The theme for this year’s SCMAP Supply Chain Conference – which will be held on September 21-22, once again at the EDSA Shangri-la Manila – is “One Supply Chain Setting Transformation In Motion”. Sounds lofty, but if you think about it, it really isn’t.
Supply chain has been instrumental in the success of many companies, and this is before the term “supply chain” even existed. I’m thinking of how Henry Ford revolutionized the automotive industry when he devised the assembly line for manufacturing the Model T. History is filled with such examples, from Apple overhauling the computing industry – and then the electronics industry – to Amazon dominating e-commerce due to its fulfillment practices. In these cases, the transformation did not just impact the company’s bottom line and reputation, but the way we live as well – many of the things we take for granted are down to the innovations companies like the aforementioned have normalized.
It doesn’t have to be that revolutionary. There are many examples of companies that see great profits because they got their supply chains right – making sure they can deliver what their customers want at the time they need it, at the best price point possible. Strong supply chains also enable innovation, making sure these advances reach a wider segment of the population.
That makes our sector critical as the world goes through another moment of transformation, thanks in part to the adaptations forced by the pandemic, but also in part to continuing advances in technology, evolving customer demands and relentless uncertainty in the global stage. What we thought would stay “normal” didn’t as the disruptions of COVID-19 came along, and then, what we thought would be the “new normal” didn’t quite turn out to be. Continuing globalization means our customers’ preferences are broadening – but at the same time, they are putting a greater premium on where and how their products are made and delivered. There’s a greater awareness of our impact on the planet, too, and a new wave of customers are demanding more accountability from companies in this regard.
And once again, we in supply chain hold the key to this moment of transformation and evolution.
Our conference this year responds to this – and will tackle three key issues that confront us and impact our ability to be stewards of this transformation, for our customers and for our company. We will look at how we assess and anticipate risks to our supply chains and see the potential impact of continuing geopolitical uncertainty on our competitiveness as a company, and our overall contributions to the prosperity of our country. We will look at how we can best take advantage of emerging technologies like generative AI without minimizing the contributions of our human workforce, without whom many of our successes are not possible. We will explore the continued focus on environmental sustainability and how we can better deliver on our responsibilities to the planet that has hosted us for so long. Joining us are respected thought leaders and industry experts – you can see the full list at scmap.org as we continue to add names to the list.
All leads, I hope, to making sense of what I think is the most important question facing companies and their supply chains today: how do we move forward with certainty? Or, do we embrace the uncertainty and make the most of what is available – our collective expertise, our relationships with our partners, our understanding of the markets – to make the most of it? Perhaps I have answered my own question, but then, I’m more than glad to defer to the experts.
The 2023 SCMAP Supply Chain Conference will once again see top industry names alongside the most exciting and innovative solutions in supply chain across the region. There’s never a better place to connect with those that matter in the industry than the most prestigious event in Philippine supply chain. Register now at scmap.org/events/conference – and I look forward to meeting you next week.
Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications director of SCMAP, and editor-in-chief of its official publication, Supply Chain Philippines. More information about SCMAP is available at scmap.org.
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