When Gartner bills their Supply Chain Executive Conference 2014 as “the world’s most important gathering of supply chain leaders,” it’s a lofty declaration—and in this case, it’s absolutely true. Several DSI executives and employees attended the conference, and now that they’re back in the office, we’re busy rehashing the conversations, tools and takeaways that were in abundant supply (no pun intended) throughout the three-day event.
Presentations, keynotes, workshops and exhibits all underscored the conference’s primary theme: Leading for the Next Decade. Although supply chains play a critical role in business operations for numerous industries, it’s clear that, in order to be efficient, cost-effective and sustainable, supply chains must evolve to encompass more agile, innovative processes. And from where we stand, the answer is clear: businesses must mobilize their supply chains.
Consider some of the key takeaways that members of our executive team—including Gordon Van Huizen, CTO; Mark Goode, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing; and Jon Duncan, Director, Mobile Strategy—observed throughout the conference:
For those in the retail space, this sort of visibility is especially critical if a traditional store inventory is now virtual. Several brick and mortar retailers are intrigued about how the DSI Mobile Enterprise Platform can help them better adapt to the digital economy. More generally speaking, manufacturers are especially interested in increased visibility throughout the supply chain process.
A Gartner Supply Chain Leader survey showed that 72% of supply chain leaders indicate that having more adaptable applications is critical to their supply chain success.
Organizations shouldn’t only be concerned with optimizing the supply chain for increased efficiency. They also need to build demand-driven extended supply chains that can sense demand signals and dynamically adapt to changing customer and market needs. While this may be an advanced goal for many organizations, demand-driven value chains will be fundamental to remaining competitive in the digital economy.
Analytics tend to be a hot topic, but this year, the focus was on analytics delivered to mobile devices that offer increased insight at a “run the business” level. Data is power—and if that data is easily accessible by a company’s key stakeholders, it’s more likely to play a greater role in strategic business decisions.
The common thread among these areas of importance? A mobile supply chain that offers a number of benefits including real-time visibility from manufacturing to proof of delivery, improved responsiveness and productivity and the elimination of burdensome (and often costly) manual processes.
This sort of mobile functionality is so important, in fact, that one conference attendee said learning about the mobile supply chain was the best 15 minutes she spent at the event.
We’re already making plans for the 2015 show and hope you’ll join us. If you attended this year’s conference, we’d love to hear your favorite event highlights. Feel free to leave us a comment and share your thoughts.
See you next year, #GartnerSCC!