The Supply Chain as an Engine for Top Line Performance in an Unpredictable Business Environment

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Country Club, Toronto

Agenda & Program   
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Breakfast & Networking
8:00 a.m. - 8:10 a.m.
Welcome & Opening Address
8:10 a.m.
PANEL DISCUSSION: Using 3PLs to Counter Risk

9:25 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.
Executive Exchange (Q & A)
10:05 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
10:20 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.
CASE STUDY & PANEL DISCUSSION: The Supply Chain as an Engine for Top-line Performance

11:50 a.m. - 12:20 a.m.
Executive Exchange (Q & A)
12:20 p.m.
Networking & Cocktail Reception

1:00 p.m
1:45 p.m – 2:15 p.m.
Introduction & Luncheon Speaker
2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
CASE STUDY & PANEL DISCUSSION: Greening Your Supply Chain – Shining a New Light on Suppliers
3:15 p.m.
Executive Exchange (Q & A)
4:00 p.m.
Concluding Remarks

Session Notes

1. Using 3PLs to Counter Risk
Here’s a look at different ways firms can mitigate supply chain risk. How can logisticians use 3PLs’ technology and freight capabilities to counter rising fuel costs and enhance customer service. A look at how 3PLs can leverage their networks to negotiate reduced transportation rates. Logisticians and 3PLs will look at how business risks can also be mitigated and reduce logistics expenditures.  What metrics have firms applied to assess factors such as fuel prices, green strategies, and heightened competition? How can you ‘lean’ your organization energy requirements when facing rising fuel prices?

Specific strategies to counter risk in this session will include a focus on Near-shoring in the context of today’s traffic congestion, driver shortage, rising fuel prices, and other factors prompting more firms to consider using more proximate manufacturing operations. This session offers insights regarding how to optimize routes, avoid congestion and reduce inventory by near-shoring. What technologies are essential to make your supply chain successful for these strategies?

Other strategies to mitigate risk include a case study on firm Outsourcing Strategies. Firms such as Hewlett-Packard and Apple, for example, presently outsource their manufacturing in order to focus on product design and marketing.

2. The Supply Chain as an Engine for Top-line Performance
How are more retailers reducing their “out-of-stocks” to prevent lost sales? What’s the impact on sales and share performance?
This session focuses on technologies used to forecast demand and schedule replenishment deliveries. Supply chain improvements can provide joint value creation plans for retailers, manufacturers and 3PLs? (P & G is a leader in this area.)

3. Greening Your Supply Chain – Shining a New Light on Suppliers
In tandem with companies’ efforts to begin to measure their “carbon footprint” they are reviewing their supply chains, and emissions generated at every stage in the processing and movement of their goods. In other words, they are taking stock of their suppliers’ performance. Wal-Mart has requested its suppliers to measure their carbon footprints last year, and more household names – including Dell, L’Oreal, Pepsi and Reckitt Benckiser – are taking similar steps.

After all, studies show a firm’s own in-house emissions are often a small part of its total environmental impact.  More firms are finding that measuring the impact of their supply chains is also improving their business results by streamlining processes as they comply with new corporate responsibility measures.

Wal-Mart, for example, found new energy efficiency savings when it asked its suppliers to disclose details of their carbon footprints. Here is a case study describing the benefits of greening your supply chain.

As other firms search for ways to reduce supply chain cost and boost net income, transportation is increasingly highlighted as a prime opportunity. However, CFOs and their peers need to ask their transportation and logistics executives the right questions regarding their transportation spend. What are the key tenants of transportation spend management program that can create significant freight bill savings?


The Context for LQ’s November 12 2008 Symposium

In today’s unpredictable global economy more firms searching for a competitive edge have focused on supply chain efficiency. Retailers and their vendors, for example, have faced huge commodity increases and rising energy costs, as well as challenges such as traffic congestion, driver shortages, capacity issues and increasing freight cost.  Working capital is also at a premium and competition between firmss has never been higher.

This is placing more pressure on the successful supply chain operations.

In the past, the supply chain was viewed as a means to improve a firm’s bottom-line performance. Today, more firms are seeing the supply chain as an engine for top-line performance. It is reducing retailers’ “out-of-stocks” for example, which in turn reduces lost sales.

Some firms have been using live store data not to forecast demand but to schedule replenishment deliveries on a store-by-store basis, and shipping tailored orders from the factory to the store, with less time in storage.

These initiatives to increase inventory turnover are creating joint supply chain value added capabilities in the context of brand initiatives for product promotion.

LQ’s Symposium proposes to examine the ways firms can enhance their return on investments in transportation and the supply chain. What are some of the key questions CFO’s should ask their logisticians and transportation executives on regarding spend management in the field? How can firms mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices in North America, and globally?

We have an impressive group of top academic and business thought leaders who will help us to address these questions, guide our discussion and inspire your thinking.