On March 5th and 6th, more than 65 supply chain leaders and Penn State faculty met at State College, PA for the Spring 2015 Supply Chain Leaders Forum. Each year, Penn State’s Center for Supply Chain Research hosts two forums to bring together the greatest minds and newest ideas in supply chain management. The theme of the Spring 2015 event was: Supply Chain Integration and Synchronization.
SDI’s Vice President of Marketing, Debra Yorkman, served as a guest program director and kicked off the events with a discussion on how thought-leaders and “intrapreneurs”, the entrepreneur-minded individuals within larger organizations, are thinking outside the box to connect the supply chain. Direct supply, indirect supply, MRO, logistics, transportation—each of these links in the supply chain impacts the other and has implications not only enterprise-wide, but market-wide. The objective of the Supply Chain Leaders Forum was to help connect those dots, not only to see how the market has evolved to where it is today, but to provide a forecast of the future, to identify strategic inflection points that will help achieve greater efficiencies and control—ultimately giving companies a competitive edge. This is how companies not only survive, but evolve as well.
The first day had presentations around the global alignment of best practices as well as industry perspectives. These included:
- Tapan Mazumder from EY gave a presentation on Supply Chain Synchronization that provided a focus on establishing an end-to-end rhythm based on product segmentation while improving stability and reducing inventory.
- Bruce Bennett and Joe Short from AmerisourceBergen presented a case study with David Rurka from Walgreens to demonstrate how Walgreens worked with AmerisourceBergen to outsource distribution and global sourcing, a change initiative that ultimately shortened lead times, lowered their inventory investment by reducing Distribution Center inventory.
- Jack Wilson from UPS presented on Synchronizing the Supply Chain for Success—an inside look at the Aerospace Industry. As the managing director of UPS Customer Solutions, his team has a deep an understanding the customer’s total supply chain and business needs to develop customer solutions, both solution design and implementation management, to deliver greater customer value.
- Doug Hitz from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board presented a case study with Rebecca Evangelista and Natalie Burbidge from Constellation Brands. They discussed collaborative inventory planning in a three-tier system of suppliers, wholesalers and retailers. The result was a collaborative operational environment that encourages communication, mutual success and independent accountability.
- John Fitzgerald from GT Nexus presented on Best Practices in Achieving End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility. He explored how to replicate the supply chain in the cloud and talked about how cloud-based systems are enhancing the investments that companies make in their ERP systems, in order to more effectively communicate with their clients’ systems.
The second day, which focused on successful improvement of integration and synchronization, featured a presentation by Penn State’s Dr. Akhil Kumar. Dr. Kumar discussed Issues in Supply Chain Integration from an Information Systems Perspective. Afterwards, the group broke out into separate sessions. Spirited discussions on The Supply Chain Ecosystem were led by Jason Reiman from The Hershey Company and Dr. Chris Craighead from Penn State, Change Management led by Steve Simco from Sedlak and Steve Tracey from Penn State, Internal Metrics Alignment led by Keith Daniels from PPG and Dave Young from JDA, and Transportation led by Chris Norek from ChainConnectors.
Overall, the group came away with more ideas and ways to work together to understand how each link in the supply chain impacts the organization—with the ultimate goal of changing the game and evolving with the market.