As with many readers this year has been full of conferences both fulfilling and educational. I have just returned from my first CSCMP conference; I’m still a bit overwhelmed at the amount of information I was able to absorb during in a short period of time.
Although CSCMP plans annual conferences over a year in advance, my plans to attend were rather last minute as I was asked by a director at Gartner Research to speak for 15 minutes during one of the breakout track sessions where he was the primary presenter. He had been made aware of our newly formed Kenco Innovation Labs and wanted to include this in his presentation on supply chain innovation and transportation. Flattered to have been asked, I accepted his invitation and made plans to go.
Attendance this year included almost 3000 people from 27 different countries. Definite highlights were the keynote addresses by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Amazon’s SVP/Worldwide Operations, Dave Clark. The breakout sessions, networking events, and round table discussions were all valuable and CSCMP is definitely one of the more valuable logistics conferences I’ve been able to attend.
My session was called “It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane, It’s a Drone. The Time for Transformation is Now”.
The main speaker was Bart De Muynck – Research Director for Gartner’s Transportation Division. His presentation focused on how the transportation industry has changed as technology has introduced more efficient, affordable, and faster ways to deliver goods. He drew attention to certain innovations in Transportation Modeling, Forecasting, and Big Data Analytics. He also focused on digital business – how disruptive technologies like Apple iTunes have disrupted the bricks-and-mortar industries of record stores – and how this has reduced the supply chain. His presentation then shifted towards logistics and what do these new innovations mean for logistics providers – and how vendors needed to stay ahead of the curve. This is where Kenco Innovation Labs was introduced.
My 15 minutes was an explanation of how Kenco had formally decided to form a small team who would be dedicated to researching, educating, and prototyping new innovative logistics endeavors in the industry. After introducing Kenco and our success as a leading 3PL, I shared with our audience more about the structure of our lab – how we managed our research, the projects we were immediately involved with, and some of the topics we were currently researching. At the end of our presentation we fielded a Q&A session – where much of the attention was about the Kenco Innovation Lab.
Audience participants wanted to know how other departments within the organization reacted to our work, the dedication/support of our executives, and how we promoted our findings.