I returned from NECON 2007 and was struck by a major change in the supply profession from 2006. In three words "global value chain," in contrast to the narrower "savings" theme of the previous year.
While in 2006 there was some talk about managing the global supply organization and global suppliers – this time I found a distinct shift in the way speakers addressed these two issues. Large corporations like Pfizer are clearly thinking globally for both managing the supply organization and suppliers. The ISM Chair Lisa Martin’s talk was just superb and covered the global value chain imperative succinctly.
Stephen Slade’s talk explained how software today can help with making the entire value chain more visible across global operations.Similarly the panel discussion on outsourcing clinical trials had a star panel of both buy and supply side experts and the panel brought out the complexities of the global contract research process.
I was motivated by all the exciting sessions to add slides to talk some more about the "low cost country" aspects rather than only focus only on the difference between business processes and knowledge processes. I too emphasized the "value" chain perspective in the context of low-cost country sourcing.
Overall, a great conference !