Table of Contents In This Perspective Panel 1: The Future of Supply Chain in ANZPanel 2: Changing Role of the Supply Chain ExecutiveSkills for Supply Chain in the FuturePeople for Supply Chain in the FutureProcess for Supply Chain in the FutureTechnology for Supply Chain in the FuturePanel 3: Logistics Management — A Balancing ActSummaryLearn More Related ResearchFigure: People for Supply Chain in the Future Figure: The Impact on Productivity of Implementing Technology and Management Practices
GDS Next Generation Supply Chain Conference: Australia August 2011
IDC analysts from IDC Retail and Manufacturing Insights attended the GDS Next Generation Supply Chain Summit held in the Gold Coast Australia from August 23rd to 25th, 2011. IDC Insights analysts facilitated a number of workshops during the course of the Summit in their role of analyst sponsor. Attendees included Chris Holmes, head, International IDC Manufacturing Insights; Robert Parker, group vice president IDC Retail Insights; and Emilie Ditton, research manager Vertical Markets, IDC Australia. Australian supply chain executives are facing difficult times with continued and increasing pressure on costs as a consequence of high input prices in Australia, the continued high value of the Australian dollar placing pressure on exports, and changing dynamics of outsourcing to China.
A number of key themes were raised consistently through the course of the workshops, but also throughout discussions held at the Summit more generally, including:
Skills retention difficulties. Retention of staff with the right skills and behaviours is a real area of focus for supply chain executives who are struggling to attract and retain the right staff. In particular, understanding the desired environment and drivers of staff of the younger generation, and particularly Gen-Y, was a key area of discussion throughout the Summit.
Supply chain complexity. The dynamics of supply chain in Australia are necessarily complex. The necessity to offshore for almost all manufacturers introduces a layer of complication, coupled with the need to supply a large geography — and the small volumes typically required by Australian retailers makes the engagement with offshore producers even less straight forward. There is a need amongst Australian supply chain organisations to pare the supply chain back to its most simple steps, ensuring an understanding of what really needs to take place to avoid over-complicating the processes and activities.
Cost pressures. Australian supply chain executives are particularly driven by the requirement to keep cost out of the business and deliver efficiencies. People, process, and technology play equally important roles in contributing to finding new ways to do things better, safer, and more cheaply, whilst still delivering the highest level of service possible to customers.
Three panels were facilitated by IDC Insights analysts during the Summit. This perspective presents the main discussions held during the course of these workshops.