Supply chains today need powers of agility and responsiveness in order to turn disruption to advantage. This year’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference is designed to help supply chain leaders along this critical journey, says Mike Griswold, Gartner’s vice president of research for Global Retail Supply Chain. The conference invites chief supply chain officers (CSCOs), heads of supply chain, supply chain planning executives, procurement and manufacturing executives as well as logistics, distribution and customer service managers.
“Strategy and leadership aren’t always as sexy as the technologies people are talking about now,” Griswold says. “This year we’re trying to add context to technologies — like blockchain, like artificial intelligence. Where are the use cases starting to emerge?”
Collaboration Is Key
The Gartner conference has always focused on the latest innovations, but this year, Griswold says attendees will hear more on how to operationalize and scale these tools within their businesses — and, as importantly, outside their businesses with trading partners.
“It doesn't really do us any good to focus all of our energies on scaling our business, and then end up leaving our trading partners behind … especially in the digital world and the digital supply chain,” he says.
About 75 percent of chief supply chain executives feel there's a disconnect between digital strategy and supply chain strategy, according to recent research by Gartner analysts. Griswold believes this stems largely from a lack of perspective.
“You need to have a solid organizational strategy and a solid talent strategy for whatever technology decisions you make,” he says.
The Talent Gap
With supply chain’s constant flux of new technologies and risks for disruption, addressing skills gaps can be easy to put off. But this year’s top takeaway: It’s time to invest.
While holes in talent may not cause disaster, companies will never see the full benefits of their tools and technologies without simultaneously investing their people, Griswold says. As organizations are moving into this digital world, evolving company by company, the common denominator — according to Gartner research — has been a gap in where they want to go with the skill sets they have today.
“We've got to invest in talent, and we need to think a little bit different about how we approach talent,” he says. “We have to have a much more structured approach, particularly in the supply chain and some of the investments we make in technology.”
This year, an entire conference track is dedicated to strategy and leadership. And beyond that, there's at least one session tied to organizational talent across five other tracks.
“We think it's a pretty important part of being successful,” he added.
The conference is one of Gartner’s fastest growing events — with more than 2,000 attendees expected this year. Registration is open up to and through the show — beginning on Monday, May 14 with “Industry Day” (recognizing supply chain nuances that are different by industry).
On Wednesday, May 16, Gartner will reveal and celebrate its 14th annual Supply Chain Top 25 ranking.
What You'll Learn
Take cost optimization to the next level
Avoid mistakes organizations may make integrating into an end-to-end supply chain
Get better at prioritizing spending for analytics technologies
See why it’s critical to shift to a talent-based organizational strategy to inject new skills into supply chain
Discover how leading organizations approach performance management and assess excellence
Topics to Be Covered
Strategy and transformation
Talent and leadership
Change management and governance
Organization and future trends
Data analytics and cost-to-serve
Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing
New generation 3PL landscape
The future customer landscape: Generation Z, customer service and collaboration
Reimagining supplier risk
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