Friday, May 24, 2013

Supply Chain Event Draws Logistics and Manufacturing Professionals from 24 Countries

Savings of 1.43 Billion Euros Are Worth Hearing About
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) throws its net wide amongst the manufacturing and logistics sectors with over 25,000 attendees at the organisations events during 2012. The CSCMP’s recent European conference held at Amsterdam Airport last week was no exception with delegates from 24 countries covering every continent turning out, no less than 63% of those present were board-level executives, with the largest attendance from major manufacturers and academia.

Lively discussion forums on the first day of the conference covered such topics as the risks of outsourcing supply chain management to third parties, and the mounting problems associated with 'big data' - the capture, storage, search, sharing, transfer and analysis of the increasingly vast amounts of data now being collected by major businesses which render many current IT systems inadequate.

Keynote speaker Pier Luigi Sigismundi representing Unilever, a company producing €23 billion in saleable goods annually told how the company’s supply chain function had created significant revenue growth, improved margin and cash flows, and satisfied its demanding sustainability goals. Additionally its focus on service and quality had reduced consumer complaints, improved on-shelf availability, and saved a staggering €1.43 billion. This figure had been achieved by leveraging scale, adapting strategies for different markets and developing what he termed its own talent ‘powerhouse’.

Ralph Keck, Procter and Gamble’s Director Product Supply, GTM Innovation, identified innovation as the only way to deliver true value in the supply chain, his company had developed a 'stockless' supply system using cross-docking and rapid picking to slash inventory. Throughout Europe, P&G had shared trucks with other users to optimise capacity. Meanwhile, using point of sale data from its retailers had enabled it to predict demand, and match inventories and availability. Keck reported that P&G actively engages with supply chain partners through innovation labs and centres, where new methods are designed and assessed. On an environmental note, he said forty five P&G sites already produce zero landfill waste.

Enno Osinga was on home territory as Senior VP Cargo for nearby Schiphol Airport, and he outlined how his team had successfully created a unique collaboration model in which all stakeholders contributed to streamlining of processes, including Customs procedures, duty payments and VAT refunds, helping improve performance and reduce costs for shippers and supply chain operators. He told the audience Schiphol was working to connect different modes of transportation to facilitate rapid and cost-effective product movement through the airport to the whole northern European market.

The challenge for Darrell Zavitz of Dow Chemical had been to move products and operations to locations where it had never before operated. Dow’s main focus had been responsiveness to customers all over the globe, coupled with innovation and productivity. Its drive for ‘rapid value generation’ had demanded speedy market entry, balancing calculated risk with resilience, and effecting supply chain improvements on the fly.

Closing speaker Kirstin Reblin, Lean Company Program Manager for Siemens AG stressed that supply chain managers must develop their own commitment to, and understanding of, the necessity to become leaner whilst CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen, concluded the event by saying:

“Early feedback from those who attended suggests a widespread feeling that the event was a very worthwhile investment. We are really looking forward to the next Europe Conference, in 2014”