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The most prestigious event in Philippine supply chain is happening once again: the SCMAP Supply Chain Conference returns tomorrow and the day after, October 2-3, at the EDSA Shangri-la Manila in Mandaluyong City.

If you’ve attended this event before, you’ll know what to expect: a gathering of supply chain stakeholders, industry leaders and policy makers in a discussion of the issues, opportunities and challenges shaping supply chain’s role in connecting, engaging and moving lives.

Last year’s event was our biggest, and arguably our best. That’s meant some extra pressure to surpass that. We’ve spent the past few weeks making sure we have a strong programme with engaging speakers and interesting topics, and also bringing together top industry players across the country and the the region. Well, that one’s a bit easier, as we’ve hit 100% occupancy in our exhibit for the first time in the exhibit’s 26-year history. Well, all right, that’s extra pressure on us, too.

Personally, however, I am excited for this year’s topics and speakers. We built on the topics we discussed last year, and also touched on the issues we tackled through our collaboration groups and our previous events.

Leading the conference is our keynote speaker, Chelsea Logistics chairman Dennis Uy. He’s arguably the most important mover not just in supply chain but in business today, with his recent string of acquisitions from the education, real estate, retail and hospitality sectors. I’m looking forward to hearing his thoughts on the state of the Philippine economy and the role supply chain plays in keeping it moving and growing.

Our first session, in the afternoon of October 2, is on the “omnipresent supply chain”: how does supply chain ensure that the customer gets what it wants whenever, wherever? It’s an important question in the face of the rise of e-commerce, the evolution of retail, and changing demands from consumers. Speaking in this panel is Tailwind Digital Solutions CEO Danilo Mojica II, DHL Supply Chain Philippines head Suzie Mitchell, and OpenPort chief information officer Paul Bell.

This is followed by a session on empowering supply chain leaders: how do we develop the people who will run our supply chains in the future? Speaking in this panel is Victory Group CEO Ike Castillo and Magsaysay Shipping and Logistics CEO Ian Claxton.

On October 3, we begin with a session on the last mile, bringing together the new services making things move faster for both businesses and consumers. Joining us here are XLog founder Jun Ynion, Lalamove Philippine managing director Dannah Majarocon, and Honestbee Philippines deputy managing director Marco Quiray.

This is followed by a panel bringing together top supply chain practitioners in a discussion of insights and best practices — and an exploration of what supply chain brings to its stakeholders and customers. Speaking in this panel are Unilever Philippines supply chain head Puskar Mukherjee and VCargo president (and entrepreneurship champion) Paulo Tibig.

Finally, we look at the future of supply chain, particularly how we can make sense not just of the present but of the future. Providing an overview are Dr. Elisabetta Gentile of the Asian Development Bank, and Dr. Erika Legara of the Asian Institute of Management, who is pioneering the data science field in the country. Presenting on how a company has fully taken advantage of technology’s opportunities is Jayan Dy, chief information officer of Procter & Gamble Philippines.

This year’s conference, I believe, pushes the needle forward, looking ahead not just to supply chain’s challenges but also to its evolving role in growing the economy, enhancing a country’s competitiveness, and improving lives. For now, I would like to express our gratitude to our speakers and sponsors for choosing to lend us their time and expertise. As for you, we hope to see you in what genuinely is Philippine supply chain’s most prestigious event—and that it helps you understand what you do and the role you play in the grander scheme of things. And we hope we can say we truly have surpassed ourselves.

You can still register as a delegate on-site at the EDSA Shangri-la Manila; visiting the exhibition is for free. More information is on our website, scmap.org.

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 scmap.org.

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