Conrad says the next major trend in the supply and demand chain is the merging or end-to end-integration with sales/order management processes to better synchronize demand and supply. "The supply chain must be viewed and operated in the context of the complete end-to-end value chain to fully optimize both its efficiency and its effectiveness in meeting customer and market demand," according to Conrad. "This entails investing in IT tools and business processes that better synchronize supply and demand and provide high degrees of visibility. This in turn will improve predictability, reduce inventory, reduce lead times and increase service levels and capabilities."
He says HP's actual product manufacturing is largely outsourced with a network of extended external partners. "Our focus is to extend tools and processes across our extended supply chain and integrate them with our order management and demand planning processes to achieve optimum performance."
Greg Frazier Executive Vice President, Supply Chain Services Worldwide, Avnet Electronics Marketing Frazier listened to Avnet's customers and forever changed the way the technology, marketing, distribution and services company conducts business. He led the charge to move away from purchase orders to a forecast-based model, delighting customers and growing Avnet's Supply Chain Services business, which is 40 percent of the company's overall business globally today.
Frazier says his next order of business is to help Avnet's midsized customers be successful in the global supply chain. "Our midsized customers do not have the kind of leverage the bigger ones do — and often lack the leverage needed to make the contract manufacturers stand up and take notice of them. Many of these midsized customers would like to expand their business into new markets, in addition to expanding their reach globally, while still maintaining the same look and feel they have here. Avnet will lead the charge and use its leverage to help make these desires a reality for midsized customers."
Paul Gaffney Executive Vice President, Supply Chain, Staples Inc. Gaffney created the Staples' Summit, a supply chain program designed to transform culture and processes. Through it, the office supplies firm has been able to revamp supply chain processes for the retail business, reduce inventory by over $300 million while supporting strong sales growth, add 1 percent to comparable store sales and expand margins by over $100 million.
According to Gaffney, the next major industry trend will be dramatic expansion of "direct sourcing," with companies bypassing intermediaries and dealing directly with factories. "Staples will leverage this trend for competitive advantage through rapid growth of Staples Branded products, offering the customer outstanding quality at lower cost while still contributing higher profit margins to Staples," he says.
Martin Garvin Senior Vice President, Worldwide Procurement, Dell Inc. Martin J. Garvin serves as senior vice president, Worldwide Procurement. The job spans all procurement activities around the largest computer products supply chain in the world, including management of all hardware commodities, general procurement, global materials, logistics, supplier engineering and global business processes improvement (BPI). The role also includes managing two international trading companies that ensure direct relationships that are critical to Dell's continuity of supply.
Garvin joined Dell in 1997 as vice president of Global Supply Chain and chief procurement officer. He had extensive experience previously in operations, procurement, materials management and customer service through a variety of executive positions at Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems and NetEdge Systems. Garvin was involved in the start-up of Sun's first international operation in Linlithgow, Scotland.
R. Keith Harrison Global Product Supply Officer, The Procter & Gamble Co. Harrison has led a global renewal of P&G's Product Supply, reducing capital spending to the lowest levels in the company's history and significantly reducing supply chain costs as a percent of sales during times when commodity prices have soared. P&G's supply chain, as a result, was ranked No. 2 in 2005 by AMR Research out of all global supply chains.
Harrison noted that manufacturers must redesign their supply chains to be more customer- or consumer-centric. He said this begins early in the product innovation process through seamless partnership with research and development (R&D) and affects every aspect of the supply network through to the consumer. "This consumer focus will allow supply chains to be a source of value and competitive advantage to our businesses, and will ensure long-term competitiveness for all supply chain partners, including suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and customers," he states.