A letter from the Conference Chair
Looking forward to this years' Supply Chain Industry Week, we spoke to the people who have helped to ensure this event is focusing on the needs, challenges and important discussion topics of supply chain professionals from across Europe. Today we're really happy to introduce you to this years' Conference Chair, Michael Berger. Michael has taken the time to give us an insight into his prosperous career in the supply chain industry as well as his work passions and his opinions on this years event.
Could you tell us about yourself and your career in the supply chain industry?
“I started my career in consulting, in this role I had the chance to be involved in Supply Chain optimisation projects across Europe and North America. I was focusing on process optimisation as well as conceptualising and implementing a number of organisational restructurings. After having joined a global chemical company and later an automotive supplier, I had the chance to spend 8 years in Asia in different roles and responsibilities. In terms of supply chain management this helped me to understand customer requirements in depth and build a structure that needed to cope with very different supply chain scenarios. From that experience I was able to transfer a lot of concepts, technologies and structures when I became global head of Supply Chain Logistics for a big automotive supplier. Being In that role for six years, I focused a lot on sustainability and the possibilities of digitalisation to enhance process performance. One learning point during this period was that one should not underestimate the difficulty to implement necessary changes across an organisation, since various functional departments are involved when changing processes. At the end of last year I decided to offer my vast experiences in this area to companies who were interested in improving their supply chains, I offer help in defining strategies and building teams that can thrive and implement changes successfully.”
What makes you passionate about work in the supply chain?
“Supply chain management, done in the right way, offers huge potential for companies to enhance their delivery services for their customers while also optimising key financial KPI’s such as working capital and costs. It can be a real game changer in the way you go to market and what kind of experience you offer your customers. With innovative tools and the technological possibilities currently available, we have the ability to create and define completely new business models. In any case, supply chain management offers large contributions to the business success by the means of P&L improvement as well as entrepreneurial approaches.”
What are you going to be speaking about at Supply Chain Industry Week?
“I am very happy to have the chance to facilitate a round table discussion. We will focus on what kind of obstacles supply chain managers can face when implementing innovative and digitised processes and business approaches. But we don’t want to just complain, of course. So we will also discuss intensively how to avoid failures and what to do to anticipate and overcome obstacles that will naturally occur.”
Why is this an important topic to discuss and what can attendees expect to take away from the session?
“It is important to understand that digitalisation not only means to apply innovative new technologies, although this in itself is already a nice challenge. We need to apply competences that often were never involved in classical supply chain optimisation, such as big analytics. Even if we master the technological side perfectly, projects can often still fail due to the impact changes can have on the organisation. The supply chain industry cannot just work in a silo, we have to involve many functions in the company to make projects successful. Knowing which pitfalls are to be considered and how to tackle them should be of a major benefit to the attendees of our discussion.”
Why are events like Supply Chain Industry Week 2019 important for industry professionals?
“Everybody working in the supply chain business needs to be really up to date about the latest developments in order to perform their jobs successfully. One of the key success factors is networking. Supply chain management in itself is a lot about managing networks and building your connections, so the conference is a perfect opportunity to exchange ideas and collaborate with industry experts. Also the format of this conference is built not just to entertain plenum presentations but to facilitate as many personal interactions as possible.”