29 July 2014
News 

More magical than a crystal ball

Published:
11 March 2014

Unfortunately we cannot all look into a crystal ball and see into the future, some of us have to rely on predictions, and when these predictions are incorrect, it is not always a big deal, unless you work in supply chain.

Forecasting strategies are used within the industry on a daily basis, to predict consumer demand and specific challenges associated with new products or services.

From these predictions, industry professionals must plan and begin the life of a product, but just how reliable are they?

Travis Perkins, Nestlé, and Logility, will join forces at Supply Chain Standard's 12th Logistics & Supply Chain Conference (formerly the Extended Supply Chain Conference), from 2-3 April this year, at London's ETC Dexter House, to discuss just this.

During an interactive panel discussion, director of product supply at Travis Perkins, Alan Duncan, will sit alongside head of global supply chain development at Nestlé, David Sheldon, and a senior representative EMEA from Logility.

They will question whether stakeholders need to be more creative when drafting a forecasting strategy, discussing with the audience if more attention should be paid to non-traditional indicators, such as social media trends, predicted weather patterns or media coverage.

The group will also look at the importance of segmenting demand from online and bricks and mortar sales.

The conference brings together supply chain leaders from around Europe to analyse latest industry developments, share ideas, and network with like-minded professionals.

Principal business process manager at Vodafone, Jana Bodenstedt, will also be on hand, to discuss Vodafone's latest solution for seamless, cloud-based information sharing, process management, and handling.

The firm says its solution provided a consolidated and shared view of demand and inventory, in turn enabling its global supply chain organisation to assume a "truly strategic, value generating role" within the organisation at large.

Bodenstedt, will now discuss both what it took to build this solution, and how it has both delivered an increase return on investment and productivity, and made improvements to working capital within the company.

Bodenstedt joins Sean O’Reilly, Dell’s global services logistics director, who will speak on how to use the supply chain to maximise outcomes for the customer.

O’Reilly was recently appointed as Dell’s global services logistics director. He is responsible for the freight networks from Asia into all regions, Replenishment of service parts within each region as well as end delivery of service parts direct to the customer or the Engineer.

As a closed loop, O’Reilly is responsible for the return transport of the defective part, back into our repair house or for disposition. O’Reilly has team members in APJ, LATAM, US and mainland Europe. Previous to this, Sean managed Dell’s EMEA warehousing and fulfilment operation. O’Reilly has an engineering background and has held roles in supply chain change management, new product introductions for Dell.

Attendees will also hear from Jim Gallagher, director of physical distribution and customer care, from Philips, on how reducing costs is a critical task in supply chain.

Gallagher will look at how to remove cost without reducing quality of product or customer service.

In addition, he will be identifying areas of excess waste and unnecessary cost in the supply chain. He will also consider the question of whether it is right to focus on cost, or should more attention be paid to continuous improvement strategies and improved service efficiencies?

Sue McGeorge, GB supply chain director at Diageo, will focus on achieving operational improvements in her opening presentation at the event.

Diageo, of course, is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s gin, Hennessy cognac, and Blossom Hill wines.

McGeorge will consider how best to engage staff and ensure they are on board with operational changes, as well as asking if supply chain leaders spent too much time focusing on cost reduction, to the detriment of improvement and investment in their supply chains?

Attendees will also hear from companies including, Diageo and Shop Direct, on how to drive growth and improvements across the supply chain, tackling challenges along the way.

Workshops hosted by Delaware Consulting, Demand Solutions, BSI, TXT e-solutions, Voiteq, and Vocollect, among others, will offer attendees an opportunity to join peers in discussing industry developments and best practice.

Pandora, Greencore Group, Premier Farnell, Cranfield University, and Philips will also be present at the conference to share their very own case studies and advice.

And the event will be chaired by two of the industry’s great professionals, Richard Hunt, chairman of London Ambulance, and Hugh Williams, of Hughenden Consulting, who are renowned for bringing out the best in debate.

http://www.esc-lon.co.uk/

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