CSCMP 2011 Recap: The Synergy Supply Chain of the Future

My first CSCMP was in 1989 and I always try to get there every year to catch up with all my logistics and supply chain friends!

As with every year, there are opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. Here’s a link to my recent tweetstream for shoutouts to some of the great people I met this year!

Held again in Philadelphia, this year’s event brought back memories of 2004, the year the old CLM: Council of Logistics Management became today’s CSCMP: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals!

New of course, in it’s second year, is The CSCMP Supply Chain of the Future exhibition. And I’m pleased to report I did come across the retail & consumer products supply chain of the future but NOT at the exhibition (more on this later)

Those who know me are aware I’m active on Twitter both as @JeffAshcroft and @SupplyChainNtwk. Last year in San Diego we held the very first SCN Tweetup at CSCMP to which 3 people came. Happy to report this year we had a 100% increase in attendees and many, many more tweeting under the #CSCMP and #CSCMP2011 hashtags.

For the first time some social content was also included on Wednesday with @TerriGriffith (also presenting at our CCE2011 event in two weeks) and Adrian Gonsalvez sharing their insights. I am fascinated by the coming potential of social networking for supply chain improvement. Since 2009 I have been writing and presenting on the same, in fact Social is one of The Seven S’s of Supply Chain Management which highlights seven key trends emerging to support future state SCM.

So where did I see the Retail & Consumer Products Supply Chain of the Future you may be wondering? Well it was in the first and best session I attended this year including Del Monte, Ahold USA and a name you may not be familiar with yet, ES3!

In 1995 I lead a team which created a visionary company called Crosslink to deliver on the Efficient Replenishment benefits of ECR. Key to this success was very tightly synchronized multi-vendor product and data flows creating significant inbound transport & process savings and service improvements.

Suffice it to say I was more than pleased, and very excited, to hear what Ahold, Del Monte and ES3 have now created in York Pennsylvania. Based on complete product data synchronization this highly automated 110 foot high facility is a shared Supplier / Retailer storage and consolidation facility. On the outbound side the system automatically creates fully cubed mixed vendor and retailer owned goods to be shipped direct to store.

This facility eliminates the need for a retailer Distribution Center and savings have been pegged at 54 cents a case! Not chump change and funnily enough quite close to the projected 58 cents projected savings for a similar network called NonStop Logistics. NonStop was a consortium of major 3PL and Transport firms which proposed 29 similar facilities across the US in the 1990’s but never got off the ground.

It seems the powers that be for the CSCMP Supply Chain Innovation Award tend to agree with me. Ahold USA, Del Monte and ES3 were named as this year’s recipients and as you can see deservedly so! Not only does such a shared supply chain create savings and service improvements, it also represents the most sustainable supply chain model.

In my first Constellation Research report The Search for Synergy in Supply Chains I breakdown the component Types, Indicators and Facilitators of supply chain synergy. Part Two of this report is in process now including specific case studies such as ES3 demonstrating real world implementations validating these major synergy savings opportunities. These benefits are still on the table and available to those ready to join The Supply Chain Synergy Revolution!

See you at next year’s CSCMP in Atlanta Georgia where I have already proposed to chair a track called The Social Supply Chain!

Please ping me if you have any use cases for social networking in supply chain to share. Likewise if you have developed any socially enabled supply chain solutions please bring them to my attention. Until next year’s CSCMP and feel free to follow and reach out to me at anytime through @JeffAshcroft or @SupplyChainNtwk