Hugh Williams writes his Chairman letter for eft's Hi-Tech & Electronics Supply Chain Summit
I feel incredibly fortunate to have chaired eft’s annual Hi-Tech & Electronics Summit in Amsterdam on 21-22 May. With more than 200 international delegates, it was eft’s biggest European event so far. However, it was the ‘big thinking’ in the interactions, debates and discussions that really made an impression.
Although the agenda didn’t focus on one specific topic, I thought it was fascinating to see how it developed organically around supply chain strategies, challenging delegates to consider things like:
I’ve lost count of how many supply chain conferences I’ve been to or chaired that were almost entirely about efficiency and cost reduction, in various guises. So it came as a welcome breath of fresh air to have met with companies that are raising their sights and thinking more strategically and long-term. Don’t get me wrong: saving time, money and resources will always be fundamentally important. Now supply chain professionals can start to look more positively at a bigger picture and dare I say, a desire to innovate and change.
One thing that was patently obvious, however, was a growing sense of the world continuing to get smaller. The centre of gravity is no longer the West – and consequently, supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. Delegates weren’t complaining about this, but debating constructively and creatively about how to manage it.
The shift in focus to supply chain strategy combined with the challenges of globalisation has conference delegates more inspired and passionate than I’ve ever seen them before. At the Hi-Tech & Electronics Summit I was so impressed by people’s enthusiasm and generosity when it came to brainstorming and sharing ideas and best practices. These summits will continue to be a catalyst for progress and positive change, offering a valuable mix of presentations, interactive discussions and workshops.
I am really looking forward to next year’s event!
Hugh Williams, Chairman
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