Through an invitation by The Eventful Group, I was able to do my first trip to Australia. They host an SAP supply chain conference and they did so for the last 10 years. It’s a wonderful event with great presentations, networking sessions, workshops and a really fun time “down under”.
After a very long flight, I arrived at the Crown Hotels in downtown Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. A quick shower, some food and off I went to explore the city. The event was hosted at the Crown Promenade, which is adjacent to the river bank and an array of great shops, restaurants and many things to do and see. It’s my first time in Australia so I was very excited to venture out and engage with the culture that I read and heard so many positive things about. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.
But the jet lag kicked in early and I decided to rest, so it wouldn’t be too grueling to catch up to the timezone that’s 16 hours removed from the one at home.
On Sunday the event got kicked off with a supply chain workshop that was hosted and run by UXC Oxygen, a premier SAP consulting company for Australia and New Zealand. Paul Sipos did a fantastic job to guide and connect us through various presentations, discussions and explorations, held by Oxygen experts, about functionality to support the supply chain – in ERP as well as APO. Lots of valuable information and informative discussions by a 30 people audience.
Monday then the main event. A keynote presentation by Mark Vollrath of Colgate Palmolive that dealt with the importance of setting a supply chain strategy. All other presentations were divided into three tracks: Innovation, Fundamentals and People. Of special note on day 1 are John Fatkin’s “19Signs that Your Project’s Change Management is in Danger”, Pascal Renet adding a very nice presentation around Transportation Management and how it brings upon “Real, Real-Time supply chain Reality”, and Simon Vincent with great insights on “The Importance of Building Alignment and Trust into Strategy and Execution”.
At night, a wonderful reception where besides the Karaoke performances, the outstanding networking opportunities do deserve special mention. oh… and what about 170 drums?
Day two was kicked off with a very interesting slide show and presentation by Daniel Cameron on “Laser Focused Procurement”. A number of memorable slides showing the Goldman Sachs Building in Lower Manhattan fully lit, during the ‘blackout’ after devastating Hurricane Sandy hit the region in 2012, grabbed my attention.
Marek Kowalkiewicz, a fellow SAP Mentor from SAP Singapore, then revealed some “Super Secret SCM Innovation Stories”. Marek put special focus on SAP’s strides on Design Thinking which I find extremely interesting. We even had a session on “Right Brain Competencies on Demand”, beautifully led by Silvia Demiano.
But there were many other great presentation and I am sorry that I can not mention them all. I wish I could have attended more of the excellent speeches and demonstrations, but I was busy with three of them myself: “Effective Materials Planning”, “Alignment between Sales and Production” and “Effective Production Scheduling Methods” were my titles, which I plan to re-record and make available on this blog.
Another great, fun, very informative conference by The Eventful Group, led by a team of very professional and heartwarming organizers… headed up by the wonderful Sophie Sipsma.