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Conference Updates

October 6, 2020

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, EMEA: Day 1 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in EMEA. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of the conference.

On Day 1 from the conference, we are highlighting the opening keynote, sessions on the importance of ecosystems, the circular economy and the logistics action guide to disruption. Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Navigating the Turns: Preparing Supply Chains to Think and Act Differently

Presented by Lisa Callinan, VP Team Manager, Gartner, and Tom Enright, VP Analyst, Gartner 

The COVID-19 crisis provided a real-life experience of how it feels to live through disruption. In their opening keynote, Lisa Callinan and Tom Enright, VP Analysts at Gartner, discussed how supply chain organizations need to adapt to successfully navigate through this disruption and the ones that will follow.

Key Takeaways

  • “The pandemic has exposed the limitations of our previous investments and challenged existing assumptions like the effectiveness of our business continuity plans and the risk posed by a low-cost sourcing strategy,” said Ms. Callinan.
  • “In order to prepare ourselves to succeed in an uncertain future, and to ensure we strengthen our supply chain organization through the turn, we must re-think our approach to strategy, investment and leadership,” said Mr. Enright.
  • “Uncertainty is now our steady state with intermittent periods of normality being the exception,” said Ms. Callinan.
  • “You could do worse than make the CFO your greatest ally,” said Ms. Callinan. 
  • “Supply chains that institute new approaches to strategy design and investments now will be best positioned to strengthen through the next turn and succeed in any future,” said Ms. Callinan.
  • “Now is not a time to get caught up in the complexity. Now is a time to reposition and leverage bold, world-class supply chain capabilities,” said Mr. Enright.

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Better Customer Outcomes Through Collaboration Across Emerging Ecosystems

Presented by Simon Bailey, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Disruptions are here to stay and organizations will need to build ecosystems to increase their resilience and develop the capabilities they need to stay competitive. Simon Bailey, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed why ecosystems are more resilient and how to build a framework that fits all partners. 


Key Takeaways

  • “There are many more unplanned disruptions on the horizon, such as an impending economic recession, new digital competitors and strategic innovators that will come into our industry. ” 

  • “If we go back to our model of customer and supplier, one option to build resilience is to add more partners and improve resilience by finding ways of flowing around the issues and the strains that disruption has brought to us.” 

  • “Why do we need ecosystem partnership? Because we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.” 

  • “What we need to do is get through the trust barrier, We need to move across shared pains up to shared value.” 

  • “The question for you is when to start building an ecosystem and the answer to this question is most definitely now. Start to explore this space. Start to imagine what your supply chain can look like.“

  • “As supply chain leaders you need to work with your board to define a new framework that enables ecosystem collaboration. Work with your enterprise architects and your CIOs in technology and think about how you can leverage your ecosystem structure.”

Circular Business Models Are Disrupting Linear Supply Chains

Presented by Thomas O'Connor, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Circular supply chains have existed for a long time in some forms, such as used car sales or a thrift shop, but the drive for sustainability means that a much broader range of industries now recognize the benefits and are seeking to disrupt their supply chains with circularity. In this session Thomas O'Connor, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner, examined four types of circular supply chain.


Key Takeaways

  • “Sixty-three percent of organizations plan to invest in circular supply chains by 2021. There are four primary circular loops that leaders are starting to embrace in the supply chain."

  • "The first is the most basic and the most common: the narrower loop. This eliminates some of the middle parties from an existing value chain and enables more direct engagement with the end users of a product or service.”

  • “The second loop is the slower loop...where customers want repair services or refurbishment opportunities…. This loop extends the life of the product and adds value for, and better engagement with, the customer.” 

  • “The third loop is the closed loop. It moves waste or energy between different industrial businesses or organizations. It prevents leakage of materials from the ecosystem.”

  • “The fourth is the designed loop. This starts at the initial product concept and designs circularity into the item to be produced. It means designing out waste and looking at remanufacturing options at the end of the product’s life.”

  • “The key opportunity to think about is how the circular economy can be part of the basis of your organizational strategy. This means you need to get buy-in from the C-Suite.”

A Logistics Action Guide to Dealing With and Recovering From Disruption

Presented by David Gonzalez, VP Analyst at Gartner

Logistics leaders frequently face events that pose risk and disruption to the daily operations of the logistics network and function. In this session, David Gonzalez, VP Analyst at Gartner, provided logistics leaders with a response framework to better navigate disruptive turns. 

Key Takeaways

  • “Logisticians deal with disruptions on a daily basis. However, the biggest threat to logistics is anything that we do not see coming.”

  • "There are various categories in which events can occur that will cause a logistics disruption. They are geopolitical, economic and environmental.”

  • "The three phases of logistics disruption management are response, recover and restoration. Each phase has its own goals that we can focus on and build our plans around.”

  • "The goals of managing a logistics disruption are to review the impact, ensure continuity, sense and adapt to change, establish steady state and turn to the new normal.”

  • “During a disruption, it is essential that logistics work collaboratively and efficiently with both the internal supply chain and external logistics partners.”

  • “Alway revise your logistics continuity plans, ensure that it’s fit for purpose and reflects the needs of the organization.”

Join us tomorrow for more highlights. 

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