Friday March, 30th, 400 participants were gathered in KEDGE Busines School for the annual Forum dedicated to Supply Chain issues and challenges.
After the introduction and opening conference conducted by Roger Bloemen, Director Supply Chain at SONOCO about the Forum general topic Emerging Challenges in a complex future, the round tables "New Urban Supply Chain in Smart Cities" and "Green Loop Supply Chain Implementation" took place to enable the speakers and the audience to interact about these crucial issues.
A very lively and convivial lunch where speakers, professionals, professors and students could share their visions of the new challenges of the profession took place in a restaurant nearby.
Then the conferences schedule started again with the round tables "Startups’ effects on Supply Chain Innovation" et "Toward Digitalization of Maritime Supply Chains" .
To end up this day rich in content and discussions, a wrap up session with summaries of the round tables was made by Jean-Philippe Guillaume, co-founder of Supply Chain magazine.
Read here below the synthesis of the round tables and download the "White papers" written by organizing students and speakers.
New Urban Supply Chain in Smart Cities
The roundtable discussed what challenges companies are facing when implementing sufficient supply chain solutions in future smart cities. The customer behaviour changes. Consumer increasingly expect the ability to find any product, anytime and anywhere. They are hyper connect and looking for new experiences. How companies meet this demand with innovative distribution models?
Christian Berté emphasized on the importance of always starting with the customer. He described how the ecommerce developed since 1985. Based on amazon’s customer obsession they continue to explore new opportunities to provide the best customer experience with amazon lockers, Prime Now or possible future drone deliveries.
He described that technology can strengthen the urban supply chain. Route optimization is essential for amazon to deliver fast to the consumer.
New manufacturing approaches were reviewed. 3D printing can enable companies to produce closer to the urban citizens. The transportation routes are shortened. But does it provide a sufficient solution for mass customization in cities?
Francois-Regis Le Tourneau described the challenge of serving all beauty products via all distribution channels meeting different purchasing behaviours. He introduced L’Oréal sustainable transportation strategy ‘Sharing Beauty with all’. This initiative focus on reducing CO2 emissions, selecting alternative transport modes and improving the collaboration with other organizations in their ecosystem.
The guest speakers discussed what factors might facilitate the integration of urban supply chains. Cities can support organizations to test new innovations in dense areas. But long term these solutions needs to be independent from governmental subsidiaries.
In the end they pointed out that every solutions depends on the urban environment. There is no ‘one solution fits all’. The characteristics of each city needs to be analysed and specific supply chain initiatives get implemented.
Green Loop Supply Chain Implementation
At the alarming rate at which the world’s consumption is growing, the traditional ‘Take-Make-Dispose’ linear model is a flawed manufacturing approach that is unsustainable. Envisioning a future in which waste becomes an asset, wherein products are recycled, remanufactured and reused, instead of disposal, to attain maximum value is the foundation of a Green Loop Supply Chain. The goal of this roundtable was to understand the need for a closed loop supply chain and the challenges that come along with its implementation.
The Green Loop Supply Chain Implementation roundtable had the right start to invigorate the audience into the topic by Mrs. Cécile Bray, a senior climate expert with GEODIS for over 15 years. She gave the climatic implications of the linear model and pressed the need of the hour to push towards a more sustainable future. An overview of how a 3PL can implement a Green Loop was discussed. This presentation was followed by that of Mr. Stéphane Benhaiem of the RECOMMERCE Group, a startup whose foundations are laid with reverse logistics as the vital pillar. He presented the telecom industry’s approach towards reverse logistics. A special focus was given to the various certifications companies can strive to achieve and the need to find and make the business profitable in operation. The presentation round had an apt ending as Mr. Rémy Le Moigne from GATE C Consulting presented his thoughts as to how reverse being the vital process in the logistics can be the weak link in the implementation of circular economy. He presented various industry and government roles from clothing industry to that of industrial fork lift part manufacturers. The round of presentations was followed by a session of discussion on the pressing issues that surround reverse logistics. The speakers shared their views on why it is difficult for companies to attain return on investments for the reverse chain early in the implementation. A special focus was given to need for companies to incorporate the closed loop concept at the designing stage of a product.
A Green Loop Supply Chain can not only improve a company’s green image but also affect the bottom line positively. However, to implement it successfully, the role of each player in the chain is vital, be it the producer, consumer or even the government.
Towards a Digital Maritime Supply Chain
This round table was animated by distinguished speakers, namely Dominique Lebreton, member of the executive member of MGI (Marseille Gyptis International), Luc Castera, founder of Octopi, provider of Terminal Operating system and Romain Codron, founder of Shiptify, a tender platform for transport.
Before initiating the debate around the current state of the digital maritime supply chain and the ongoing projects in the industry, Pierre Cariou, a professor in Shipping and Port Economics at the KEDGE Business School introduced the topic by highlighting the current challenges of the maritime supply chain, and the changes sought that can be achieved through digitalization.
After that, each of the speakers presented their companies, the solutions they offer, the customers they deal with and how are these customers supposed to use their technology in order to improve cost efficiencies, transparency ad visibility as well as collaboration and data sharing with the different stakeholders of the industry.
The discussion was structured in such a way that it answered the three main questions/ loops suggested by the organizing team of the round table. Answers varied from one speaker to another; however, they all agreed that Maritime shipping supply chain is at the tipping point of digitization but is still slowed down mainly because of the fierce competition that reign in the industry with an intense domination of the big companies, numerous interconnections and intermediaries, an aging workforce who prefer paper and pen to efficient computer-based processes and this drags the industry behind.
The discussion also evolved around the challenges faced during the digital transformation with the main challenge being the transition from old to new technological standards as it requires putting massive efforts into it and also represents a risk to the organization that people would rather stick to their old way of doing business. They all believe that this can be overcome with the help of promising technologies such as cloud computing, Blockchain and IoT, and of course with the commitment and strong will from all the players across the industry.
It was not a one way discussion as the audience had lot of questions and comments and thses interactions were much appreciated by the speakers.