Early morning sunlight bathed the stoic face of Knight Hall as action-oriented executives from diverse industries gathered at Washington University for the 7th annual Boeing Center for Technology, Information and Manufacturing (BCTIM) Industry Conference. The theme was Supply Chains Disrupted: Disruptive Technologies, New Business Models, and Operational Impact. Executives from top companies in the region delivered presentations to quench the audience’s thirst for knowledge, and highly-skilled chefs from the Knight Center served delectable cuisine to sate its hunger.
Throughout the day, the angles of the shadows outside grew shorter, and then longer again, as theoretical and practical knowledge was transmitted between supply chain practitioners. After a warm welcome address from Prof. Panos Kouvelis, the director of BCTIM, the attendees settled in for what would be a full day.
Tom Luft from Express Scripts kicked things off with a presentation about turning pharmaceutical manufacturer monopolies into commodities. John Vu talked about Belden’s expansion into strategic markets, inventory management improvements, and governmental regulations on the logistics industry. Mark Waight from Edward Jones spoke about how organized movement enables operational excellence in the service industry. Then, Prof. Kouvelis gave a special presentation explaining how effective risk management can foster innovation resulting in business model breakthroughs.
After lunch, Jeremy Soucek and Julien Marin-Couilloud discussed how Emerson manages risk in its own supply chain. Jim Kinnett went on to tell the audience about Monsanto’s journey through the creation and implementation of a digital supply chain, while Jeff Wieringa from Boeing described some disruptive technologies in the next generation of aircraft.
Finally, Chris Pickett impressed the crowd by explaining Anheuser-Busch InBev’s complex beer supply chain and logistical considerations. All day long, pens feverishly scratched across notebooks in an attempt to capture the wisdom that can only be acquired from long years in operations management.
By Evan Dalton
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