Equal parts conference and exposition, this year’s Supply Chain Event (SCE) was held from November 24-25th both virtually and in-person at Paris’ Porte de Versailles. A truly hybrid event, the 2021 SCE lineup drew 4000 participants and 120 exhibitors, and featured 40 conference sessions and workshops. In the nine years since its inception, SCE has rapidly grown to become one of the premier supply chain gatherings in Europe. The conference is organized by Reed Expositions France and Supply Chain Magazine, and emphasizes digital transformation within the supply chain space.
The 2021 SCE agenda centered around the theme, “Draw your path to performance.” The catchphrase encompassed problem-solving and performance enhancement in the face of unprecedented economic, social, operational, and environmental challenges in the wake of a global pandemic. Conference sessions and workshops zoomed in further, branching off into three core hubs and one vertical focus that tied into the central theme of innovation and digital transformation in response to disruption.
Curious to peek inside this year’s exhibit hall? If you missed out on SCE, we’ve got you covered. Given his expertise in digital transformation and innovation of the supply chain, Patrick Rigoni stays abreast of industry events like this one. For the most critical themes and insights that caught fire at this year’s conference, look no further.
A common thread linked the more than 100 exhibitors at SCE: the use of cutting edge technology to tackle problems all across the supply chain. The companies presenting at this year’s exposition landed in one of five areas of expertise:
It was easy to spot many of this year’s buzzwords and trends being put into action in the exhibition hall. Big Data, automation, augmented reality, 3D Printing, and the Internet of Things were all front and center in Paris. The tradeshow portion of Supply Chain Event brought out the best and brightest businesses offering real-world solutions to supply chain managers’ dilemmas. As in past years, the exhibition offered a precious opportunity for these companies to meet and greet with thousands of supply chain professionals to showcase solutions in each of the five arenas.
This year’s exhibitors also had the chance to participate in the Digital Supply Chain Award competition, vying to earn praise from a jury composed of leading supply chain authorities from companies like Disney and Sanofi. Among this year’s competitors were representatives from 12 different businesses including Siemens (presenting a low-code solution for application and software development), Mojix (sharing an SaaS solution for real-time tracking of food products), and Shiptify (offering a solution to expedite logistics appointments).
Startups were given a special stage during the 2021 edition of SCE, thanks to the StartUp Digital Supply Chain Award. DDMRP received a major shoutout at this first-ever competition, thanks to the inclusion of b2wise among the four competitors. Using Demand Driven methodology, b2wise “allows distribution companies to manage mixed offers, orders for full trucks, filling of containers and to perform various simulations… Thanks to DDMRP, b2wise will automatically adjust the quantities to order on each item from a supplier to make a full truck or to reach a requested value.” Yet another example of the Demand Driven approach boosting efficiency in real-world scenarios.
Offering both in-person and virtual opportunities to explore, the exhibition hall was a clear highlight of the 2021 SCE, and only served to enhance the workshop and conference sessions.
The conference portion of Supply Chain Event took a deep dive into three key topics that have punctuated much of the last year:
Monitoring the supply chain in real-time and increasing the efficiency of communication among stakeholders along the way has never been more important. Sessions and workshops within this hub tackled topics like vaccine distribution during the pandemic and using AI to optimize last-mile logistics in e-commerce. Of note, a session on digital twins and their application across a range of use cases, presented by leaders from Microsoft and Cosmo Tech.
Innovation in the warehouse: How does it happen, and what processes and tools are making it possible? Automation is a key ingredient, as evidenced by the wealth of sessions focused on how to implement it effectively across the supply chain. A standout on the subject was a session from Isabelle Badoc of Generix Group, offering her company’s perspective on the use of “robots, automats, and mechanisation” to accelerate warehouse flows.
Collecting and analyzing data is essential if we want to avoid costly errors, improve efficiency, and plan for an uncertain future. As a Demand Driven expert, Patrick Rigoni is deeply aware of the need to integrate data analysis into supply chain forecasting. SCE 2021 featured several speakers on the topic of Demand Driven as it marks 10 years since the launch of the first DDMRP software.
Concurrently, the Supply Chain Event program featured a “vertical” focus on a topic we’ve covered extensively on the Patrick Rigoni blog: e-commerce, including a fascinating roundtable on “course corrections” after the unprecedented uptick in digital transactions over the last 18 months.
One thing is clear as we reflect back on this year’s exhibition and the numerous sessions that drew participants to Paris and onto the virtual conference space: Demand Driven methodology is more relevant than ever. Contact Patrick Rigoni to schedule a consultation and unlock the power of a tool that’s become the gold standard for forecasting and data-driven planning across the industry.
Ready to take on the next year confident that your company is maximizing all of the supply chain innovations in existence? Patrick Rigoni’s guide to the top 10 supply chain trends puts that data at your fingertips. Check out this exclusive resource and reach out to Patrick to learn more about how the latest technology can transform your supply chain.