Blog: GAINS Summit: 5 Takeaways from a First-Time Attendee

By Kay Rindels

Two weeks ago, GAINS hosted its first in-person customer supply chain conference since 2019, GAINS Summit: Reconnect . The two-day supply chain management event occurred at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center, a convention center in the heart of downtown. From the moment we arrived, it was clear that this was a time of supply chain management learning and inspiration – and the views of the Chicago River were terrific.

Sessions included strategic and pragmatic global supply chain advice from our GAINS experts on scenario planning, inventory allocation, automation, sustainable supply chain strategies, and more. The supply chain conference hosted 18 unique sessions from our GAINS executives, experts, partners, and customers.

One of the most popular supply chain summit sessions was with Dr. Chandler Johnson, GAINS’ Chief Scientific Officer and leader of GAINS Labs . During his talk, he shared many new supply chain management capabilities to improve decision-making using the latest advancements in AI, ML, and digital twin technology. Customers were encouraged by how data science informed the new capabilities in GAINS and how the GAINS Labs team was also developing special projects on their behalf.

Inspiring Speakers: Benco Dental, Border States, Graco, Grimco, Stuller, and Swissbit

It would not be a supply chain conference without hearing insights from many of our distribution, manufacturing and retail customers on the challenges they are tackling, how supply chain planning has changed in their business, and what’s next. Thank you to the supply chain professionals from Benco Dental, Border States, Graco, Grimco, Stuller, and Swissbit for your supply chain planning insights!

Introducing New Products and Leaders

Since the GAINS community last met at the virtual 2021 GAINS Summit, there have been a lot of advancements in our supply chain analytics products and an expansion of our executive team. Here are a few newsmakers that took place at the event:

  • Unveiling GAINS X . The latest version of the GAINS Performance Optimization Platform for Supply Chain Planning. GAINS X overcomes the traditional barriers to rapid end-to-end decision–making with its enhanced design, visual cues to rapidly upskill users and direct them to where attention is most needed, and action-oriented engagement tailored for decision-makers at all levels, from planners to executives. As GAINS’ tenth release of the proven platform, GAINS X gives businesses the actionable insights needed to address the variability that today’s global supply chains must master.
  • Introducing new executives . GAINS has added three executives to its leadership team in 2022, including Jeff Metersky as Vice President of Solution Strategy, Jason Read as Vice President of Corporate Development, and Kay Rindels as Vice President of Marketing. Each brings decades of supply chain experience and a track record of success to the team and will further advance GAINS’ strategic solutions, customer engagement, and market position.

My Top 5 Takeaways from GAINS Summit

It was my first GAINS Summit and my first opportunity to meet many of our customers from the United States, LATAM, Europe, and APAC in person. The days were packed, long, and over too soon. Here are my top takeaways from the international conference:

  1. Our customers are inspiring. They are industry leaders who have tackled so much recently and are eager for the next chapter in their company’s journey toward even better decision-making. Some have used GAINS for decades, and others are just starting their journey. Either way, their desire to partner with GAINS and one another shows their genuine affinity for supply chain excellence.
  2. Our partnerships are collaborative. I was able to spend time with the attendees from netLogistiK, one of our sponsors. GAINS has partnered with this organization, primarily in Latin America, for years, and the partnership is strong. We chatted about their region’s supply chain and logistics challenges, how GAINS was helping, and about their upcoming customer conference, InnovationDay , on Oct. 18.
  3. Chicago is amazing. There is nothing like downtown Chicago with its river, learning institutions, deep-dish pizza, and more. Walking on Navy Pier, looking onto the Chicago River from the hotel, and enjoying the bustle and cuisine that make it famous in North America and beyond. It was so great to be back!
  4. The Second City is something everyone must experience. This world-famous improv team had us on our feet and doing the wave, telling stories, and laughing – and doing the wave. They are a true Chicago treasure!
  5. GAINS’ reputation for customer connections is real. As a company, we differentiate ourselves by spending a lot of time listening to our customers, partners, and community. At GAINS Summit, many customers met with their account teams to discuss what’s next and how the GAINS roadmap aligns with their plans. We hosted formal and informal discussions to solicit input on our future innovations, building resilient supply chains, and expanding partnerships.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our night out on Lake Michigan, complete with fireworks and an opportunity to meet Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who portrayed The Most Interesting Man in the World and is the most meme’d man in the world. Many photos were taken, conversations had, and glasses lifted by the GAINS leaders and community.

Why do customers keep coming back to GAINS Summit?

I think that when it comes down to it, optimizing a supply chain is hard. Going it alone won’t improve your decision-making or your results; you need support. The GAINS community offers the insights, technology, experience, supply chain visibility, and shared expertise to inform their journey and deliver results to their business. Here are just a few comments about the event from some attendees:

“This was my first in-person Summit with GAINS, and I thought it was wonderfully beneficial. The information, collaboration, and customer buzz about GAINS has brought renewed excitement for GAINS to our company!”

“I learned further details on what GAINS has coming and the logic behind what they are trying to do and are currently doing. It was very helpful to hear from other customers and the stories to understand better how we can be supported in our journey .”

GAINS Summit 2023: Dates Available Soon

Our team is already planning for 2023, and we will publish the dates soon. We look forward to seeing you all again in Chicago next fall (or sooner!).