Once again this year, the editorial staffs of Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review have put their collective heads together to program our Annual Virtual Summit designed to prepare logistics professionals for the year ahead.
What I’ve always liked best about our Virtual Summits is that there’s no travel involved, no hotels or costly meals—all you need to do is carve out some time and log in when it fits your schedule no matter where you are.
Over the past two years we’ve picked a theme for the summit based on the overall findings of the Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends Study (Masters of Logistics), a research project that Peerless Research Group (PRG) conducts in coordination with the University of Tennessee and Georgia College and State University.
Now in its 28th year, the study is the ultimate report card on overall logistics operations performance, breaking down the percentage of freight dollars being spent by mode in an effort to identify any overall shifts in logistics strategy.
And while logistics performance and spending is always front and center in the study, three years ago our research team added a series of questions designed to explore a number of factors driving digital transformation, including performance, strategy and visibility. The goal is to track how far logistics and supply chain operations have come in applying technology to better manage the new strategies we identify in the survey.
“When characterizing their digital transformation efforts, respondents this year suggested that there has been a general shift toward more passive approaches, with shippers opting to follow versus lead their digital transformation efforts,” says Karl Manrodt, Ph.D., a professor at Georgia College and State University and one of the originators of the study launched nearly three decades ago. “As an industry, we need to turn this around.”
Our panel concluded that while shippers understand the need to transform, this apprehension to push efforts is connected to a lack of understanding the fundamentals of how today’s existing and emerging technologies work and how they can be applied in specific scenarios.
“The digital toolbox is now well within every shipper’s reach,” says Mary Holcomb, Ph.D., a professor at University of Tennessee and a founder of the study. “So now we need to help shippers kick-start digital transformation efforts and alleviate any trepidation. As an educator, I’ve found that’s best done by laying down the fundamentals, and I believe that’s what we’ve done in this year’s Virtual Summit.”
In fact, Mandrodt, Holcomb and Christopher Boone, Ph.D., an assistant professor Mississippi State University, launch our 2019 Virtual Summit with a keynote address that digs into the findings of this year’s Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends Study with a focus on the digital transformation data.
Following this keynote, we’ve programmed sessions that put some of today’s game-changing digital solutions into fundamental perspective and offer logistics and supply chain professionals practical tips for evaluating, implementing and leveraging today’s technology to keep pace with the modern supply chain.
Our line-up of speakers come from some of the top academic and analyst firms in the world and will cover artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Cloud computing, robotics, mobility, and the rise of digital freight platforms. Go to logisticsmgmt.com to register today and be a catalyst in this change.
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