Cognitive computing. Prescriptive Analytics. Omnichannel Distribution Strategies. These are just a few of the topics retail supply chain leaders discussed last week at RILA's Supply Chain Leaders Council meeting, sponsored by IBM and CN.
The group met on the campus of MIT's Sloan School of Management and began discussions around the future of the retail industry, specifically the latest advancements in supply chain management processes and technology. As retailers enter and embrace the age of (R)Tech, conversations around cutting-edge technology and innovation are increasingly converging with conversations about long-standing retail operations, including supply chain.
The agenda for this annual meeting of top retail supply chain executives focused heavily on the technology transforming the logistics game, and for the first time, included an innovation showcase, during which retailers heard from four early-stage startups working to disrupt supply chains via advanced analytics, robotics, sensors, and more.
Attendees heard from a wide variety of speakers throughout the two-day meeting, including experts from MIT's MITx MicroMasters in SCM, Leaders for Global Operations, and MIT Megacity Logistics Lab. Representatives from these MIT initiatives shared how they're solving for common challenges in the retail supply chain with things like data analytics, product design, omnichannel strategies, and more.
To explore more how these technologies can and will transform supply chains, the group heard two retail case studies. Profitect's Guy Yehiav and Ascena Retail Groups Nate Wortman shared how prescriptive analytics simplifies supply chains by improving on time shipments, promotional success, and overall customer service. In the second case study, Big Lots Stores' SVP for Transportation and Distribution Services Carlos Rodriguez shared how the retailer's Inbound Transportation and Optimization and Smoothing project connects timing of purchase orders, vendor capabilities, and low cost mode utilization of transportation and D.C. inbound logistics.
In addition, Christopher Davin, vice president & lead client partner at IBM paired up with Jeff Ziegler, senior director, solutions strategy at JDA to discuss the potential for Artificial Intelligence to disrupt supply chains by finding new conclusions in existing enterprise data and cloud knowledge.
To learn more about RILA's community of retail supply chain professionals or this meeting in particular, please reach out to Lisa LaBruno.