When you grab a cup of coffee and check out the morning news, do you get a feel for how your day might unfold? Perhaps if you are a supply chain practitioner, you do. Not necessarily at the “immediate-impact” level, but at the “I’d better be prepared because it’s coming” level. For instance, news of impending extreme weather, natural disasters or political unrest will drive most supply chain professionals to put their risk management teams on high alert. Projections for record-high gasoline prices, reports of impending supplier shortages or sagging sales numbers may prompt a re-working of both short-range and long-range transportation, inventory and workforce management plans. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the news happening right now is critical to staying relevant and profitable in a world that is constantly changing.
So how do you rise to the challenge? Do you dust off your tried-and-true plans or are you always evolving your approach? What new thinking are you employing? The theme for JDA FOCUS 2012, “It’s Now. Think New.” reflects the concept that our world is constantly changing and challenging us to put forth new and innovative thinking to solve our toughest business challenges.
Beginning today, many of the world’s top supply chain practitioners – JDA customers – will descend upon Las Vegas for what promises to be one of the industry’s largest and most dynamic conferences. FOCUS offers something for everyone who cares about supply chain and the impact it has on their business. Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings – there are 54 scheduled – give users of specific software the chance to network, talk about current challenges, and share new thinking about how to address those issues. I can think of no better way to learn a new approach to problem-solving than talking with someone who’s actually already been on that journey. SIGs offer a great opportunity to do just that. Breakout sessions ‒ of which 92 will be led by customers and partners ‒ offer another terrific opportunity to gain insights about how to improve and evolve business processes and supply chain approaches that can make a real impact on your bottom line. The line-up of JDA customers who are presenting is certainly impressive. Executives from SanDisk Corporation, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, The Clorox Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, General Motors, PepsiCo and Kimberly-Clark are just a few of the individuals scheduled to share their insights and best practices for achieving supply chain excellence.
The FOCUS General Session offers something for everyone. Consider this:
- JDA President and CEO Hamish Brewer will present JDA’s vision for taking on the “now” challenges with new thinking to help companies build profitable, agile supply chains that can be the catalyst for economic growth.
- Dr. Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, will offer a unique perspective on how companies can take advantage of our global interconnectedness to drive success within their businesses.
- A live demo of JDA’s latest innovation, Customer Engagement Cloud, will give attendees insight into how they can maximize the customer experience profitably.
- Lowe’s Mike Mabry will share his company’s journey toward building a world-class supply chain, and Staples’ George Frongillo, JDA Users Group president, will discuss how involvement in SIGs can help drive a return on investment for companies using JDA solutions.
- In what promises to be a dynamic panel of industry analysts, Aberdeen’s Bryan Ball, IDC’s Leslie Hand, and Retail Systems Research’s Nikki Baird will join panel moderator Kevin O’Marah of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Forum to discuss the new consumer reality and what it means for retailers and manufacturers.
One of the most high energy spots in all of FOCUS will undoubtedly be the Innovation Zone, which will provide incredible opportunities for networking and exploring the solutions and services offered by JDA and its partners. It is where attendees can get information about new innovations, processes and services that can help them get the most of their supply chain investments.
For supply chain professionals this week, the headline reads: It’s Now. Think New. It predicts a future filled with smart tactics, fresh approaches and invigorating ideas that will deliver the news every executive wants to hear: improved efficiencies, sustained profitability and strong economic growth.
FOCUS 2012 will provide what you need to write the story. What will your headline be? Editor’s Note: Follow @JDASoftware and tune into the #JDAFOCUS12 hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation and share highlights throughout the event. And if you are attending FOCUS, remember that we are giving away four $50 gift cards every day to the best tweets from our keynotes, sessions, events, and the best photo of the day. Share with us via Twitter for your chance to win.