Gartner…It’s Time to ACT

Greg White

Greg White


Yes, it's that time again. The Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference starts on May 23rd in Phoenix, AZ. The 22nd if you're dedicated, and 21st if you love golf. This is the time when supply chain  professionals get together to talk about the activities, trends and successes of the last 12 months.

For many of us it's old-home week. We see colleagues from days gone by, reminisce, kibbitz and kvetch. We eat and drink (just a little), and generally enjoy the hospitality of the Gartner crew in the Valley of the Sun.

Still, somehow we manage to get something done. What we share and learn is not only informative; it's inspiring! It is an energizing environment where the largest and smallest of companies, manufacturers, retailers and distributors see into the future of supply chain, capitalize on the lessons of the past, and take away actions for today.

You can watch it happening in sessions, at Starbucks, in the bar and in cushy chairs in the hallway and courtyard. You see attendees on their phone, rushing to a quiet spot to share an epiphany with a colleague back at the office. You hear:

"I think I've found our solution to..."

"I just heard the most amazing idea!"

"How did I not think of this before?"

Gartner's theme for this year's conference aligns very well with my philosophy on the present state of Supply Chain. Gartner acknowledges something we all know, but can't be reminded of enough. Ours is a disruptive world. Commerce has changed, changed for good and changed for the better...especially for we the consumer. We are in charge now, and the supply chain starts and ends with us. We are the sole arbiter of supply chain success.

To survive and thrive in the environment of the empowered consumer, Gartner encourages companies to ACT. Aspire. Challenge. Transform. My interpretation of this imperative:

  1. Aspire - Visioneer a new perspective, approach and expectation for your organization. Reach beyond your current boundaries. Seek a greater purpose and a higher level of performance.
  2. Challenge - Question everything. Even what you know to be true. This knowledge is often based on a narrow perspective. Learn from what you don't know, rather than from what you do.
  3. Transform - Evolve. Or better yet, rapidly, radically, disrupt. Accept the challenge you've created for your organization and make it your new reality. Make your vision a reality by instituting a new reality in your company.

There are loads of buzzwords out there, and you'll be inundated with them at the conference. IoT, bi-modal, AI, etc. Filter them and assess how you make them useful to you and your company in the coming year.

Open your mind to inspiration and aspiration. Seek out the opportunity to prove your assumptions wrong. Employ what you learn to change your environment for the better and forever.

If you would like to discuss this more, or learn how Blue Ridge technology is addressing the future of supply chain technology in this age of the empowered consumer, stop the Blue Ridge booth (#210) at the conference.  If you can’t make it to Phoenix, we would welcome the opportunity to connect.