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Positioning Skills for the Future Needs of Supply Chain Management


As we, via Supply Chain Matters, and many others have noted, there is no question that supply chain talent development and retention has become a top of mind multi-industry challenge. Supply chain leaders express frustration in their efforts to find talent with correct skills.  Such skills include embracing the flood of new technologies making their way into supply chain business processes, understanding of global business cultures and facilitating organizational change. The reality is that business, technology and supply chain business challenges are out-distancing current skill and talent needs.

There are many facets to this challenge, both organizational and individual in scope.

The debate is often focused on whether strategies should address a perceived “skills gap”, or a “training gap.”

On the 21st Century Supply Chain blog, this author penned a guest posting summarizing my recent talk at the recently held APICS 2015 Annual Conference.

Take a moment out of your busy schedule and consider some of the conclusions and recommendations that I have highlighted. Let us, as a community, tackle the notions of skills preparedness.

Bob Ferrari


Announcing an Upcoming Webinar: Supply Chain Segmentation- The Key to More Predictable and Profitable Business Outcomes

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Supply Chain Matters Lead sponsor JDA Software recently released the results of its first annual JDA Vision 2015 study of supply chains. This study provides a detailed quantitative look at the top supply chain issues facing various industry supply chains today and includes collected responses from executives across a wide range of industries company sizes and geographies.

Within this report’s Executive Summary there are conclusions related to the support of today’s customers. Whereas, not long ago, firms focused on operational efficiencies, today, it is all about the customer and meeting ever more demanding customer expectation and service needs. The summary notes in part: “Saving time and money remains important, but the name of the game now is how to meet customers’ ever changing expectations and keep them coming back.”

From this author’s lens, one of the more important strategies for supply chain and sales and operations teams to consider within today’s unprecedented aspects of supply chain complexity is the continued realization that one size fits all supply chain fulfillment strategies do not add to the need for meeting higher customer expectations while delivering on expected business outcomes.  This is why considerations for supply chain segmentation strategies have become more important.

To explore such needs, JDA Software and Supply Chain Matters will be hosting an upcoming webinar: Supply Chain Segmentation – The Key to More Predictable and Profitable Business Outcomes, where this author will provide perspectives on the increasing importance of linking supply chain segmentation and more predictive planning and analytics capabilities. I will further address how elements of supply chain advanced technology that can aide in linking supply chain segmentation efforts.

This complimentary webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st at 11am Eastern. Joining me in this webinar will be Puneet Saxena, Vice President, Manufacturing Planning at JDA Software.

Readers can register for this webinar at this registration link.

Join us as we discuss today’s process and business requirement needs related to supply chain segmentation.

Bob Ferrari, Founder and Executive Editor

Supply Chain Matters Founder Bob Ferrari to Speak at Intesource E-Sourcing Innovation Conference

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The role and contribution by procurement to the business is changing rather rapidly. The reasons are many and the change has accelerated because of evolving mega-trend convergence that surrounds various industry and services focused supply chains. Such trends include more rapid advances in the technology and software applications supporting sourcing and procurement business processes.

Once more, retail food and beverage and other service industries are undergoing extraordinary challenges brought about by global expansion of supply networks. Recent headlines surrounding brands such as McDonalds and KFC and their challenges with China based food suppliers are just two examples.

On March 8-10, e-Sourcing technology provider Intesource will be hosting its 2015 InnovationBest Practices in Sourcing customer conference in Las Vegas. We are pleased to announce that Bob Ferrari, Supply Chain Matters Founder and Executive Editor will be a featured guest speaker. This week on the Intesource E-Sourcing Society blog, Bob is featured in a guest commentary describing his upcoming talk, Converging Mega-Trends Impacting the Supply Chain.

Customers of Intesource and Supply Chain Matters readers who may be in Las Vegas during this period are welcomed to attend this insightful presentation. 

The agenda for 2015 InnovationBest Practices in Sourcing can be downloaded at this Intesource web link, and conference registration information can be accessed at this web link.

Join Bob Ferrari in Las Vegas in March.


Upcoming- Join Us at 7th Annual Supply Chain Management Summit

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Supply Chain Matters readers residing in the New England region are invited to join me at the 7th Annual Supply Chain Management Summit being held on Thursday, August 21 on the campus of Bryant University in Smithfield Rhode Island.

Over the years, this Summit has grown and matured into a northeast regional event focusing on a new burgeoning supply chain challenges and solutions. I was a featured speaker in the 2013 event which was very well attended and I’m pleased to be invited back to speak at this year’s Summit.

I’ll be joining a distinguished compliment of speakers for this year’s event including a dear former colleague, Dr. Larry Lapide who will be delivering the morning keynote, and Dr. Jim Tompkins who will deliver a very timely luncheon keynote.

My presentation is titled: New Developments in Supply Chain Technology- What to Consider in Your Supply Chain Investment Plans. This presentation will address:

- How senior industry executives view needs in business-wide decision-making, and what expectations they have for supply chain capabilities.

- The new requirements of Plan-Sense-Adapt- Synchronize and the new levers of information velocity-context- clarity

- A new thinking required to overcome current organizational and supply chain collaboration barriers

- What you should know as operations, planning, procurement or supply chain management professionals in terms of skills readiness and tool adoption

Individual registration for this upcoming conference is $150 with discounts available for organizational table sponsorships. Registration is available at this web link but act quickly since the event is a sure sellout.

If your organization has needs for a dynamic speaker, panelist or roundtable facilitator on compelling topics impacting supply chain management and B2B business networks, you are welcomed to review our Speaking Services page.

Bob Ferrari

Supply Chain Matters Activities During the Week of October 21

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Supply Chain Matters Blog logo


We have a busy upcoming week here at Supply Chain Matters

On Monday, Founder and Executive Editor Bob Ferrari will deliver the keynote presentation at the 2013 PRISM User Group Meeting being held outside Boston. The topic of that presentation will be: Most Significant Trends Impacting Supply Chain and Manufacturing Teams in the next Five Years. This presentation will address five specific areas of important mega-trends and we will make this presentation available for no-cost download via our Research Center or SlideShare outlets.

On Thursday and Friday, Supply Chain Matters will be in Scottsdale Arizona for Kinexions 13,  the annual user conference conducted by our Lead Sponsor, Kinaxis. The overall theme of this year’s event is Know Sooner, Act Faster. We look forward each year to attending Kinexions which often attracts a distinctive audience of supply chain planning and leadership professionals. As always, we will be featuring some live updates as well as full coverage of the conference. As we noted in a summarized impressions of Kinexions 2012, this event continues to reinforce year after year that software provider conferences do not have to take on a high gloss sales-driven image, but rather one that attendees can conclude that they truly enjoyed attending, gained knowledge, networked with other professionals will similar challenges and shared in some good humor and funny skits.

If you are attending either of these events, please seek us out and say hello.

Join Bob Ferrari in Next Week’s Steelwedge Webinar

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We again invite Supply Chain Matters readers to join me in an August 13th webinar, sponsored by Steelwedge Software titled: Your S&OP Analytics: Crystal Ball or Ball and Chain?

In this webinar, I will address the evolution of S&OP and how predictive analytics will play an important part for enabling future decision-making needs in this process. S&OP needs to move toward better prediction of events and business outcomes while converging forces in business strategy, supply chain strategy and information technology are aligning toward helping businesses to leverage predictive analytics tools within S&OP.

I’ll have some interesting insights to share with you.

You can register for this complimentary webinar at this web link.

Bob Ferrari

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