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Conference Updates

October 7, 2020

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, EMEA: Day 2 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 2 from the conference, we are covering sessions on the need for an agile supply chain culture, accelerated consumer supply chains and the CEO concerns that supply chain leaders should be aware of.  Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates. 

You can also read the highlights from Day 1 here. 

Key Announcements

Developing an Agile Supply Chain Culture

Presented by Ken Chadwick, VP Analyst , Gartner

Many supply chain leaders strive for an “agile” culture. However, changing how decisions are made is difficult. In this session, Ken Chadwick, VP Analyst at Gartner, outlined the challenges to changing decision-making to develop a more agile culture and strategies to help overcome these challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • “Characteristics that we look for in supply chain agility are: responsiveness, the quality of reacting quickly; adaptability, the quality of adjusting to new condition; coordination, the quality of orchestrating all the different moving parts; speed, the quality of moving quickly; flexibility, the quality of bending easily without breaking; and balance, the quality of maintaining equilibrium.”

  • “In a traditional hierarchical bureaucratic organization, we may do a lot of information processing and take a long time to make decisions.”

  • “When making decisions, you need to think about what is really important. Is it speed? Is it customer experience? Or is it cost?”

  • “Elements that go into making a decision are the number of people involved, the time it takes to arrive at a decision, the data used to do the analysis and the number of escalations that we go through to decide.”

  • “Recruit, hire, and invest in the development of staff to drive the needed skills and mindsets for agile decision-making.”

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The Future Accelerated: Adapting Your Consumer Products Supply Chain to Our New Reality

Presented by Kimberly Becker, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

One effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was a sudden focus on consumer product supply chains. Kimberly Becker, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed how supply chain leaders can use this attention by their C-Suite to advance their digitization efforts.

Key Takeaways

  • “All of a sudden, supply chain is in the news everywhere. And finally, people actually understand what supply chain is.”

  • “One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is the speed of change.”

  • “The companies that had invested in e-commerce were the ones that were able to quickly transition their operations and were able to offset having stores closed during lockdown.”

  • “Resilience is the ability to absorb a shock and survive it better than your competitors. It’s also how quickly organizations can figure out how to operate in new ways.”

  • “One big thing that we’ve seen out of COVID-19 is that digitalization truly is a way to move from supply chains simply surviving to thriving.”

  • “Supply chain is right now on the top of CEOs’ agendas, so now is the time for chief supply chain officers to get the support that they need to digitize their supply chains.“

Signature Series: CEO Perspective – The Big Challenges Facing Supply-Chain-Driven Businesses

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

Senior operations leaders contend daily with disruption caused by accelerated change from shifting digital, geopolitical and workforce dynamics. Reflecting on results from Gartner’s annual CEO survey, Thomas O’Connor, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, dived into the ramifications of these trends and issues and discussed ways to ensure organizations win in the turns.

Key Takeaways

  •  “We can’t just think about cost and capital management, but rather we also need to think about more expansive opportunities. It’s time for us all to rethink our supply chains.”

  •  “The reality is that it’s highly unlikely that more than half of our supply chain organizations will truly become highly resilient and adaptable within the next three years.”

  •  “Many organizations are struggling to balance the trade-offs between the competing priorities of customers, shareholders and other critical stakeholders, as well as the sustainability of their supply chains.”

  • “We need to be helping our CEOs understand why the supply chain has to be a lead area for investment to drive organizational growth and success coming out of the pandemic.”

  • “Supply chain leadership needs to be proactive in shaping strategies for how the supply chain can be organized to realign with new business expectations. This means balancing a cost reduction story with a strategic growth narrative.”

Join us tomorrow for more highlights.

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