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ORLANDO, Fla., June 8, 2022

Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo Americas: Day 3 Highlights

We are bringing you news and highlights from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo, taking place in Orlando through today. Below is a collection of the key announcements and insights coming out of Day 3 of the conference. Here’s a summary of happenings from Day 1 and Day 2

On the closing day of the conference, we are featuring this year’s top supply chain technology themes, innovative approaches for knowledge sharing between humans and machines, strategies to unlock retail supply chain’s potential, and the changing power dynamic between supply chain and logistics.

Key Announcements

Signature Series: The 2022 Strategic Supply Chain Technology Themes

Presented by Dwight Klappich, VP Analyst, Gartner 

In this session, Dwight Klappich, VP Analyst at Gartner, outlines the influential role of adopting and articulating themed approaches to innovative technologies for strategic planning and investments across supply chain networks.

Key Takeaways

  • “Supply chains have become increasingly complex and chaotic due to many factors like - new business models, globalization, labor shortages, inflation and volatile energy markets.” 

  • “When asked what they feel will be the biggest strategic changes over the next 5 years, 34% of respondents to Gartner’s Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs study  said it will be adapting to new technologies.”

  • Gartner sees three things driving strategies for technology decisions in companies:

    • Labor constraints - 66% of companies said that labor constraints were growing which was forcing them to look at various forms of automation to address these challenges. They were thus looking at technologies like hyperautomation 2.0, autonomous things and next generation robots.

    • Decision making speed and quality - 30% said that they need advanced technologies to help them accelerate and improve their decision making process. They were looking at technologies like analytics everywhere.

    • Network complexity - 46% of respondents said that growing network complexity was their number one external challenge, and they were looking at various types of technology to help them become more resilient. They were looking at technologies like security mesh, and ecosystem collaboration. 

Learn more from the 2022 Strategic Supply Chain Technology Themes in the associated Gartner press release.

Better Together: Better Decisions With Reciprocal Human-Machine Augmentation

Presented by Noha Tohamy, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner 

A confluence of forces is eroding supply chain domain knowledge while increasing reliance on advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. In this session, Noha Tohamy, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, talked about innovative approaches to continuous sharing of knowledge between humans and machines that increase their collective ability to make better decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • “In this age of data and analytics, we talk a lot about how machines augment human intelligence, but we also need to talk about how humans can teach the machine.”
  • To preserve and grow the collective intelligence of humans and machines, as supply chain leaders, you must do two things simultaneously: 
    1. Capture human intelligence to improve machine intelligence 
    2. Leverage machine intelligence to improve human intelligence
  • “There are three strategies to grow the collective intelligence of humans and machines: gamification, crowdsourcing and data literacy.”
  • “Leading supply chain organizations use gamification – presenting tasks as games - to engage staff, motivate them to achieve goals, and in the process capture their domain knowledge.”
  • “Leading supply chain organizations are using crowdsourcing to improve decision quality in the supply chain, but expanding the definition of the crowd from just a crowd of people, to a crowd of people and machines.”

The Time Is Now for Retailers to Make Bold Supply Chain Moves That Unlock Competitive Advantage

Presented by Michael Dominy, VP Analyst, Gartner

Retail leaders have doubled down and invested in new, bold ways of operating that drive competitive advantage through the supply chain. In this session, Michael Dominy, VP Analyst at Gartner, explored why now is the time to make bold moves, what bold moves leading retailers are making, and key lessons CSCOs can take to foster innovation to encourage their teams to make bold moves.

Key Takeaways

  • “Sixty percent of CEOs are increasing investments in their supply chains and 82% are increasing in digital capabilities. This presents a key opportunity for CSCOs to drive improved capabilities into their physical and digital supply chain operations.”  
  • “Faster isn’t always more expensive. Levi’s pivoted during the pandemic to enabling ship from store which was not new in the industry but what Levi’s did from a pricing perspective was. They priced same day delivery lower than overnight and 2-day delivery.”  
  • “Retailers are driving sustainability goals beyond their internal supply chain and into their broader ecosystems. For example, Walmart is incentivizing suppliers, H&M drives circular economy principles through their Rewear platform which enables consumers to return clothing from any brand - not just H&M brands.” 
  • “Investments in next generation automation enables rapid, scalable and flexible productivity. A good example of this is Nike and its use of collaborative robots known as cobots. The cobots can be deployed and redeployed across their network in months thereby minimizing fixed capital equipment costs and constraints.”
  • “Leaders encourage risk taking. Gartner analysis of retailer maturity shows that higher maturity retailers are nearly twice as likely to reward risk taking.”

How the Logistics Tail Is Wagging the Supply Chain Dog

Presented by Brian Whitlock, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

In the past few years, logistics has been front of mind for CSCOs and used the spotlight to grow its influence. In  this session, Brian Whitlock, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, discussed how one of the most disruptive periods in history has changed the supply chain power dynamic, and what the future holds for the logistics industry.

Key Takeaways

  • “As logistics leaders, you have always understood your importance to the business and - as a result of the perpetual cycle of disruption - others are now understanding your importance in the broader supply chain as well.”
  • “Faced with adversity, some logistics leaders thrive, running towards fires. But - isn’t it better to focus your efforts on avoiding the creation of those fires in the first place?” 
  • “Disruptions are inevitable, and will continue with varying degrees of severity. As you deal with these distractions and fight the fires, maintaining a logistics strategy underpinned by people, process and technology is critical.” 
  • “Whether it is visibility of events, transactions, or other information that exists within logistics, companies need visibility to make better decisions and to be proactive in the way they manage the business.” 
  • “There is a shift in attitude and mindset emerging among companies, modest incremental shifts in behaviors that are enabling logistics leaders to make tangible contributions to the sustainability agendas of their companies.”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit gartner.com.

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