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Positioning Individual Skills for the Future Needs of Supply Chain Management


Supply Chain Matters has returned after our two-week summer break.

This author thoroughly enjoyed vacationing in Italy with time to experience the extraordinary sights and culinary delights of Tuscany, Rome and the Naples region.

It is now time to return to our commentaries and insights related to multi-industry and global supply chain developments.

Before delving into individual trending topics, I want to alert our readers to an upcoming speaking engagement where I will be speaking on a very important and timely topic at the upcoming APICS 2015 annual conference being held from October 5-7 in Las Vegas.

I recently conferred with APICS conference organizers regarding the specific educational topics for this year’s annual conference, and we mutually decided that an important topic to dive into was that of supply chain skills and talent management.

On Tuesday, October 6th, I will address the topic: Positioning Your Skills for the Future Needs of Supply Chain Management.  The presentation is part of the Supply Chain Leadership educational tract.

As we have noted on this blog, multitudes of industry surveys as well as senior leadership conversations all point to a growing skills gap across multiple disciplines of supply chain management. Many 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. There are many facets to this challenge, both organizational and individual in scope.

In my talk, I will address the major technology megatrends impacting multi-industry supply chains and specifically their impact on multi-dimensional supply chain management business process and decision-making needs. I will further explore the supply chain professional’s future toolkit, how you must take the ownership for individual career management, and how tomorrow’s leaders can ensure that they are the right person, with the rights skills, at the right time.

Please consider attending the upcoming APICS 2015 annual conference and specifically attending my session. I can promise you a lively, interactive and highly educational interaction based on my observations and insights of industry supply chain business and technology needs.

Bob Ferrari, Founder and Executive Editor


This Week- Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference

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Supply Chain Matters is once again mobile this week. We are headed west to attend Gartner’s annual Supply Chain Executive Conference which brings together a vast array of both supply chain end-user and technology service provider attendees.We will also be joining some of our blog sponsors and consulting clients at this annual event.

This is also the event that unveils Gartner’s Annual Top 25 Supply Chains rankings. Will the Apple supply chain be ranked number one for the eight consecutive year? Will Amazon de-throne? Will Gartner’s ranking process including new names in the 2015 ranking?

Stay tuned and we will provide our impressions and takeaways from this week’s event.

If you happen to be attending this week’s event, please say hello.  This author will be wearing his Supply Chain Matters logo shirt.

Bob Ferrari

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

Join Us at an Upcoming S&OP Focused Breakfast Series

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We want to alert Supply Chain Matters readers that Bob Ferrari, our Founder and Executive Editor will be featured as a kickoff speaker at an upcoming series of Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) Executive Breakfast Briefing events sponsored by Steelwedge Software.

 This series has been designed to provide attendees with advanced understanding of technology being applied to support the S&OP process, including the important insights for integrating information and more predictive decision-making capabilities for process participants. There will be time allocated for ample interaction with speakers.

 Bob Ferrari’s presentation is titled: A Practical Guide to Using Predictive Analysis to Take Your S&OP and IBP Process to the Next Level. In this talk, Bob will address how many S&OP processes become stalled because they are trying to assimilate information that is most external to existing information system or spreadsheet capabilities. S&OP processes are literally drowning in data but starving for decision-making insights. Three significant industry converging forces are coming together to allow S&OP teams the ability to incorporate use of more predictive decision-making as well as to achieve goals for integrated business planning. Along with Bob, both the Boston and Chicago breakfast series events will feature Bruce Richardson, Chief Enterprise Strategist at as a speaker.

 These breakfast series events will be conducted in the following cities with more information and conference registration information provided at the below web links:

Wednesday, April 30 in Boston

Thursday, May 1 in Atlanta

Thursday, May 8 in Chicago


Join Bob Ferrari and other distinguished speakers at either of these upcoming Steelwedge focused events for insights on taking your organization’s S&OP process to the next level.


Hotel Space at Supply Chain World North America Conference Becoming Limited

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Supply Chain Matters has a brief update regarding the annual Supply Chain World North America Conference being held on April 13-15, 2013 in Nashville. This conference is sponsored by the Supply Chain Council (SCC), facilitators of the Supply Chain Operations Model (SCOR) and M4SC   Supply Chain World 2014 North America Conferenceframeworks, among others.

Once again, Supply Chain Matters will be one of the media sponsors of this event. 

If you have been considering attending this upcoming educational event, please act now since the very attractive designated hotel conference hotel room rate is selling-out. We received word from SCC that the designated conference hotel, The Inn at Opryland along with the adjacent Gaylord Resort in Nashville now has limited room availability for April 13-15 period.  Alternate lodging has been arranged at the Marriott Airport Nashville.  Please review the conference web site for more specific details.

Yours truly will once again moderate the Supply Chain Industry Analyst and Influencers panel discussion slotted on the afternoon of Monday, April 14. We have one change in our panel composition and pleased to announce that Mike Burkett of Gartner will join the panel.

Panel participants will be:

Jake Barr, CEO, Blue World Supply Chain Consulting LLC

Mike Burkett, Research Vice President and Chief of Supply Chain Research, Gartner Inc.

Brad Householder, Principal, PwC Management Consulting

Steve Melnyk, Professor of Operations Management, Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University

Again, readers can gain additional information on venue, agenda and registration information for this upcoming conference by clicking on logo located in our Conferences panel on the right-hand side or clicking on this web link.

Bob Ferrari

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