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Top 10 Moments from Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference

By Matt Davis | May 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Supply Chain SegmentationGartner Supply Chain Top 25Demand Sensing and ShapingAMR Supply Chain Top 25

Our supply chain community is pretty damn amazing.

As I collected my thoughts on the flight back from Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference, I kept coming back to the incredible positive energy that permeated through all the events of the week.  The three days was a celebration of the best of what supply chain can be and a world-class example of sharing our stories to move the supply chain discipline forward.  My top 10 moments:

#10: 1,100+ Attendees – Over 1,100 supply chain and IT professionals in attendance!  It was incredible to see such a large group and an honor to meet so many of you.

#9: #gartnerscc – A group of tweeters attending sessions throughout the conference kept everyone up-to-speed on all the great messages being shared.  With so much outstanding content running simultaneously, I was delighted to have such a great source of real-time information… especially all the pictures.  Thanks to all who were so active this week!

#8: Packed Track Sessions – I was amazed to see the 300+ chairs filled in several sessions.  We worked especially hard to find a balance of core research with innovation topics, strategy with execution and what to do with how to do it.  I left the conference feeling good about our progress based on my small exit survey of attendees.

#7: Big Data and Supply Chain Analytics – The last day of the conference and still we had standing room only for our session for “Big Data = Big Supply Chain Analytics.” I was excited to share some of the amazing analytics research completed by Noha Tohamy integrated with her and my findings on Big Data in the supply chain released for the first time for our attendees.  The case examples were a hit, especially the use-case from Syngenta on using Big Data for supply chain segmentation analytics.  Attendees (and Twitter) were full of buzz on Noha’s analytics framework:


#6: 3 Newbies in the Top 25 – The 2013 list of the world’s best supply chains was unveiled and we welcome Qualcomm (#24), Ford (#22) and Lenovo (#20) to the list.  Qualcomm excels in its supplier management programs, Ford in product complexity optimization and Lenovo in efficiently growing volumes across several global markets.  Full list here.

#5: 5 Stages – Our recently published 5 Stage Demand-Driven Value Networks (DDVN) model was a key feature in several of the track sessions.  Providing a unifying framework to the many core, foundational and innovation themed sessions, the 5 Stage Model provides granular detail on the journey to a supply chain that enables profitable trade-offs for its customers and business partners.  Click here for a free copy from E2open.

#4: Jim Collins – After rifling through a series of amazing leadership messages, he was referenced by many for the rest of the week.  His best quote: “You are not entitled to anything than the opportunity to be better.”

#3: Supply Chainnovators ™ – Dana Stiffler, VP Research, launched an exciting new program called “Supply Chainnovators” that will share innovations from Supply Chain organizations in companies $1B – $10B in annual revenue. It’s a great new program that will give insight into what leading mid-market companies are doing in their supply chains and how you can implement in your businesses.  Congratulations to the first two Supply Chainnovators, Celestica and Eastman Chemical!

#2: “The Truth Tellers” – Fred Wagner, VP Global Supply Chain Customer Connectivity at Johnson and Johnson, stated in his keynote that the supply chain organization acts as the “truth tellers” for the business highlighting that supply chain has elevated the need for fact-based decision making.  Fred rolled through a series of great takeaways including commentary on the entire supply chain discipline when he said, “Twenty years ago, there was no chief supply chain officer, rather a materials manager in the basement. Now they’re at the table with the CEO.”

#1: Our Community – Cheesy as it may sound, I really am proud to work in an area where the people care so much about what we do.  This attitude was exemplified in the reactions I saw to the announcement of the Top 25 which were, almost without exception, overwhelmingly positive.  At its core, the Top 25 is the best way to start a conversation about supply chain leadership and this year’s group demonstrates leadership in performance and in sharing the knowledge with others.  And to have so many company co-presenters, case studies and inspirational keynotes only further showed why the supply chain community will continue to create value for our customers and provide the globe with the products and services needed, every day.

After an intense week of non-stop action, I left the conference more energized than when I arrived.  Can’t wait to see you in Melbourne and London!

Have a great story to share from the event?  Drop a comment below.

I’m now on Twitter at @psumattdavis

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