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Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

My Journey to the World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders

12-Jun-2018
My Journey to the World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders
On May 14th, the DynaSys team joined over 2200 other supply chain experts in Phoenix Arizona for the event that Gartner refers to as “the World’s Most Important Gathering of Supply Chain Leaders”. This is the second largest Gartner event after Symposium and arguably the largest supply chain conference in the world.

This year’s theme was “Move to Mastery: Innovate, Disrupt and Scale the Digital Supply Chain”. The DynaSys team joined discussions focused heavily on digitization of supply chains using innovative technologies and techniques. The experience is very useful for the DynaSys team as we keep ourselves abreast of the latest and greatest.

Gartner traditionally provides good guest keynote speakers and this year was no different. Fareed Zakaira, award winning journalist, host of CNN’s flagship international affairs program, and a New York Times bestselling author, Zakaria is one of the most influential global thinkers today. He provided an entertaining and thought provoking explanation of his view of supply chain digital transformation focusing heavily on the impacts on society and the labour markets. A key take-away suggests the growing automation and digitization of manufacturing is evident by observing labour market recovery after subsequent economic recessions. Over many economic cycles the time gap between economic recovery and labour market recovery is becoming wider and wider demonstrating that the world is doing more with less. A key example was the transportation industry and the potential impact from autonomous vehicles. A memorable quote from Fareed was “…in 20 years’ time our children will scratch their heads wondering why human beings were ever permitted to manually pilot something as potentially deadly as a car…”.

Further on the digital transformation journey the DynaSys team participated in several sessions regarding modern customer experience. A customer experience was demonstrated where every user interaction (swipe or click) was counted aloud during a general data inquiry. There is a growing expectation that technology must provide a more intuitive customer experience that predicts the planner’s objective and anticipates the next step of human-machine interaction.

To add some excitement Air Force pilot Anthony Bourke discussed the importance of a feedback loop in executing F18 missions in the Air Force. It is easy to forget that although we put a lot of effort on strategy and development, the best laid plans are useless without effective communication.

The guest keynote on the final day was Biogen and their quest for managing a SC that enables 100s of co-packers and contract manufacturers. The key success is the time to market navigating certification and compliance requirements. The Biogen story was well told and quite emotional including videos of consumers suffering from neurologic diseases, highlighting the human cost of a poorly executed supply chain.

Overall the Gartner event serves DynaSys on many dimensions. There is a strong educational component providing valuable insight that we use in preparing product strategies and roadmaps. The event also serves as a useful networking opportunity allowing DynaSys to interact with other domain experts. We were also joined by several current customers as well as some potential future customers. The event provides an opportunity for general attendees to meet the DynaSys team and discuss their supply chain challenges and learn from our experiences. We left the event with new contacts, great memories and a fuller appreciation of the digital transformation voyage.

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