Over 1,500 supply chain professionals attended the 10th annual Global Supply Chain Excellence Summit which took place August 11-12 on the USC University Park Campus.
“It’s been a journey,” said Nick Vyas, executive director of Marshall’s Randall R. Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institute and who is also an associate professor of clinical data sciences and operations at the school. “Awareness of and interest in the global supply chain has grown tremendously in the past 10 years, and the Kendrick Institute has been at the forefront.”
USC Marshall Dean Geoff Garrett opened the Summit. “The globalization era was all about efficiency and choice, and we all benefited enormously. Now we understand that there was also a big cost, resiliency. We now need to understand and balance resiliency and efficiency much better than we did in the buccaneering days of globalization,” he said.
The summit underscored the necessity of rethinking the global supply chain to focus on agility and sustainability, as well, and in educating young leaders with the vision and technical skills to take on the task, said Vyas.
“After four decades of peaceful global trade, can we become intelligent in terms of network design, create the redundancies—not waste—to ensure that no geopolitical issues, no pandemic or natural disaster create the disruption that we’ve observed in the last 28 months?”
Vyas remarked that the industry was at an inflection point that demanded a shift. To address this, the Kendrick Institute voted to change its mission statement to reflect the challenges and its role in mitigating them. Read the Insitute’s mission statement here.
Randall Kendrick, longtime Marshall supporter and CEO and President of Xebec, whose gift in 2021 created the Kendrick Institute joined the conference remotely and voiced his strong confidence in the attendees to tackle the challenge: “The importance of sustainability and carbon neutrality is part of this vision,” he said. “Things must be done differently going forward, and supply chain design will be at the heart of this critical transformation. The Institute will be part of this critical thinking network and continue to educate the leaders of global supply chain in the coming decades,” he concluded.