Blog: Conference Musings from the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo

First, I’d like to thank the Gartner supply chain analysts and the Gartner Symposium conference staff for a busy and valuable three-day conference in Orlando. Everyone, including myself, noted how great it was to be back together again. For the GAINS team, it was the first time I was able to meet our international team members in person, and for some, it was their first Gartner event in North America in years (or ever). As I spoke with other attendees, supply chain partners, and GAINS customers from across the United States, I noted many themes and one topic that was surprisingly absent. We were all in agreement that Gartner’s research is what draws us to the event. Its value is undeniable, and we genuinely value their analyst’s insights, advice, and counsel.

Something New: Gartner’s Supply Chains Need for Offset Strategies

The Monday keynote address by Gartner’s Ken Chadwick on offset strategies  for risk management was a standout for me. Breaking new ground through actions that are unconventional or untried is the way that GAINS has carved out its place with our clients at GAINS and it was validating to see this identified as necessary to thrive in the coming turbulent times. Doing supply chain planning a bit differently is a decades-long tradition at GAINS. We don’t develop, deliver, or partner like other vendors in our space. We provide value in eight weeks; we don’t wait for a project’s completion to deliver results. The data scientists in our GAINS Lab pair innovation with pragmatism to deliver outside-the-box solutions and outstanding performance. It’s good to be offset!

Supply Chains are Complex: Border States is Tackling Volatility Head-on

Tony Serati, Vice President of Procurement at Border States , joined our co-founder, Bill Benton, onstage at the supply chain event. His company has had to navigate significant organic and M&A growth, coupled with the volatility in the oil, gas, and electric supply industries. It has been a chaotic time for their supply chain, but thankfully Tony and his team had the foresight to deploy GAINS’ planning solution which positioned his team to operate within the eye of that storm. Border States is an inspiring success story of procurement automation for distributors and high-growth businesses. Thank you, Tony, for sharing your story!

It’s Still True: Supply Chain Leaders Need Automation

It’s not surprising but worth noting that automation continues to be a supply chain strategy du jour. Automation drives the speed of decision-making and empowers scalability even during staffing challenges. Its value is ever-increasing with advancements in AI and ML. What’s new is the innovations from the likes of GAINS Labs. Their data scientists are moving beyond automating current workflows and are introducing revolutionary yet pragmatic changes to global supply chain thinking.

For 2023’s Agenda: The Network Effect

Candidly, I was surprised that there was little discussion around supply chain communities coming together for the betterment of all. This concept is what I call the network effect. It’s when businesses know that they need to improve their company’s supply chain operations and think about collaborating with their suppliers and partners to strengthen the great network or community. And when they team together to make network improvements, they all perform better. We had conversations with three GAINS customers who do business with one another. They are individually improving their performance and now looking to focus on their extended supply chain community. It’s a win-win-win all around. At GAINS, we talk about a future of supply chain communities, not chains or networks, quite a bit, and I hope to hear more on this topic at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium|Xpo next year. Whether you attended to regain a sense of normalcy, embrace the latest research and technology, or bask in the Disney aura, it was great seeing you!

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