Summit is active. Please check out the registration page and act quickly. The 2014 event will be limited to 220 attendees. We expect it to sell out.