Highlights of the 2016 AWESOME Symposium

May 19, 20163 minute read

Symposium panel of supply chain leaders focuses on innovation and leading change

Supply chain leaders who participated in the 2016 AWESOME Symposium session titled “Supply Chain Innovation: Leading Change for Future Success” shared steps their companies have taken to encourage and achieve innovation. As one panelist said, “The sweet spot of innovation is being close to the customer.”

Panelists agreed that companies that want to be innovative need to seek out good information and input, even if that means reaching out beyond the company. One member of the panel related how her company came up with a new approach to become more efficient about maintenance. With the goal of making the ordering of supplies more proactive — less reactive — they talked to suppliers and asked them to bring ideas to the table. In this example and others, sometimes the best sources are those not traditionally being tapped. Another company did something similar when they formed a council of NGOs to talk about making the supply chain more sustainable.

Sometimes a consultant is brought in to take an objective view. Another company held a “break-a-thon” where they asked people to take a closer look by “breakIng apart ” how they do things.

The panelists agreed on another point: Innovation must be driven from the top and built into the culture. Sometimes changing the culture requires small steps, perhaps even hiring people with different skillsets from those of the current team members. It’s critical that teams truly understand each other and are communicating to find and formulate a vision together. Often that involves “bridging,” or working across silos.

More insights from this discussion will be incorporated in the fifth volume of REALITY CHECK. Watch for the report’s release on this website in a few weeks.

Panelists for this Symposium session included Linda Bryant, VP, Global Stretegy & Business Excellence, Janssen Supply Chain, a Johnson & Johnson Company; Francesca DeBiase, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, McDonald’s Corporation; Alexandra Lopez, CPO & VP Operations, Cisco Systems; and Kristen Workman, VP, Supply Chain Performance, Global Supply Chain, Schneider Electric. Moderator of the discussion was Stacey Taylor, SVP & Chief Procurement Officer, MGM Resprts International.

View entire Symposium Agenda


Nike gives AWESOME leaders a first-hand look at World Headquarters

Nike_visit_campus3Participants in the AWESOME Symposium on April 27-29 began the event with a tour of the World Headquarters of NIKE, Inc., 2016 Symposium Host Partner. The first-hand look gave tour members a taste of the company’s culture and history.

Of special interest to visitors was the history room, which tells the story of running enthusiast Phil Knight, who founded the company with his running coach Bill Bowerman.

Throughout the campus, buildings named for sports greats such as Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Bo Jackson, and Nolan Ryan, show the company’s respect for athletes and their accomplishments. Many interior spaces display some of those athletes’ memorabilia.

The tour also included facilities for just about any type of physical exercise, which Nike encourages employees to use, bringing to life the NIKE Mission:

The tour was followed by a networking reception in the Tiger Woods Center.