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Conference Updates

November 3, 2020

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

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, taking place this week virtually in the Americas. 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, discuss the top manufacturing trends and feature sessions on automation and the most important CEO concerns for CSCOs. 

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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Bridging the Logistics Talent Gap: From Baby Boomers to Robots

Presented by Susan Boylan, Director Analyst at Gartner

As talent constraints continue, logistics leaders will need to think creatively to bridge the talent gap. In this session, Susan Boylan, Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed the challenges logistics leaders are experiencing in relation to talent acquisition and retention and the creative solutions that can help overcome these challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • “The top challenge for logistics leaders is the struggle to acquire, and more importantly, retain logistics talent, and this talent squeeze is being felt at every level of logistics organisations.”
  • “The three main disruptors causing the talent gap to widen are boomers leaving logistics organisations, younger generations’ reluctance to enter the industry and digital dexterity caused by logistics 4.0.”
  • “Logistics leaders need to shift their mindset on talent strategies as the traditional methods used by tenured logistics leaders to bridge talent gaps in the past have now been shattered.”
  • “56% of leadership roles are held by boomers in the industry. As a logistics leader you need to ask the question what would be the impact if your leadership boomer was to exit the business without a solid plan to capture their knowledge.”
  • “Logistics leaders can work with their boomers and HR professionals to formulate a creative win-win solution.”  
  • “Logistics leaders can encourage younger talent into the organisation by showcasing the evolution of the current smart logistics environment, including its leading edge technologies, diversity and inclusion programs and the opportunity for career progression.”

2020 Top Technology Trends for Manufacturing Operations

Presented by Simon Jacobson, VP Analyst at Gartner

As supply chain leaders look to stay ahead of their competitors, the need to understand the upcoming trends that will most disrupt their business In this session, Simon Jacobson, VP Analyst, Gartner, revealed the five technology trends that will revolutionize manufacturing operations during the next five years.

Key Takeaways

  • Trend 1: Hyperautomation. “This is the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to increasingly automate both physical and virtual production processes. The focus on digitalization differentiates hyperautomation from traditional automation.”
  • Trend 2: Multiexperience. “This trend is critical to the concept of a connected worker. The world becomes their computer, and it directly affects factory workers in how they perceive, interact and control the physical and digital worlds around them.”
  • Trend 3: Democratization. “This is a behavioral trend. It is not supported by one individual technology. Instead, it leads towards a larger set of employees and stakeholders having access to technical capabilities, domain expertise and emerging technologies.”
  • Trend 4: Blockchain-Enabled Manufacturing Models. “Blockchain isn’t a single technology; it's an architectural design and a framework built around distributed ledgers, smart contracts and algorithms. It can be used to glean new insights by tracking the lifecycle of a product or a process, and shortening the development cycle for new variants.”
  • Trend 5: Transparency and Ethics. “This is a multiplicity of actions and activities focused on maintaining an organization’s regulatory and social license to operate.”

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 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.”

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