FOCUS 2015 – Highlights From Day One

FOCUS 2015, held in Orlando, FL this year, began with a Welcome Reception on Sunday evening in the Delivery Zone, which is proving to be the hub of activity and information.  While networking with peers, meeting colleagues, and enjoying refreshments with new and old friends, attendees at the Delivery Zone reception attended brief but informative presentations on JDA solutions including Flowcasting, Agile Control Tower (part of Enterprise Supply Planning), Retail.Me, and 3PL.

To add to the fun, Delivery Zone visitors could pick up a variety of buttons, participate in The Great Lego Giveaway, and were even entertained by a high-swaying performer!

Swaying Performer FOCUS 2015

While Sunday evening kicked-off the event, Monday morning’s keynote presentation by JDA CEO Bal Dail was the official start of FOCUS 2015.  After being introduced by event host Mark Jeffries, Bal talked to the enthusiastic crowd about JDA’s 30 years of supply chain and retail innovation, how FOCUS has grown from 200 to over 2000 attendees, and JDA’s focus areas for the future – planning to deliver, continuing to be an industry leader, and investing in partner relationships.

Another very interesting point that Bal presented was the fact that the number one thing we hear from customers is that it feels like a new JDA!  This new JDA message was the common thread throughout Bal’s presentation.  From our commitment to product quality, to our complete solution set, to our new tagline and brand promise – we ARE a new JDA, and we do PLAN TO DELIVER!  As a culture of innovation, Bal mentioned a few interesting JDA facts, including that we have over 400 patents, 10,000 man-years of supply chain and retail experience, and two million cloud users.


With retail’s new boss being the very demanding and socially connected consumer, a successful omni-channel strategy is critical.  As Bal stated, omni-channel success is one of the driving forces behind JDA embracing and cultivating strong partnerships.  One of those partnerships is with IBM. The JDA:IBM collaboration allows our customers to fulfill omni-channel orders in the most profitable way possible.

After Bal’s presentation, Razat Gaurav, JDA’s EVP and GM, Global Industries and Solutions, talked about what’s happening with products and solutions at JDA.  Razat also introduced two new mobile apps that are now available, one of which was shown for the first time ever.  Very exciting and well received!

The crowd then heard from two customer speakers.  First was Bruce Burrows, CIO of Loblaw, Canada’s largest grocery and pharmacy retailer, followed by Todd Peters, CEO of GENCO, one of the largest 3PLs in North America and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of FedEx.

After the General Session presentations, attendees were off and running to the many informative sessions.  Of interest for me were the women in supply chain sessions and roundtables. One in particular, “Overcoming Obstacles: A Conversation with Successful Supply Chain Leaders (Who Happen to be Women!),” was quite insightful.  It was very enlightening and empowering to hear how these women have achieved a career-family balance while succeeding and thriving in a male dominated industry.

The Social Zone was also a popular place for attendees to make a pit stop.  In the Zone, they could talk with social media experts, have a professional LinkedIn photo taken, and get a caricature done by a digital artist.


Tuesday will be jam-packed with more sessions, keynotes, including the artist Erik Wahl, and the customer celebration at Universal Studios.  Make sure you drop back by Supply Chain Nation for Tuesday’s recap of details and highlights!



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