Here’s a list of top must-see sessions at the upcoming 2017 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. Visit Arkieva at Booth #712.

Gartner Supply Chain Conference 2017 Sessions

In addition to its pristine weather, Phoenix, AZ will once again host this year’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. This 4-day event features 5 session tracks and an exhibit from Arkieva. 

As a novice to the event, I decided to create an event sessions ‘map’ to help me navigate the event in order to gain the most from this experience. Through this exercise, I created my top 9 must see supply chain sessions. It’s important to note that, the numbering of these sessions is shown in chronological order based on the dates and times and does not reflect an actual ranking.

9 Must See Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference Sessions

Monday, May 22: Gartner Sessions to Attend

  1. Session Title: Case Study: Unilever and Walmart Collaborate for Sustainability and Growth

If you can make it to the event on Sunday night or catch an early flight, the case study on the Unilever and Walmart collaboration, presented by Kathryn Fair, Supply Chain Planning Director at Unilever, demonstrates how B2B businesses can get better visibility by creating a partnership that drives end-to-end supply chain value.

Session Details:

Unilever has a simple but clear purpose — to make sustainable living commonplace. We believe this is the best long-term way for our business to grow. The Unilever and Walmart collaboration is a great example of how we partner for sustainability AND growth. Learn how Unilever continues to grow this partnership, to drive end-to-end supply chain value and sustainability from suppliers to the consumer.

Time: 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

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  1. Session Title: Fostering Supply Chain Innovation

Most supply chain leaders may agree with the fact that supply chain innovation is essential in today’s fast-paced, evolving marketplace. How can businesses foster this change? The Supply Chain Innovation session by Virginia Howard, Research Director at Gartner discusses how to drive innovation within the organization.

Session Details:

Supply chain leaders need to pay deliberate attention to innovation to make it a repeatable, high-impact competency. Growth of digital business and acceleration of disruption requires supply chains to increase their agility and accelerate delivery of competitive advantage. At a minimum supply chains need to be responsive to changing needs and expectations of the business, customers, and employees. This session will focus on helping supply chain leaders understand how to make supply chain innovation an organizational capability and cultural strength that drives engagement, business, and customer value.

Time: 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

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Must Attend Gartner sessions on Tuesday, May 23

  1. Session Title: Gartner Keynote: ACT: Aspire, Challenge and Transform in a Disruptive World

On Tuesday, May 23, the keynote session by Gartner Analysts Michael Burkett and Debra Hofman highlights the theme of the conference on aspiring and tackling challenges as the business world evolves.

Session Details:

Great supply chain leaders create a vision for what’s possible in the future amidst the realities they face today. CEOs expect their supply chain organizations to help fund and accelerate growth with operational excellence and personalized customer service. Winning supply chains of tomorrow will be those that aspire to be the best while tackling the real transformational challenges that lie ahead.

Time: 8:15 AM – 9:00 AM

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  1. Session Title: Guest Keynote: Leveraging the Links in Your Supply Chain

The session by U.S. Army Retired Major General Vincent E. Boles on leveraging the links in your supply chain seemed particularly interesting to me because it goes back to the basics of a supply chain; the “linkage” or chain aspect of the relationship. Remarkably, the idea of creating a better-linked supply chain also aligns with Arkieva’s core belief on creating better supply chains – “one link at a time.”

Session Details:

Vinny discusses the links in your supply chain drawing on his 33 years as a logistician and operations manager of the military’s supply chain at many of its links from the port to the Pentagon, Vinny will walk your team through four critical issues that inhibit the optimization of your supply chain: Standards you use. Systems you put in place to attain the standards. Who is in your charge of your standards, your systems? The metrics you measure and how you use them. Providing real-world examples of what worked, what didn’t work, and why, Major General Boles will lay out a real-world depiction of a supply chain in motion. You and your team will have news you can use to better optimize your supply chain, whether across town or around the globe

Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

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  1. Session Title: Magic Quadrant: Sales and Operations Planning Systems of Differentiation

Gartner Research VP, Tim Payne will present an analysis on the industry respected Gartner Magic Quadrant on Sales and Operations Planning Systems of Differentiation. Arkieva is presented on this quadrant as a visionary.

Session Details:

As companies mature their supply chain planning capabilities, they need additional technology support to help enable these more advanced processes. This session will outline Gartner’s analysis of the S&OP market and solutions (through the Magic Quadrant process) in relation to the key capabilities companies require to successfully enable a Stage 4 S&OP maturity.

Time: 12:30 PM – 12:50 PM

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  1. Session Title: Mind the Gap, not the Forecast! Achieving Collaborative Demand Planning

***Session hosted by Arkieva ***

After learning about the Systems of Differentiation in the S&OP space, head over to get a practical application with the Arkieva session on collaborative demand planning. The session presented by Arkieva Practice Director, Shankara Gurumurthy and Owens Corning Global Supply Chain Process Leader, Michael Morris, demonstrates how Owens Corning is achieving a collaborative demand process using the Arkieva solution.

Session Details:

As a large, multinational company servicing a diverse customer base with assets positioned around the globe, having a collaborative demand planning process at Owens Corning was imperative for generating the appropriate supply responses in a competitive marketplace. Find out how Owens Corning transformed this vision into a reality by using the Arkieva Collaborative Demand Planning Software to: create a framework for collaborative demand planning, get input from global sales representatives, and track the right forecast metrics.

Time: 1:30 PM -1:50 PM

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  1. Session Title: Get Ready for IoT in Supply Chain Planning

One of the hot topics in technology innovation for the past few years has been on the Internet of Things (IoT). As more and more IoT-enabled devices become readily available to consumers, it presents a new channel and possible nuances for supply chains. Are you ready? This session by Gartner Research Director Andrew Downard seeks to present an overview of IoT trends and the effect on S&OP.

Session Details:

Supply chain leaders are well-accustomed to changes in their supply chains. Customers, routes to market, suppliers, products, technologies and service partners are all constantly shifting. But even in this environment of continual change, the rate of growth of “Internet of Things” (IoT) devices capable of placing orders is exceptional. Supply chain leaders need to be working now to prepare their planning teams to respond. This session will present an overview of IoT trends along with emerging best practices for S&OP and supply chain planning leaders in the area of digital business.

Time: 4:15 PM- 5:00 PM

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Must Attend Gartner Sessions on Wednesday, May 24

  1. Session Title: Range Planning: Close Enough Is Good Enough

The supply chain planning session presented by Gartner Research Director Marko Pukkila, zeros in on the concept of range planning and how to set planning ranges that can help businesses better align supply and demand.

Session Details:

This session introduces the supply chain planning leaders to the range planning concept. They will learn how to use their forecasting performance metrics in setting up the planning ranges so that they can prepare a supply chain response to demand that is not exactly as forecast. They will also find out how to apply the ranges in their supply chains when the planning systems only allow one active plan figure at a time.

Time: 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

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  1. Session Title: Winning the Business Case for Demand Management Investment

And finally, on our list of must attend Gartner sessions, Gartner Managing VP Steven Steutermann, addresses one of the biggest challenges in demand management – creating a business case for investment. This topic relates to our previous post on the cost of doing nothing.

Session Details:

Supply chain leaders find it increasingly difficult to build the business case for further investment in demand planning capability despite the growing need to improve the forecast. This session identifies demand planning best practices as well as the value derived from an improved forecast so that supply chain leaders can build the business case for further demand management investment.

Time: 4:30 PM- 5:15 PM

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And that’s it! That’s my list of top must-see sessions at the upcoming Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. Visit Arkieva at Booth #712 or book an appointment. What sessions are you attending?