Released in April, the 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Innovation,” is packed with information about supply chain trends and how companies are applying the latest high-tech tools to address the associated challenges—specifically increasing customer demands on supply chains and a lack of qualified workers. To help executives and leaders at companies large and small navigate the report’s findings and develop actionable strategies to leverage those NextGen technologies, MHI’s 2018 Executive Summit and Annual Conference—held October 14-17 at JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida—will bring together a variety of thought leaders in a series of presentations and panel discussions.
The event’s framework itself is a reaction to the report’s discovery of a discrepancy between the anticipated and actual adoption rates of many of the technologies. That is to say, when the 2014 survey respondents were asked to what degree the technologies would be adopted within five years, their projections far outpaced actual adoption rates four years later.
Although the report notes that this is a well-documented and common phenomenon among transformational technologies, it also delves deeper into the three primary barriers to adoption of these next generation technologies as identified by the survey’s respondents:
- The challenges associated with making a convincing business case to invest in these innovations.
- A lack of workers with the technical skills necessary to leverage these technologies.
- A perception that no reliable mechanism exists for securely conducting data and monetary exchanges while minimizing the risk of cyber attacks.
“Taken as a whole, with the insights we gleaned from past Executive Summit and Annual Conference attendees and the 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, we framed the agenda for this year’s event around offering actionable, tactical thought leadership on three key themes: future business and economic predictions to inform strategic investment planning, ways to foster current and future workforce skills development and engagement, and solutions to build transactional trust and enhance cyber security,” explains MHI CEO George Prest.
Addressing the future of business and economy are author and futurist Gerd Leonhard and the world’s leading financial futurist and best-selling author Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics and chairman of The Futurist Institute.
Leonhard will explore how further integration of technology into society and business will continue to change both the human experience and the operations of supply chains exponentially. Schenker will share his predictions about the near-term economic outlook, including his forecast for continued growth in automation investments.
Strategies for current and future workforce development and engagement will be explored by Eric Chester, author and leading authority on workplace culture, employee engagement and the emerging generation, and by Don Bossi, president of non-profit FIRST, an organization that engages school aged children in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through fun, competitive robotics programs.
During his session, Chester will share insights and perspective on how the workforce has changed over the past decade and what attitudes, values, and expectations the new emerging workforce brings with them to the job. Bossi will explain why companies seeking talent need to invest time engaging with and developing younger students before they enter college through programs like his.
To help companies better understand the ins and outs of Blockchain, author and adjunct professor of Blockchain Management at Syracuse University Richie Etwaru will discuss how trust in data can be scaled at low costs and high speeds, and why operations should invest in this technology sooner than later. Further, John Sileo, cyber security expert, author and CEO of The Sileo Group, will discuss ways to build a culture of security as a means to cope with implementation challenges like barriers to adoption and budget restrictions.
Additional insights from the MHI Executive Summit and Annual Conference speakers can be found in this MHI Solutions magazine article, published in the third-quarter 2018 issue.