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FutureMSCE 2019: “Simplify your work! Increase your performance!”

29.01.2019Comments are closed.

On 24 January 2019 the 5th Future of Manufacturing & Supply Chain Excellence Conference was held at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. Renowned keynote speakers from many different companies (Slovenian Steel Group, SAP, ICRON Technologies, Skaza, WU Wirtschaftsuniversität, Danfoss Trata, Flex, Aera Technology, Heineken, and others), world-class experts and academics talked about production, procurement, logistics, and supply chain. Since the business environment is changing rapidly, it is necessary for operations in the supply chain to be carefully prepared and executed in order to deliver greater benefits. Therefore, companies need to embrace quick responsiveness and agility. Taking into account everything above, “the conference was designed to help take supply chain leaders on this critical journey.”

The conference was divided into two parts and addressed many current challenges and opportunities. Aleksander Zalaznik (general manager of Danfoss Trata) highlighted that supply chain topics challenge us all and concluded that “in supply chain management we often focus on performance and execution, but we should not forget the most important thing, the customers. No matter which state of the process and its management we are in, technology can do a great job, but at the end of the day the customer’s trust, satisfaction and reliability count the most.”

Vladimir Arshinov (Chief Information Officer of the Slovenian Steel Group) took us from an idea to the realisation of planning. He highlighted the importance of the balance between cost, scope, and speed and added that “if the plan is created, but never executed, the plan becomes useless.” Michael Späth (Executive Client Partner at Aera Technology) continued that in order to progress, you need to figure out how to harmonise data. Discussing the self-driving supply chain, he also pointed out that the goal is not to get rid of the human. “We want the human to do creative work, to do innovative work and not just some manual processes.” Bart Stegeman (Director of Supply Chain at Skaza) presented Management 3.0 in the supply chain and the way to optimise it. It is important that employees inside the company encourage each other, talk about progress and measure it. Managers have to energise people, empower teams and understand what motivates their team members in order to actively manage progress.

Baris Selcuk (Director of ICRON Technologies B.V.) presented scenario planning and optimisation in integrated business planning (IBM). They try to make decisions as simple as possible and the implementation of IBM brings many benefits in this area. Milorad Hodnik Nikolic (Senior Strategic Supply Chain Manager at Flex) discussed the strategic supply chain for new business development and pointed out the fact that “if you are a production partner you can be replaced very easily, but if you are a design partner it is not that easy to replace you and you are able to create much more added value.” Sunita Mathur (Supply Chain, IoT and Manufacturing Presales Manager for CEE at SAP) continued with the thought that whenever we define a supply chain solution, we need to think who we are designing this solution for and concluded that ”in future every time you think about the problem, think about it in a circle and make sure that next time you go through this cycle you have improved results.”

The second part of the conference started with an interactive round table, led by Marko Jakšič (Associate Professor at the FELU and Programme Committee). The main topic was addressing future changes in manufacturing, supply chain, procurement, and logistics. Guest speakers Armin Messerer (Director Division Mechatronics Electric Actuators and Auxiliaries at MAHLE Group)Jerica Budič (Danfoss Trata and Programme Committee)Milorad Hodnik Nikolic (Senior Strategic Supply Chain Manager at Flex) and Jaka Mele (Chief Digital Officer at CargoX) presented their views and the challenges they face within their companies, which vary significantly across different fields. They pointed out the complexity of developing respective partners, who help to identify potential gaps in the chain early on. Increasing challenges can also be found in the field of high employee turnover, the retirement of key people, lack of experience and others. But the top challenge that will remain over time is changing skill requirements.

In the last part, Gerald Reiner (Full Professor, Vienna University of Economics and Business) emphasised the impact assessments of digitally transformed value chains and presented Industry 4.0, which engages the virtual world to increase resource efficiency, energy efficiency and increase productivity by innovation. He explained the issues and solutions connected with this area (such as mobile robotic platforms). The next speaker, Matej Oset (Pivovarna Laško Union, Director of Supply Chain), presented PLUS Supply Chain: Brewing a Better World. In Pivovarna Laško Union, owned by the Dutch company Heineken, corporate responsibility and sustainability are the main parts of their strategy and business mindset. They also highlight the safety of their products and are large sponsors of and donors to many sports, cultural and social events. The final speaker, Klemen Kindlhofer (Operations Director at Danfoss Trata), presented improvements from a lean to a smart factory in the case of Danfoss Trata, which are visible in increased productivity, quality, savings, and others.

This year, the conference again served up excellent speakers and interesting topics fulfilling the expectations of all attendees. And since the business environment is changing rapidly, next year’s conference will undoubtedly bring even greater challenges and even more innovative solutions. Until then, “don’t forget to embrace agility and responsiveness.”

The organisers of the event, the Centre of Business Excellence, Faculty of Economics would like to give special thanks to the companies that show support for this conference. Sincere appreciation for our partners, without whom this conference would not be possible goes to: Danfoss Trata, Kolektor, Pošta Slovenije, Slovenian Logistic Association, RLS Merlina tehnika, SAP and the Purchasing Association of Slovenia.

Anja Puc, EFnews

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