Last week Gartner held its annual supply chain executive conference in Phoenix. Overall it was an excellent event, with more than 1,800 supply chain leaders in attendance.
In terms of content, it was a good mix of thought leadership and practical case studies around the factors that are driving disruption in supply chain. There were numerous references to Amazon’s impact beyond consumers, but the focus was broader with concrete examples of technology and actual applications that are fundamentally changing logistics.
The main keynote talk highlighted the emergence of collaboration and ecosystems that accelerate innovation, create more insight, and ultimately serve customers more effectively.
This is in part due to open APIs as well as cloud-based applications that enable “the digital supply chain” and connect customers and legacy systems such as ERP and WMS with partners and IoT devices.
Some of the key questions coming out of this keynote include:
1. Where does your company fit in the ecosystem? What are you doing to take advantage of this for your supply chain?
2. Which partners should you collaborate with strategically versus tactically? What are the key processes where collaboration will create the most value?
3. How digital is your supply chain? What is your goal? What are the road blocks? Process? Data? People? Technology?
Major General Vincent E. Boles, one of the keynote speakers, challenged everyone to leave the conference with a concrete action of what they will take from the conference. Do not wait until next quarter, until the next hire, etc. How does you company answer the questions above?