Monday, September 20, 2021
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Exploring the Intersections

While working on our cover story for the next issue of our magazine, Supply Chain Philippines—it being our 30th anniversary, it is a retrospective on what came before, but also a look at what lies ahead—I’ve had the chance to look at the programme for SCMAP’s previous conferences, an event that took on many names throughout its history.


DMAP’s first conference, 27 years ago, was called the Distribution 2000 Conference, a reflection of the organization’s early thrust towards the distribution profession. But soon after, it would expand its scope, recognizing the shift towards logistics, culminating in the event getting a new name—the DMAP Annual Logistics Conference—in 1997.


Ten years later, the organization itself was named to reflect further changes in the sector it serves. With the emergence of the Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines came the SCMAP Supply Chain Conference.


Our flagship event’s carried that name for twelve years, but it doesn’t mean we’ve stayed complacent all this time. Far from it. The topics discussed and issues tackled have changed, a reflection both of the evolution of the supply chain profession, and of the wider understanding of its impact on the profitability of businesses and on quality of life.


Just a few years ago we had topics one of our speakers described as “geeky”: we had talks on transport network design, warehouse management and supply chain finance, among others. They remain relevant topics now, but at the time there were limited options for supply chain education. Now, while efforts are still ongoing to grow these options, there are definitely more on offer, and in this light we have decided to take a slightly different tactic.


You may recall that, in 2017, we embraced a completely new format: sessions instead of individual talks, built roughly around our “Connect. Engage. Move.” framework, where we explore not just issues relevant to supply chain but issues impacting its work on improving lives. We’ve been keen to explore the intersections between supply chain and many other topics that don’t seem connected at first glance—take renowned urban planner Jun Palafox speaking at our event in 2017, or data scientist Dr. Erika Legara the following year. Oh, yes, we also haven’t shied away from inviting people who are not necessarily working directly in supply chain, all in the hope of providing our audience with a fuller understanding of their work and its impact. (Supply chain is about collaboration, after all.) We’d like to think we’ve succeeded, so much so that other organizations are starting to take notice.


And that brings us to this week’s SCMAP Supply Chain Conference. We’ll be doing it all over again this Thursday and Friday, still at the EDSA Shangri-la in Mandaluyong. I’m personally excited for the topics and speakers we have on board for you:


How is government enabling competitive supply chains? We hear from Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, who is leading legislative efforts towards competitive supply chains, as well as Anti-Red Tape Authority deputy director general Ernesto Perez, who will speak about promoting ease of doing business and its impact on our work.


How do we build supply chain capacity? Transnational Diversified Group’s Daniel Ventanilla returns to provide a look at efforts to bolster our logistics infrastructure, while Johnson & Johnson’s Sean Zantua provides the perspective of the HR professional on attracting and developing talent. Later, David Wong of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will look at how the city has invested in supply chain capacity to transform itself into a major logistics hub for the region.


How do we ensure operational excellence? PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Marc Philipp and LF Logistics’ Santi Gutierrez join this panel with a wide experience operating and transforming supply chain systems across the region. Our wild card speaker: Cliff Eala, who you might remember as one of the conference’s hosts for the past few years—he will talk about the resiliency of the supply chain manager.


How do we take advantage of cold chain logistics? Rolly Melendrez’s experience in the cold chain sector—first with Nestlé, and now with Alcon Laboratories —help us kick this panel off. We then look at efforts in the public sector to improve food security, with the Department of Agriculture’s Mary Grace Mandigma, and in the private sector to increase capacity, with Orca Cold Chain’s Harvinder Grewal.


How does our work impact the lives of others? Our anchor session for Friday once again sees supply chain veterans talk about their work. Joining us are Vitasoy’s Maria Sarah Albert, Villa Socorro Farm’s Marcial Aaron, and recently retired supply chain veteran Lourdes Guzman. Later that day, Jonathan Baldo of the Lighthouse Leadership Institute will talk to us about how we can provide value in our day-to-day work.


How does data privacy regulation impact our work? As supply chain and personal information further interact, we enlist the help of the National Privacy Commission’s Atty. Amor Venenoso and Globe Telecom’s Abraham Quintos to make sense of new regulations and its impact on our work.


All this alongside an exhibition promising the biggest gathering of supply chain service and product providers from across the region—and it’s open to the public as well.


Delegate registration is still open —you can visit for more details. We hope to see you later this week, as we explore, once again, how supply chain connects, engages and moves lives.


Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications executive of SCMAP. A former board director, he is also editor-in-chief of the organization’s official publication, Supply Chain Philippines. More information about SCMAP is available at


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