Supply Chain: Cross-training Future Leaders

As supply chains continue to ensure connections of goods all over the world, supply chain execs continue to wrestle with finding ways to manage and drive change within their organizations. While the industry tries it’s best to forecast needs over time, leaders grow frustrated because nothing can truly predict how this accelerated change will impact the industry.

Meanwhile, other arms of the businesses are focused on how they can best help the company: finance works to provide a better bottom line, but can forget reciprocity; marketing can create a very effective promotion, but forget to warn production and overstretch capacity; R&D creates an innovative product, but materials specified are cost-ineffective. Supply chains have to work with all of this and balance it out to deliver goods on time and to customer’s satisfaction.

Though technology continues to accelerate change, the needed supply chain leadership skills that are emerging are, surprisingly (yet not surprisingly), soft skills: communication, strategic thinking, and change management. Supply chain naturally touches all other parts of business, creating inherent end-to-end thinking that is necessary to change management. Leaders need to know what to do, but also help others to go along with the plan.

Leaders need to tell a compelling story – to their board, to their strategic partners and to their employees.

That story lives in the supply chain. As supply chains continue to grow in complexity, technological change will continue to accelerate exponentially. Where can leaders go to find answers to these complex challenges?

Taking place on October 17-19, 2016 in Tucson, AZ, the MHI Annual Conference is themed around Accelerating Change. While focusing on key themes identified by the US Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics and the MHI 2016 Annual Industry Report, conference participants learn how to utilize these trends and innovations and seize new opportunities that produce tangible results.

For more information and to register for the MHI Annual Conference, visit