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December 14, 2017
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China conference explored "supply chain management plus"

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The Seventh China Conference in Chengdu organized by CSCMP and CDI addressed key trends shaping the country's role in the global supply chain.
Attendees at the CSCMP China Conference

The Seventh CSCMP China Conference, co-organized by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and China (Shenzhen) Development Institute (CDI), held in Chengdu on September 8–9, 2016, addressed both the complicated challenges related to managing logistics and supply chain in China as well as the country's rapidly growing market potential and business opportunities.

Experts, supply chain thought leaders, and business executives from more than 10 countries and CSCMP roundtables gathered to share their views and insights with 300 participants in the two-day conference, which focused on the mega-trends for supply chain management in China. Under the theme "Supply Chain Management Plus: The Next Big Thing in China," the conference covered topics such as China's One Belt and One Road Initiative; innovative business models; and the application of technologies such as Big Data, cloud computing, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation, and new energy solutions.

The following is a summary of some of the highlights from the conference's keynote speeches and breakout sessions. Throughout the conference a number of supply chain experts, CSCMP officers, researchers, and consultants shared their viewpoints on supply chain trends.

  • Kevin Smith, chairman of CSCMP and CEO of Sustainable Supply Chain Consulting, outlined what he believes will be the mega trends in supply chain development in the next ten years. On the technology front, he expects to see an increase in the use of automation, the Internet of things, and blockchain solutions. On a geopolitical level, supply chains will have to balance the conflicting forces of globalization and a resurgence in nationalism. Other trends include infrastructure construction, increasing service speed, and the power of the new "millennial" generation. Supply chain managers will also be facing operational constraints, such as labor shortages and increasing wages, he said.
  • Dr. Binyam Reja, transport officer of World Bank China, emphasized the importance of intermodal traffic. He also shared with participants his experiences with low-carbon transportation and energy-conserving logistics solutions through a case study of programs he has worked on in China.
  • Jon Creyts, managing director of Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit research and educational foundation, presented the group's latest research results and demonstrated a roadmap for China's revolution in energy consumption and production to 2050.
  • Ding Junfa, chief advisor of the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, shared his insights on China's supply chain management in the 13th Five-Year Plan Period and the reforms on the supply side of supply chain. He believes that more attention should be paid to lowering the high cost of logistics and deregulating the industry. He advocates for efforts that will work simultaneously on both the supply and demand sides, as well as optimize the distribution of public resources. In the speech, he also proposed the Ten Year Supply Chain+ Plan.
  • Dr. Wang Wei, director of the Institute for Market Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council of China, explained why and how to construct industrial clusters and industrial parks. She provided an introduction to the principles of logistics clusters and the development of industrial parks as well as an analysis of case studies in both China and Europe.
  • Jeroen Bolt, president of CSCMP Benelux Roundtable and Owner of Fluas, a sustainable supply chain company, introduced the concept of horizontal collaboration. Horizontal collaboration involves companies sharing supply chain assets, such as transportation. After discussing some methodologies and tools, he also showed how governments should act to support horizontal collaboration.
  • Dr. Zhang Jin, director of Center of the Logistics Research Laboratory at Southwest Jiaotong University, shared his expertise and experience in supply chain management in China with participants during the roundtable discussion.
  • The Branch Manager of Ping An Bank Group, Liang Chaojie, shared Ping An's experiences in exploring supply chain finance, while Wen Jianjun, CEO of Chuangjie SCM, demonstrated a methodology for top-level design in supply chain finance.
  • Lloyd Morgan, vice president of St. Onge, presented the latest tools and methodologies for designing supply chain networks.
  • Li Linzi, CEO of Warehouse Technology, presented a case study on an automated e-commerce warehouse.
  • Dr. Feng An, founder and executive director of the Innovation Center for Energy and Technology (iCET), demonstrated how to supervise and measure the performance of green logistics techniques, as well as their applications in transportation.

The conference also featured thought leadership and best practices from well-known companies such as semiconductor giant Texas Instruments, logistics service provider DHL, IBM, health and nutrition company DSM, Xianyi SCM, and retailers JD.com and VIP.com.

  • Jan De Meulder, TI's director of supply chain & logistics, demonstrated the characteristics, benefits, and challenges of managing a global supply chain based on an analysis of TI's more than 900 global logistics suppliers.
  • Andrew Hong, director of fast-growing enterprises for DHL, who is based in the company's Singapore Regional Office, analyzed the potential global supply chain management opportunities and challenges brought by the Chinese government's One Belt, One Road Initiative, which seeks to foster cooperation and connectivity between China and the rest of Eurasia. He discussed the financing of Belt and Road programs and intermodal traffic solutions and shared DHL's experience of how a multinational enterprise could participate in Belt and Road.
  • Qin Deng, director of IBM Global Electronics Industry, introduced the concept and practice of IoT-enabled supply chain control towers and shared examples of IoT applications for the supply chain field.
  • Wang Jianzhi, deputy manager of Xianyi SCM, discussed the company's exploration and practice in temperature-controlled supply chains.
  • Yu Tian, senior logistics director of JD.com, and Zhao Liqiang, logistics director of VIP.com Holdings Limited, talked about the value of excellent supply chains.
  • During the roundtable discussion, Martin Lockstrom, APAC head of purchasing excellence at DSM, shared with the participants his experiences with low-carbon logistics and green supply chains.
Chengdu's role as a logistics hub

The conference also highlighted Chengdu's role as a national logistics hub in China and its goal to become an international leader in the Belt and Road Initiative. The city has the capability of handling materials and resources from all over the world. It offers rail lines connecting to European and coastal areas, a network of international air routes, and industrial clusters of leading-edge technologies. Chengdu is a good place to explore new business opportunities and set up local connections for logistics and supply chain activities in China.

Additionally 27 companies were presented with the 2016 Award for Excellent Supply Chain Management Companies & Best Practices in China.

We believe the 7th CSCMP China Conference proved the value and attractiveness of of CSCMP's global presence in China. Together with its partner China Development Institute (CDI), CSCMP will make sure the policy suggestions and business development strategies discussed will be collected and reported to relevant government agencies like China Customs as well as governmental inspection and quarantine agencies.

Charles Wang is a director at the China Development Institute. Kevin Smith is the Chairman of CSCMP and CEO of Sustainable Supply Chain Consultants.

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