ProcureCon fall 2017

ProcureCon offers a broad range of events for a strong second half of the year.

By Andrew Greissman

With 2017 already more than halfway over, the next few months offer a chance for supply chain and procurement executives to shore up their strategies and add some jet fuel to their initiatives. A full range of generalist and specialized events are yet to come from Worldwide Business Research’s ProcureCon and Supply Chain conference series, bringing the premier talent in the community face-to-face to troubleshoot their most difficult challenges.

Here’s a look at what’s to come this fall, including a preview of some of the industry challenges that will be addressed by the agendas of each unique conference.

Gartner Supply Chain Conference web photo 1

The Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference gave practitioners the knowledge to cope with the data-driven future.

By Tim O’Connor

There may not be a large amount of intersection between supply chain and professional football, but Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman said both fields require strong leadership and a good mixture of talent to create sustained success.

“If you assemble the most talented group then that immediately translates into success,” Aikman said during a fireside chat at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, held in Phoenix this past May. Just as in football, the best organizations must recognize intangible skills. “It’s given me a much better appreciation of being able to identify those who lack in a particular area or don’t have particular skills, but if they continue in other ways those guys are invaluable.

“Tough times is when leadership comes out,” Aikman noted. “It’s easy to be a great leader when times are well.”

Mass Communication

Mass Customization

By Tony Donofrio

As consumers, our buying decisions increasingly center on logistics. We may use Amazon's Alexa to trigger shipment of everyday items such as paper goods and toiletries, or do all our holiday shopping online – freeing us from trips to the mall but also from wrapping, boxing and shipping gifts to far-flung friends and family.

Nearly every product is a commodity these days; competition for customers is no longer won with product alone. Service is critical. Already the norm for online retailers, this trend is now seen even with raw materials, parts and finished goods throughout the supply chain.

What makes it all possible is transportation management systems (TMS). Suppliers, manufacturers and retailers are using data in conjunction with apps, GPS and other tools to give customers increased visibility into the movement of goods to their doors.

Changing Dynamics

Changing Dynamics

By Shamanth Shankar

As a retailer, manufacturer and distributor, when we look at a product we also see the information that goes under the hood. Right product data not only powers delivering the right product at the right time to the right customer but also guides the customer throughout their purchasing lifecycle. From personalized marketing through a sale, managing product data is a key business objective for retailers, manufacturers and distributors.

Brian Monahan, co-founder and chief evangelist of NewCo, and former top marketer at says, “We grew sales by a couple of billion dollars powered by personalized marketing. It works.” Boston Retail Partners in its 2016 Special Report says, “As retailers are scaling up their digital strategy, ‘faux omnichannel model that doesn’t execute as promised and risks disappointing customers.” In A 5-Point Best Practice Process to Improve Product Data Accuracy, 1WorldSync states, “The persistent problem of inaccurate data shared between manufacturers and their trade customers is an enduring and significant problem that demands industry resolution.”

Agility web photo

Agility: The Foundation for Supply Chain Success

By Ajay Chidrawar

As we see more large retailers such as Macy’s and Sears shuttering their brick-and-mortar operations, it’s becoming increasingly clear that consumers’ shopping preferences have shifted. Customers now expect a unified, personalized and “see now, buy now” shopping experience. This reality, along with models like Amazon that offer customers the right product at the right price with direct-to-consumer shipping, is pushing retailers to focus more on e-commerce. In fact, according to Forrester Research, online sales in the United States are expected to reach $523 billion by 2020, a 56 percent increase from 2015.

Rethink Sourcing web photo

Onshoring Profits: Rethinking Sourcing Strategies

By Lisa Anderson

Seventy percent of manufacturing and distribution executives think near-sourcing strategies will increase in the next five years, according to LMA Consulting Group’s proprietary research study on outsourcing, insourcing and near-sourcing. This is a reversal of prior trends towards outsourcing. In our experience with clients across all sectors and sizes of manufacturing and logistics, this is not uncommon. Executives rushed to outsource, following the in-crowd and have realized that they need to evaluate before jumping off the deep end of the pool when they haven’t learned to swim.

Although executives noted on the survey that they jumped on the bandwagon to outsource with an eye on cost, they are re-evaluating. Several compelling factors are driving this re-assessment:

Room to Grow web photo

Manufacturers have significant room for supply chain improvement.

By Jeff French

These are exciting but uncertain times for manufacturers. They are optimistic about the prospects for lower corporate taxes, reduced government regulation and greater domestic production and job creation. But that optimism is tempered by talk of trade barriers, tariffs and border taxes, issues that could challenge their global supply chains.

Concerns about supply chain management represent the broader issues manufacturers face in today’s global economy — improving quality, increasing efficiency, cutting costs, speeding delivery and enhancing customer service.

These topics surfaced in a recent supply chain survey conducted by Grant Thornton LLP for the National Association of Manufacturers. Some 120 domestic manufacturers discussed the effectiveness of their supply chains, and ways they could innovate and improve the flow of goods from supplier to customer.

Spring Cleaning web photo

Three keys can bring your supply chain efficiency, prepare you for innovation and mark you as an industry leader.

By Vishy Visweswaran

With the shifting seasons, many consumers are renewing their commitment to the fresh, whole and sustainable foods that are trending within the food industry today. To best serve their needs, it is critical to take this season to “spring clean” your own supply chain protocols. Ensure this year’s supply chain practices help inspire innovation, promote transparency and manage unpredictability, as well as profitability.

From quick service and casual dining restaurants to institutional food service, a strong supply chain and well-developed risk management strategy can put you in the position to lead your category this season. These top three agenda items should be on your spring cleaning list for a quick and fruitful reboot this year:

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