Mastering Supply Chain & Procurement with SAP

This week I attended The Eventful Group’s "Mastering Supply Chain & Procurement with SAP", inaugural, South African conference.
Steven Freemantle | Sep 03, 2014

As I think about what a great conference it was, I am struck by the notion that we often come away from such events invigorated and motivated.  Yet when faced with bursting inbox and unending voicemail messages, this excitement is consumed by the noise generated by our absence. And so we quickly forget the conference inspiration. So I thought I’d jot down some thoughts to refer back to once I have dealt with the noise.  Hopefully, they might trigger some inspiration of your own:

Change Management is the key to success

I attended several talks, on different topics, and each Speaker raised the significance of change management.  Without exceptional change management any project is doomed to fail.  This is a recurring conference topic which got me thinking that balloons, banners and a game of paintball (or some-or-other team building event) do not change culture.  We need to find innovative ways to change manage people. Ask your Change Agents how they plan to innovate.

Master Data remains a huge, huge problem

This is another recurring conference theme and I wonder if it will ever go away.  There are many tools, processes and approaches that were spoken about to address this annoying problem.  I am of the view, that no matter the approach, organisational discipline is absolutely required.  Did I hear anyone say change management?

Executives need to integrate

If your Executives have conflicting ideas and different priority projects, how can you expect the functions making up your value chain to integrate?  Once more, I see this as part of change management, and until there is Executive alignment, your various supply chain role players will continue to feel pain of supply chain dis-integration.

Social Media

Many of the talks mentioned the impact social media on how supply chains will (and must) function.  I am pretty sure this is a no-brainer to most of us, and that majority of companies have a social media strategy that feeds into a supply chain strategy.  What struck me though was that out of roughly 200 delegates, partners and event staff around 20 of us were tweeting using #SCM14 (I counted on 14-11-02). If we are not tweeting, would it be fair to question Supply Chain Practitioner’s readiness for the impact of social media?

I am sorry, but I don’t have a business card

Seriously!? I am always surprised by folk who do not bring business cards to a conference.  Perhaps I am old school, but business cards remain a crucial business tool for me.  They serve as physical reminders of my interactions with people I meet.  Maybe there’s a view that with LinkedIn, business cards have become redundant (social media... again).  I am not sure about this though, perhaps I need some change management?

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