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ASCM Insights

ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference - Day 2 Recap


Nonstop supply chain education

Day 2 of the ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference was full of inspiring educational sessions from the best minds in supply chain. Read on for some key takeaways.

Envisioning the SCOR DS in 2030

The Supply Chain Operations Reference Digital Standard (SCOR DS) is a platform-agnostic framework linking business processes, metrics, best practices and technology into a unified structure to enable organizations to evaluate and improve their supply chains. This educational session, presented by three SCOR implementation pioneers, imagined how the SCOR DS will advance and evolve by 2030.

“There are digital capabilities now that simply didn't exist in the year 2000,” explained Chris Richard, principal of strategy and operations at Deloitte. “This brings a paradigm of ‘How do I automate and really digitize?’… not just make a process go faster.”

He added that it’s necessary to maximize technology in order to fundamentally transform current processes.  Achieving this goal, and significantly developing digital capabilities, is about reconstructing what supply chain organizations are currently doing, then thinking about how to do them differently and better.

“This isn't just about efficiency,” said Douglas Kent, ASCM executive vice president of strategy, “but satisfying the customer in a better way, accelerating transactional activities and building business intelligence into our operating systems.”

Peter Bolstorff, CSCP, SCOR-P, ASCM executive vice president, wrapped up the discussion with an exciting reminder: ASCM is now openly sharing its industry-leading supply chain standards — including SCOR DS — with the public. Register now to learn more about this game-changing tool and watch the full session on demand.

Behavioral economics: The next supply chain management frontier

Behavioral economics involves using psychological experimentation to develop theories about human decision-making. Interestingly, research shows that the choices we make are affected to a great extent by underlying psychological drivers — many of which are unconscious.

“We think we're acting completely objectively and rationally, but we're being biased or guided to some extent by unconscious drivers that are rooted in psychology,” Johnathan Karelse, chief executive officer, NorthFind Management, told ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference attendees.

For supply chain professionals, this means that even highly automated processes are not free of unconscious biases, he continued: “They can present even as fundamentally as in the data preparation itself.”

In addition, there can be considerable bias toward forecasting to the annual operating plan — and a lot of pressure to create forecasts that reflect where the business wants to go, rather than reality. To address these challenges, Karelse offered the following strategies:

  • Support diversity in decision-making, as diversity of thought forces people to consider other opinions and possibilities.
  • Apply cognitive bias profiling before judgments are brought into processes.
  • Proactively plan against biases. “The number-one thing you can do to mitigate biases in your organization is to identify them in the first place and train against them,” he said.

Discover even more methods for eliminating unconscious biases and making better decisions. Register now to watch the full session on demand. 

Demolishing roadblocks to S&OP success

To help conference attendees attain higher sales and operations planning (S&OP) maturity levels, Skyler Covington, CSCP, SCOR-P, division supply chain manager at Sonoco, interviewed experts from a variety of industries. The panelists shared several suggestions, including having a “chameleon” for an S&OP leader.

“This person is pivotal, and they need to understand all perspectives,” said Carol Cunningham, CSCP, senior sales and operations planning manager, Energizer Holdings. “Being able to look from a finance perspective, a sales perspective, a customer service perspective, a supply chain planning perspective, a demand planning perspective — this person must be an artful facilitator.”

Fazlur Rahman, senior manager at Kraft Heinz Company, offered another piece of advice: S&OP must be a key part of the strategic plan, a core way of working and a priority. “The message needs to be clear from the top. Make sure the board is aligned; make sure your C-level executives are aligned,” he advised. “I have seen implementations going very well — if the business unit president was the face of S&OP.”

As a final perspective, Kyle Garcia, CPIM, senior demand planning manager at Adidas, talked about the importance of monitoring the right data: “We have more data than we can deal with, consume or digest. So, it's really important that you find the data that helps your process be action-based — that’s going to help you make better decisions, have better conversations and have qualitative insights. Don't just pull in data to pull in data.”

The speakers agreed that it’s also essential to attach that data, as well as the entire S&OP process, to financial targets. “Make it a dollarized conversation about what the impact can be,” Garcia added. “If you do that, you’ll get people on board.”

Learn more about how to reach mature S&OP stages. Register now to watch the full session on demand.

Exciting tools and tech in the Virtual Expo Hall

In addition to valuable supply chain education, attendees enjoyed talking with exhibitors and exploring the latest product and service innovations in the Virtual Expo Hall.

They also had the opportunity to schedule appointments with industry representatives to ask specific questions and discuss strategies for solving some of the most pressing supply chain challenges. Register now to access today’s most exciting solutions.

Don't miss a moment of the ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference

These stories are just the beginning. Register now for access to all the sessions live, plus recordings for 30 days. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to be a part of everything happening at the ASCM CONNECT Annual Conference!

About the Author

Elizabeth Rennie Editor-in-Chief, SCM Now magazine, ASCM

Elizabeth Rennie is Editor-in-Chief at ASCM. She may be contacted at

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