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October 26, 2021

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 2 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from 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 2 from the conference, we are highlighting the Gartner Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Strategy, dive into risk assessment and global trade, and discuss the top trends for smart manufacturing.

Key Announcements

Use the Supply Chain Strategy Hype Cycle to Prioritize Initiatives

Presented by Noha Tohamy, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

In this session, Noha Tohamy, Distinguished VP Analyst in the Gartner Supply Chain practice, discusses how the Gartner Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Strategy can be used to build a balanced portfolio of supply chain initiatives and guide strategy leaders’ investment plans.

Key Takeaways

  • “The Hype Cycle is a great tool CSCOs can use to evaluate available options and decide how much to invest where. “

  • “Whenever we are building that portfolio of capabilities, we need to make sure that every initiative aligns with a stated business leadership or CEO priority. We also need to make sure that we’re having honest communications with business leadership to explain that some of these goals are in conflict and discuss what might be the required trade-offs to achieve the overall goal.”

  • “Definitely invest in AI. But, when you look at the unique characteristics, you see that there’s a low level of adoption,  a high risk to adoption and high barriers - change management, cultural readiness, data availability. That’s why supply chain leaders need to take a phased approach.”

  • Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is a capability that many organizations have already invested in – but are now disillusioned as it didn’t fulfill expectations

  • “Supply chain centers of excellence (SC CoEs) are focusing on designing systems and deploying technologies, but they’re not equally focused on the talent required or the change management required to succeed in the adoption of that technology.”

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 in the Gartner Supply Chain practice, 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.”

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 was up 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.”

2021 Top Technology Trends For Manufacturing Operations

Presented by Simon Jacobson, VP Analyst, Gartner

In this session, Simon Jacobson, VP Analyst in the Gartner Supply Chain practice examined the trends to consider as part of a three to five year strategic planning process that will transform how manufacturing supports a business.

Key Takeaways

  • “2021’s trends for smart manufacturing fall within two concepts: There’s the connected worker which integrates associates and their surroundings to improve interactions and decisions while creating and spreading knowledge; then there’s smart factories that combine various technologies to improve the reliability of supply.”

  • “Hyperautomation is the notion that anything can be automated. It is a reflection of pent-up demand for operational resilience that has come to the fore in the past 18 months and makes hyperauomation an irreversible trend.”

  • “Autonomous things create a symbiotic environment where machines and humans work together collaboratively, not just as a building block of the smart factory. It also reaches into how operational decisions are made and who is responsible for them.”

  • “Multiexperience will impact how factory workers can control and manage their interactions in both physical and virtual settings.”

  • “Edge computing complements cloud computing through a distributed ecosystem of sensors, gateways and other devices. It seeks to leverage increasing populations of sensors and devices to gain insight across ecosystems or factories.”

  • “Democratization is a behavioral trend that focuses on the universal access to data and technology and know-how. It is essential to continuous improvement; key to building flexibility in factories which in turn supports agility across supply networks.”

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