Conference Updates

September 14, 2021

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo EMEA: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from 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 highlighting sessions on risk assessment and global trade as well as customer service and the need for a chief robotics officer. 

Be sure to check this page throughout the day for updates.

Key Announcements

Tailoring Risk Management to the New Era of Risk

Presented by Heather Wheatley, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

In this session, Heather Wheatley, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, shared an overview of four features of an effective disruption response and how they are enabled by investments in resilience, agility, visibility and people.

Key Takeaways

  • “When we make investments in resilience, agility, visibility and people we can see the returns in the following four features of an effective response.”

  • “The first feature, enabled by investments in resilience, is response optionality. This is associated with planning a range of options to take should a risk materialize.”

  • “The second area, enabled by investments in visibility, is the ability to anticipate disruptions and the ability to understand how conditions change during an event.”

  • "The third feature, “response execution, is all about sensing when the correct response should be and executing it with agility.”

  • "The fourth feature, “Intelligent response is all about your people, who are key to evaluating and selecting an intelligent response when a risk materializes.”

  • “Together, these all contribute to an effective response to a high-impact, unfamiliar risk.”

Driving Customer Experience in an As-a-Service Model

Presented by KC Quah, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

There are best practices that have been documented for how to improve the customer experience in a supply chain that manufactures and sells physical products. What if the product is a service? In this session, KC Quah, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed best practices for customer experience in an as-a-service environment.

Key Takeaways

  • “In the Gartner Future of Supply Chain survey done earlier this year, 97% of respondents said they wanted to improve customer experience as part of the digital business strategy.”

  • "Supply chain leaders want to get a comprehensive view of their customer throughout the lifecycle, not just when the customer purchases their product or start to use theirservice, but throughout the lifecycle of engagement."

  • "When a customer buys a service, it’s really about executing on a certain business impact that they want. And when they’re using the service they want a certain experience."

  • "If the customer experience is really poor using that service, will the customer renew, or will that be motivation for them to look elsewhere? This is why customer experience in an “as-a-service environment” is important."

  • “This is a multi-year journey. This has to be something that is well-thought out and evolved.”

  • “Make sure everything is linked to the supply chain operating model, regardless of whether you sell only services, or you have to traverse between products and services, you’re going to have to make tradeoffs. You’re going to have to understand business outcomes that you want to meet.”

Rise of the Chief Robotics Officer

Presented by Dwight Klappich, VP Analyst, Gartner

Leading supply chains are formalizing a new role and organization under the umbrella of the Chief Robotics Officer to help them manage the proliferation of smart machines and robots. In this session, Dwight Klappich, VP Analyst with Gartner, talks about the unique capabilities of this role and its place in the supply chain organization.

Key Takeaways

  • “Over the next 20 years, virtually every business is going to have at least one robot doing something within their business. This is going to fundamentally challenge the way businesses manage their operations.”

  • “Let the automation do what the automation is good at. Take advantage of the unique capabilities of humans.”

  • “All levels of the supply chain organization are going to have to have some ability to understand and communicate about automation - starting with the chief supply chain officer.”

  • “The chief robotics officer role has to combine the best of engineering, IT and the business. The problem is that there are cultural differences between those areas.”

  • “We see a number of companies building robotics centers of excellence.As it grows, governance and control is going to play a much bigger part under the leadership of the chief robotics officer.”

Organizing Global Trade for Scale and Strategic Advantage

Presented by Brian Whitlock, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Are global trade organizations operating for scale and strategic advantage and delivering on their full potential to create value? In this session, Brian Whitlock, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed what supply chain and logistics leaders can doto begin their journey towards a more value-driven trade function.

Key Takeaways

  • “The number of new trade barriers implemented in 2020 wasup 180% from those levels of 2019.”

  • “The trend of trade barriers and protectionist measures by such large economic trading nations adds significant complexity to the work of current day trade organizations.”

  • “Organizations need to transform the functional structure by recognizing when business growth and increased trade complexity exceed the function’s limits.”

  • “Competing priorities continue to be a challenge, and trade leaders often find themselves trying to balance the external regulatory environment with the priorities of the business.”

  • “Not all risk is bad, nor should businesses look to mitigate all risk. They should perform risk assessments and identify which risk will materially impact the financials or create reputational harm.”

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