sc digest
September 19, 2019 - Supply Chain Flagship Newsletter

This Week in SCDigest

bullet Trip Report - CSCMP Edge 2019 in Anaheim
bullet SC Digest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet Distribution Digest/Green Supply Chain
bullet Cartoon Caption Contest Continues bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet Product Review and Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts

From siloed to syncronized, discover how network planners are taking
ownership of entire supply chains

first thought


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week
US Trucking Detention Getting Worse, not Better


Amazon Going Big Time Green

Owner-Operators in Jeopardy in California
US Manufacturing Surprisingly Up in August
Wing, FedEx and Walgreen's to Pilot Drone Deliveries



September 11, 2019 Contest

See The Full Cartoon and Send in Your Entry Today!

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon.


Feature Story: Prologis Inks Major New Tenants for Its Multi-Story DC Near Seattle


pic GSC Feature Story:Remembering Warehouseman Richard Murphy and His Practical Green Distribution Perspective


Weekly On-Target Newsletter:
September 19, 2019 Edition

Cartoon, Multi-Level DC Tenants, Cool Scanning Glove, More

Product Review: Supply Chain Planning Solutions

Is Your Supply Chain Transparent?

by Sarah Trescott
Marketing Manager
Surgere, Inc.


What you will learn in this report:

• Why WMS was Slow to the Cloud - but How that is Rapidly Changing

Understanding Cloud WMS Deployment, Pricing and Management Options

Dealing with Concerns about Real-Time WMS Performance in the Cloud

Lessons Learned from Actual Deployments, as the Number of Cloud WMS Deployments Accelerate


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3


CLM became CSCMP in what year?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page

Trip Report - CSCMP Edge 2019 in Anaheim

I am fresh back from Anaheim in Orange County, CA and CSCMP's 2019 annual conference. It was a good week, and I spoke with lots of SCDigest readers- several of whom wanted selfies!

All told I give the event satisfactory but not exemplary marks - but with a surprising twist on the last day that should be positive news for all us.

Thousands of you have watched my daily video recaps of the conference. You will find them here: CSCMP Day 1 Video Review, Day 2, and Day 3.


In an age of the internet, social media, different priorities and more, CSCMP needs a new business model, Meyer said.


Send us your
Feedback here

This was the 57th annual conference across CSCMP and its predecessor organizations, the Council of Logistics Management and the National Council of Physical Distribution. In 2017, the event became CSCMP Edge, after basically forever being just referred to as the CSCMP/CLM conference.

Before I go further, I will note there is no question I am more of a critic for both the CSCMP conference and the Gartner Supply Chain Forum than I am with most other events.


The reason is simple: These are now the two largest and most important supply chain conferences we have, and while both are fine events, there is always room for improvement. It's my job in part to point out where that is. Our readers tell me to keep it up.

CSCMP again said there were about 3000 attendees, same as in recent years. That is a generous estimate by my counting. Attendance always drops when CSCMP holds the conference on the West coast, as it does every 5-6 years, and it felt that way for sure again this year.

Under this year's conference chair Susia Bodnar of Four Kites, there were some minor but welcome improvements.


In addition to new yoga and meditation classes, those changes started with trimming breakout sessions from 75 minutes, which became the norm 4-5 years ago, back to 60 minutes, a change I have been lobbying for since the first year they went long. Much better.

From a big picture perspective, there were 19 breakout session tracks this year, ranging from Talent Management to Warehousing. That was down a bit from 21 last year and the higher twenties not many years ago, but felt even more skinnied down than that. That is because not every track had a session in each time slot. So the number of choices you faced was very manageable this year versus years past.

I counted about 80 total breakout sessions across all tracks, versus about 100 in 2018.


As with the Gartner conference, you have to pay a bit of attention to how a given breakout session was created. At this year's conference, there were several "sponsored" tracks - meaning paid for - and still more as part of the conference's Supply Chain Exchange trade show, for which some booth packages include a breakout session. Gartner, I will note, does the same thing.

It was hard to pick up much in the way of themes from this year's presentations. I would cite the most visible topics as talent management, blockchain, and omnichannel, but barely. By contrast, I saw nothing on RFID, and little on Sustainability, for what that's worth. Also not much content on supply chain planning and network design, compared to most years.


All of the above is observational, not a commentary. The breakout topics actually seemed pretty well balanced.


On the final day, Wednesday, the crowd pulls back to at best a quarter of the first two days. As usual in recent years, there once again were three 90-minute "mega-sessions" to choose from to start the morning. The last day morning concludes with about 90 minutes or so of closing festivities, including as always a motivational-type speaker - and this year some surprising commentary from the incoming board chair, as I will relay here in a bit.

In his opening comments Monday, Blasgen noted that as never before, it's "evolve or die" - a notion geared towards companies and supply chains - but applicable to conferences and organizations too, as we'll see.

He also emphasized the need to look at problems at opportunities through different lenses - this fact is crucial today, in my opinion.

The opening keynote Monday was from innovation expert Jeremy Gutsche, consultant and author of the book "Better and Faster."

He was a great speaker and seemed to get the audience going, but I have seen a number of these innovation speakers, and just like people who have climbed Mt. Everest, in the end all say about the same things.

Such as: innovation really is a science, not art; companies really can drive more innovation with right policies; don't punish failure; fail but fail fast, proactively solicit ideas; etc.

The best takeaways for me started with the observations that many great innovations were spawned by finding overlooked opportunities, not some rocket science genius. There still is hope for all of us to make billions with a new product or service.
Look around.


But its very difficult to get out of current paths, as individuals or companies. On a person level, there is a substance called myelin that actually forms pathways in the brain that get wider over time. That enables us to get better at doing some things - but harder for us to get out of that swim lane. There is of course a corporate version of this, if metaphorical not biological.

In fact, Gutsche said companies often only pay lip service to innovation - 97% of CEOs by one survey say innovation is the corporate lifeblood, but another survey found 55% of managers think their companies are lousy at innovation.

Ironically, innovation at a personal or company level is especially difficult around what your really good at - and takes real will power to overcome. In the end, Gutsche said companies must take the best of both farming (mining what you are good at) and hunting (finding new ways) cultures.


The day 2 general session featured on interesting panel on understanding millennials. The moderator for that panel was selected by a competition from CSCMP, involving a video application and ginning up votes via social media.


I admit to entering the competition, with a good video and lousy vote chasing. The winner was Felisa Higgins of Penn State, and she was a good choice, with an outsized personality and lots of energy.


The panel consisted of Chieh Huang, CEO of etailer Boxed; Seema Bansal, founder of on-line florist Venus ET Fleur; and consultant Eric Tormuende. It was an impressive and articulate group.

That said, I am not sure what the takeaways were. Among the few nuggets, Tormuende said there is really much difference among millennials - some do want the keg of beer, the ping pong tables, dogs in the office, etc. but not all. The recommendation was to be starkly clear what the environment in your company is like and what types of employees will thrive.


Bansal said millennials really want their voice to be heard and to work in a collaborative environment, with all employees having brush in the painting of the corporate canvas. Think that is spot on.

Huang cited some tensions between an older VP of distribution and millennials who pushed what he thought were some crazy ideas. Huang told him he may be right - but also that these same guys might just get done things you need in weeks instead of the 6-12 months and a systems integrator required in the traditional way.


So I give the panel an A for effort but a B- for insight - but hope we see more of this type of new CSCMP thinking next year.


Which leads to the surprise in Wednesday's closing general session. Incoming CSCMP board chair Michelle Meyer - interestingly from Gartner - laid out some rather sobering facts. CSCMP membership and conference attendance peaked in 1998. Then, there were more than 14,000 members - now there are just 6000+.


Conference attendance was about 7000 then - but now is probably about 2500. This is not sustainable, Meyer said, in a very different message from those we are used to seeing from new board chairs. In fairness, I will note CSCMP is far from the only organization facing such challenges in this new era.


But in an age of the internet, social media, different priorities and more, CSCMP needs a new business model, Meyer said. Quickly. She has formed a new committee to identify what changes are needed, to be led by Elijah Ray of Sunland Logistics.


Wow - this is really big news. And I completely agree. The organization and conference are getting stale - but like all of us the myelin pathway discussed above is very hard to get off even when things are not going great


I have my own ideas on what the conference needs, which I will share in coming weeks. But changes - big or small - I think will be welcome by most.


So, all told a good two and a half days in Anaheim - but I am excited about the potential for change for the better.

I will happily be back for CSCMP 2020 in Orlando. Can't wait to see the changes.

Breakout session summaries next week in this column, including a couple of very good sessions.

Did you go to CSCMP 2019? If not, why not? If yes, what are your thoughts on the conference? How can the conference and CSCMP improve? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.


On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Some of the short feedbacks on our recent columns summarizing the 2019 State of Logistics report from CSCMP. Here are a few.

Feedback on State of Logistics Report Coverage.


SCDigest does an amazing job with this. You take a very long document and boil it down to its essence in just one or two columns.


This is a great service to the industry - thank you.


Michelle Watson
Ft. Wayne, IN




I agree with you on the timing. By the time the report shows in late June, my interest in 2018 data has faded. We're already starting to look ahead to the next year.


I don't have a magic wand on how this could be changed to get the report out earlier, but it would make it much more valuable.


Mark Fitz
Stow, OH





It would be very interesting to know logistics costs as a percent of GDP in other countries. Can this be provided?


Amy Danko
Kansas City


Editor's Note:


We'll see what we can do.




I really like the way you take a long report and break it down into the key statistic. It's a pleasure to read, and I watched the excellent video summary itself on the Video News.


Brian Toomay


Q: CLM became CSCMP in what year?

A: 2004.

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