sc digest
Oct. 13, 2023
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


Featured Sponsor




This Week in SCDigest

bullet Trip Report: CSCMP Edge Conference in Orlando bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts
first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


We Find Another incomprehensible Chart


Supply Chain by the Numbers


IMF Forecasts Weak US, Global Growth in 2024
Supply Chain Execs Invest in Agility and Resilience
Volvo Sees Big Gains wIth SuperTruck2
Maersk Buildng Green Methane Ship


Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit!

Expert Insight

Supply Chain Technology Is Changing The Way SMBs Compete

Real-Time Visibility Into Inventory Levels, Order Status, and Shipment Tracking Enables SMBs to Monitor and Manage Their Supply Chains More Effectively


Sam Polakoff
Founder and CEO


Read Now

Cloudy Outlook but With a Glimmer of Optimism

Expectations of Lower Import Demand for the Rest of the Year and Retailer Cautiousness Will not Bode Well for the Last Mile


Jay Kent
Managing Director
SLB Performance


Read Now

 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week


What type of supply chan software is known by the acronym DOM?

Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page


Trip Report: CSCMP Edge Conference in Orlando Part 2

I am back for a second week with my review and comment on CSCMP's 2023 Edge conference in Orlando at the great Gaylord Palms hotel and convention center Oct. 1-4.

A few more highlights and observations here again in my Edge Trip Report Part 2 You can find Part 1 here, which summarizes some overdue changes to the long-time 2.5-day conference structure, notably new mid/late afternoon general sessions Monday and Tuesday, which in turn resulted in a reduction in the number of breakout sessions.



This year, instead we got the "3 V's of Business Innovation Award,” connected to the 25th anniversary of the famous 3V's framework of Visibility, Velocity and Variability from Art Mesher, then a prominent analyst at Gartner.

Send Us Your Feedback here

As I said then, there are only many hours in a conference day, so something has to give.


Last week I failed to mention the conference theme of "Foundation to Future," which CSCMP CEO Mark Baxa re-emphasized in his relatively brief opening remarks. The idea being that companies have a lot of work just getting the basics right, but doing so in the context of being able to successfully navigating a future filled with the game changing technologies we all now know in terms of AI/machine learning, robots, drones and more.


They won't eliminate human beings in the supply chain, but there are processes that will run with little or no human intervention, Baxa said.


CSCMP 2023 board chair Tom Nightingale, CEO at AFS Logistics, discussed some of the organization's recent goals and achievements. Those goals included beefing up local CSCMP roundtable activity, which in my view had seen some decline in recent years due general trends, the impact of COVID and more.

Nightingale told the opening session crowd on Monday that roundtable events were up 21% while attendance has risen 39% in the past year, which I didn't know. Getting the roundtable ecosystem to work, almost totally dependent on local volunteers, is a major challenge indeed, and I wish CSCMP success in its efforts in this.

Announced at least a couple of months prior, on Monday morning Dr. Ted Stank of the University of Tennessee received his Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious honor we have, dating back several decades.

I frankly feel academics are over-represented in the DSA pantheon, but understand why, including the fact that you really can only be considered if someone nominates you and lobbies your cause, which is hard to make happen for non-academic supply chain pros.

But in Stank's case I think the award is well-deserved. He has clearly been one of the Supply Chain thought leaders over the past 20 years or more, has involved himself in a number of industry activities, including many relative to CSCMP, and much more.

In brief remarks, Stank thanked many, including his late University of Tennessee colleague Tom Mentzer, while he emphasized the "power of the team" in almost any endeavor.

I believe Stank winning the DSA still also gets him a place in the Supply Chain Hall of Fame, an honor CSCMP started with its creation of a virtual hall in 2016 (see note on this below). This year, he was joined by 2023 Hall of Fame inductee Lynn Fritiz, who as CEO of Fritz Companies built a large, innovative freight forwarder that was sold to UPS in 2001.

After that move, Fritz shifted professional gears, dedicating the Fritz Institute to the development and deployment of logistics expertise to the global Humanitarian Sector. Lynn partnered with his wife, business professor Dr. Anisya Thomas, and resolved to be an advocate for humanitarian logisticians, and bring academic expertise and private sector resources and best practices to their endeavors.

He invested significant financial resources and devoted a majority of his time partnering with a broad array of institutions and individuals in the creation of a field now recognized as humanitarian logistics.


Fritz and his wife were there to receive the honor, and he seems like a very worthy recipient.


As a note, there is now actually a physical Supply Chain Hall of Fame, opened in 2020 at the University of Arkansas.

Also well deserving was my friend Mike Regan of TranzAct Technologies receiving the Gail Rutkowski Transportation Excellence Award, named after the long-time head of the NASSTRAC shipper organization, which CSCMP absorbed a few years back.

Regan is himself was also the DSA honoree in 2014. He is a great guy, involved in a mind-boggling number of logistics-related organization and other efforts, and gets extra points for having often cited SCDigest articles and data at various events over the years. Congrats to Mike.


One additional conference wrinkle this year. The Supply Chain Innovation Award we'd seen for many years had its own conference presentation track with live summaries of five-to-six finalist case studies chosen from a pool of written submissions. A panel of judges would select a winner and runner up, announced on the final day morning session on Wednesday


This year, instead we got the "3 V's of Business Innovation Award," connected to the 25thanniversary of the famous 3V's framework of Visibility, Velocity and Variability from Art Mesher, then a prominent analyst at Gartner. It is among the most influential supply chain research of all time.


The idea for the award was that applicants using a similar written submission process needed to connect their projects or commercial technology solutions to some aspect of the 3 V's.


It was frankly a bit of a stretch. In this process, we got very short presentations from three finalists at about 5 PM in a small theater-type set-up on the exhibit hall floor, again in front of a small panel of judges. Mesher himself was there, though not a judge, while former CSCMP CEO Rick Blasgen was master of cermonies.

None of the three presentations was very good in terms of succinctly articulating the solution and its benefits, perhaps due to the abbreviated time alloted. The three finalists were: (1) Local Line, which has a platform for connecting thousands of small farmers to large retailers and restaurant chains for procuring produce and adding visibility to order status and source attributes; (2) ProvisionAI, which uses artificial intelligence to plan and execute synchronized inbound and outbound transportation moves (unsually at consumer packaged goods companies), first deployed at Kimberly Clark; and (3) Transvoyant, which offers a visibility and risk management platform with US military roots that uses AI to predict from a huge number of inputs when a supply chain disruption is likely to occur, with recommended mitigation actions (very cool, actually).

I think with better presentations any of the three could have won, but absent that I was certain that Local Line would prevail, because it was (a) the easiest to understand; and (b) the sustainability-oriented entry usually wins these things, and this solution is shown to significanty reduce fruit/produce waste and "food miles" travelled to get the produce to market. It also gets small farmers substantially more of the total money pot.

I was right.

So I think I will wrap it up there. Again, a very solid event from CSCMP.

Back with one more CSCMP Trip Report next week with a look at key breakout sessions


Any reaction to this trip report? Did you attend Edge? Let us know your thoughs at the Feedback section below.

See as Web page/Printable Version

On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributen

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


Feedback will return next week.

What type of supply chan software is known by the acronym DOM?

A: Distributed Order Management