An improving economy and a strong lineup of speakers and presentation topics drew more than 3,100 supply chain professionals to this year's Annual Global Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Participants enjoyed three days of educational seminars along with the "Supply Chain of the Future" exhibition, which showcased cutting-edge supply chain technology, equipment, and services.
Not able to go to the conference this year or unable to get to all of the sessions you would have liked to attend? The following roundup of some of the conference's sessions and events will help you fill in some of those gaps.
For additional information on this year's Annual Global Conference as well as the upcoming 2012 conference (which will take place from September 30-October 3 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA) visit the conference's website: cscmpconference.org.
CSCMP recognized a number of special achievements at the Annual Global Conference. Here is a brief rundown of the awards that were presented for excellence in business and academics.
In addition to being an educational event, CSCMP's Annual Global Conference also serves as the association's annual business meeting. As part of those proceedings, members elected the following officers to its board of directors:
A list of CSCMP's committee chairs is available here.
Here are summaries of just three of the nearly 200 educational sessions that sparked interest at the annual conference. CSCMP members can learn more about these and other sessions by downloading the presentation slides from CSCMP's website. Slides are available at the "2011 Session Presentations" section under the "Educational Events" tab. A member login is required.
Panel offers talent-development tips
When it comes to finding, developing, and retaining supply chain talent, managers have plenty to worry about, as attendees at the "Talent Crisis in Supply Chain Management" session made clear.
But moderator and executive search consultant Timothy Stratman and panelists Ty Gent of Pepsico, Rebecca Lyons of Johnson & Johnson, Jarrod Goentzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stewart Lumsden of the search firm Spencer Stuart were able to offer a host of suggestions and helpful ideas to the standing-room-only crowd.
Just a few of their recommendations:
Getting to "one version of the truth"
It seems clear enough that all parts of a business ought to work toward the same goals. But supply chain professionals have long struggled with cross-functional collaboration and making decisions that benefit the entire supply chain.
In a session titled "A New Supply Chain Paradigm," executives from the sporting goods manufacturer and distributor Easton-Bell Sports and the pharmaceutical and medical device maker Hospira discussed their efforts to use a relatively new set of data tools to help their companies develop a common basis for decision making.
Both companies are using a set of software tools to gather and analyze company data that will offer what the tool's developer, Competitive Insights, calls "one version of the truth."
This "one version of the truth" can be especially helpful for companies such as Easton-Bell Sports, which consists of different brands, including Easton, Bell, Giro, and Riddell. To make decisions across these multiple businesses, the company needed to be able to manage substantial amounts of data—especially because it has a large number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and a wide range of customers, according to B. Lewis Hornsby III, vice president, global logistics/fulfillment. By persuading multiple functions to use the same sets of data, Easton-Bell has helped to get all parts of the company "on the same page," Hornsby said. As a result, there is less debate over such things as managing SKU obsolescence.
Similarly, Hospira had historically struggled with getting data out of its network, according to James Hardy, senior vice president of operations. "We had the data in many systems," he said. "Production management, sales, and warehouse management [data] were all in different systems."
By pulling all that data into one system, Hospira gained insight into costs and profitability by product line and customer. "We've learned a lot," Hardy said. "We found some things we thought we were doing well where we were [actually] not doing as well as we should." For example, the data analysis showed that if one channel fulfilled orders once a week instead of three times a week, the company could save $3 million a year.
Chiquita's "Undercover Boss" inspired by supply chain experience
When Fernando Aguirre, Chairman and CEO of Chiquita Brands International, walked out on stage for his presentation at CSCMP's Annual Global Conference, he was pulling a pallet jack loaded with boxes of bananas. He then proceeded to demonstrate, to appreciative laughter, that he knew how to operate the equipment.
That set the tone for an interesting and inspiring speech by the executive, who rose from modest circumstances in Mexico to eventually head the giant produce grower and seller. Aguirre told his life story, including how his parents, mentors, and managers influenced the course of his career. He also peppered the presentation with scenes from his experience on the television show "Undercover Boss," including stints harvesting lettuce, driving a forklift in a warehouse, and working with an import coordinator at one of Chiquita's offices. Aguirre's personal experience with supply chain operations and the people who make them work proved to be "life-changing and inspirational" and influenced some of the changes he has implemented at the company, he said.
He also talked about his leadership philosophy, "LEAD"—learn, execute, adapt, and direct—and how a company's success depends on the "passion and commitment" of employees. Aguirre arrived at Chiquita six years ago, tasked with rescuing the company from bankruptcy. He quickly recognized that company employees lacked a sense of purpose and commitment. In response, he instituted a corporate mission to improve nutrition worldwide, as well as programs to recognize individual and team contributions, improve productivity, and open up direct communication between employees at all levels worldwide.
CSCMP unveiled its new SCPro professional certification program in supply chain management at the Annual Global Conference. The program provides global supply chain professionals with a way to demonstrate their skill level and mastery of end-toend supply chain functions.
The program consists of three levels:
Level One: Cornerstones of Supply Chain Management. SCPro Level One covers the entire end-to-end supply chain with a focus on building customer relationships. This level is open to candidates who have either a bachelor's degree or four years of relevant experience.
Level Two: Analysis and Application of Supply Chain Challenges. This level tests a candidate's ability to thoughtfully analyze real-world case studies and formulate supply chain solutions that improve the supply chain in both the short and the long term.
Level Three: Implementation of Supply Chain Transformation. The highest SCPro designation requires the candidate to apply practical supply chain skills through an independent project. It marks the candidate as a leader who is valuable not only within his or her organization but also to the profession as a whole.
"The certification will enable professionals to demonstrate to their employers that they are the kind of leaders who will positively impact their organizations' bottom lines," said Judy Schieve, manager of certification programs. "When a candidate completes all three levels of the program, he or she will also have a portfolio of work to augment the professional experience."
For more information about the certification program, go to http://cscmpcertification.org.