Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 27

GARTNER SUPPLY CHAIN EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE

hardship create opportunities. "When
I've had setbacks, good things usually
seem to come off of that. I try to keep
that in mind." Aikman recalled when
he broke his ankle at the University of
Oklahoma during the fourth game of
the 1985 season, causing him to miss the
remainder of the year. The Sooners went
on to win the national championship
behind the play of backup quarterback
Jamelle Holieway, creating uncertainty
over Aikman's future with the team.
He ended up transferring to UCLA the
next year, where he became a Consensus
All-American and was the first overall
pick of the 1989 NFL Draft.
"I've been able to gain a healthy outlook because of having success off those
setbacks and knowing good things are
around the corner," he told the packed
crowd. "If you work hard and surround
yourself with good talented people,
and you make the decision for the right
reasons, you're on your way."

Staying Prepared
Another speaker with extensive knowledge about leadership and quick thinking was Major General Vincent E. Boles,
who oversaw logistics operations and
readiness for 1.1 million soldiers during
the 2000s. During Boles' 33-year Army
career, he saw the number of active
divisions fall from 28 during the Cold
War to 18 following the fall of the Berlin
Wall, even as the number of conflicts the
United States was engaged in increased.
Providing the materials, equipment and supplies for those dispersed
worldwide deployments was never an
issue of stock availability, but an issue
of readiness, he said. It's a lesson he
asked the supply chain professionals in
attendance to keep in mind as they deal
with sudden challenges. "Remember, in
times like these, there have always been
times like these," Boles said.
Boles talked about how quickly the
world can change, pointing out that in

1970 Iran was the United State' No. 1
ally in the Persian Gulf - a very different relationship than present day.
Likewise, in 2000, Barack Obama was
denied admittance to the Democratic
National Convention events because he
was not a senior enough member of the
party. Eight years later he was president. Countless events have changed
the course of history, from the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks to the rise of the World
Wide Web. "Who could have predicted
that future?" Boles asked. "Whether
I was ready for it or not it happened. I
don't know what the next 40 years has
for you, but it's coming."
Boles shared advice on how the
industry can adapt to that uncertainty. "Remember what your job isn't,"
he said. "Your job is not to predict the
future. Your job is to build a team that is
resilient enough to handle the future."

Changing Future
Preparing for that future requires a
grasp of advancements coming down
the pipeline. Many speakers focused on
how new technologies will alter the supply chain organization and operations:
technologies such as 3-D modeling and
generative design, which Pete Basiliere,
research vice president at Gartner, said
mimics the evolutionary process of
nature. Components and products can
go through thousands of iterations to
create an ideal design created entirely
by a computer. "Now we are going to
start seeing parts designed truly by the
computer with no human intervention,"
Basiliere said during his talk on the impact of 3-D models on the supply chain.
Technology also is changing consumer behaviors in ways that benefit the
supply chain. In traditional e-commerce
websites, potential customers that place
an item in their virtual shopping carts
fail to proceed with that purchase 70
percent of the time, Gartner Research
Director Andrew Downard said in his

presentation on the Internet of Things
in supply chain. Devices such as Amazon
Dash buttons are removing that opportunity for hesitation and converting
more product inquiries into sales.
Similarly, IoT-connected printers can
reorder paper, and digital grocery store
kiosks placed in subway stations let customers shop virtually then deliver their
goods just as they arrive home. "It's
not a matter of predicting anymore,"
Downard said, "it's a matter of responding in real time to that data."
Kathy Wengel, worldwide vice president of supply chain for Johnson &
Johnson, gave a presentation showing
how that data and new technologies
connect to the supply chain. Creating
digital twins of its products, for example, helps the medical and consumer
goods company model its supply chain
to improve the handoff between its
suppliers and hospital customers.
"Today our products touch a billion
people on the planet every single day,"
Wengel said during her address. "But
we're not satisfied with that because
there's 6 billion more people we need to
find cures for."
To serve its 1 billion customers, Johnson & Johnson's supply chain moves
350,000 SKUs across more than 350
distribution centers. Emerging markets
and longer lifespans are creating a huge
demand for healthcare that can only be
met by embracing new technologies.
"Digital is going to allow us to connect
these things and solve these things in a
completely different way," Wengel said.
The Gartner Supply Chain Conference was full of real-world case studies
and forward-thinking discussions on
how advanced technologies such as
artificial intelligence and greater access
to data will influence the evolution of
supply chains. Next year's event will
return to Phoenix and promises to bring
with it another strong lineup of speakers
and networking opportunities.
FALL 2017 Supply Chain World

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supply Chain World - Fall 2017

Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover2
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