An Intro to This Year's Leadership Forum

The Seventh Supply Chain Leadership Forum (SCLF) is happening soon. Listen in to find out the when, where and everything else you need to know about this year’s SCLF.

Hi this is Jim Tompkins, the President and CEO of Tompkins International and Tompkins International. I am pleased to be here today to talk with my brother, Bruce Tompkins, about a really important event the Supply Chain Consortium Leadership Forum.

This marks our seventh year for the Leadership Forum and I can tell you that I find this event to be the most important event that I attend every year. You see I really enjoy learning from other executives who are working in the supply chain and understanding the challenges and innovations that they are working on throughout their supply chain.This Supply Chain Consortium event is where I get this done every year. I get a chance to sit and talk with other executives that are working on supply chain, I am not listening to someone give a speech, I am actually interacting in an open forum.

So as I mentioned, I have Bruce Tompkins with us today, Bruce is the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Consortium and I am really pleased to have him with me to go through some of the highlights and some of the things that you need to understand about this year’s Leadership Forum.

Jim

So Bruce, let me begin by saying when and where is the Leadership Forum for 2011?

Bruce

Thanks Jim appreciate the question, when and where the Leadership Forum is going to be this year is something that we have been working on really hard as we wanted it to be in a location that people could get to easily and that would be a fun place to be. So we are going to have it in Orlando this year. It is actually going to be held at the Disney Yacht and Beach club in Walt Disneyworld. The dates are August 29th through the 31st. The 29th is an evening kick-off discussion and we will keep that informal and the conference runs through mid-day on the 31st. It is really a day and two-thirds worth of activities.

Jim

Great Bruce, you know I am really excited about being there, what really in your mind makes the format of this Forum so unique?

Bruce

The Leadership Forum is so unique in that the format that we have set up is for small group discussions, so it is all built around small groups of 15-20 people per group talking about an individual topic. That is what really makes it different from our conference versus other conferences that you will attend and that is really why we call it a Forum because it is mostly discussion. We have some general sessions planned and those will be educational as well, but the brunt of the meeting is really all about how do we get people all together in the same room to talk about things that are of interest to them.

Jim

Bruce what would be some of the highlights of this year’s event?

Bruce

The highlights of the forum this year are really a couple of different things. First of all we are having a kick-off session on Monday evening for those people that can arrive early and this will be talking about The Top Eleven Trends Impacting the Supply Chain. We will have a special meet and greet session as well. We are using an audience-driven response system for our discussion on Peak Season Planning and Execution. So we are actually using the kind of handheld devices that many conferences have gone to for their audience response and we will be using that a lot throughout the conference.

There are lots of educational sessions that we have planned. We are doing topics such as: Supply Chain Uncertainty, Tax Efficient Supply Chain Management and some information about the CSA Transportation regulations and hours of service, just to name a few of the sessions we are having. We are also having a unique keynote presentation given by Disney, talking about the supply chain work that they do at Disney. It is all about optimizing the customer’s experience for them.

One of the real, real highlights this year is that we are taking a behind the scenes tour of Magic Kingdom. This is going to be a different type of tour; it’s not like one you can go on with a normal group. We will actually be going underneath the Magic Kingdom into an area they call the Utilidor, which is where they move material, people, and parts and do all the automation that is done for the rides. This all happens in that Utilidor so we are going to see from a supply chain point of view, how Disney moves things around in the Magic Kingdom Park. And then we are going to have dinner at Epcot and some entertainment.

Jim

Bruce share with our listeners who the typical attendees are for this event.

Bruce

The people that typically attend are event are those that are in senior levels of management at supply chain companies, whether it is leadership in a shipping company, retailer or manufacturer. Or even an LSP. So we are looking for senior level people, people have to be members of the consortium, but that is an easy thing to accomplish. All you have to do is sign up to become a member at a free level and you can attend this year’s event. We like to have people at senior level so they can really talk and network with eachother, but it is also a good opportunity to bring people who are less senior so they can discuss things that are of interest to them and learn from others as well.

Jim

I know everyone who is considering attending this event needs to present to their management the value of what they hope to gain. Can you give us an overview of what the attendees hope to receive from attending this event?

Bruce

The values I think that people get out of coming to this even are in a couple of different areas. One of course is the networking that takes place and I am always amazed at the amount of networking that people do and it is something that sometimes occurs while we are in a session talking about a particular topic, but it also sometimes occurs in the break areas, during lunch time, at dinner; the networking that takes place is really an amazing thing to watch as people get used to eachother and talk with eachother about things that companies are doing and look for ways to work together. It is not uncommon for people to go to the forum and meet people that they have never met before, but really are a customer of or support for manufacturing. It is interesting to see them talk and get to know eachother and talk about issues that are impacting their two companies supply chains.

I would say that networking is the biggest value that people gain, so a lot of great educational sessions that people can learn a lot from and the value of the sessions is somewhat driven by the value that the people add to them. Each session has some material that we present from the database or from other learning’s and we have an expert lead each session. Many times the expert is not a Tompkins International employee, but it is someone from academia or someone from one of our member companies. So there is a lot of learning that goes on during these sessions, so I would say that’s the next value that people really gain from it is that learning that goes on during the conference.

Jim

I am sure, Bruce that many people want to learn more about the Leadership Forum, how can they learn more about how to attend this event and what is going to be happening?

Bruce

People can learn more about the Leadership Forum in a couple of different ways. One is they can go to our website, www.supplychainconsortium.com , and there is a selection at the top of the page that they can select that will take them to the menu for the Leadership Forum. Gives them an overview or an agenda for the day, registration, lodging, it tells them everything they need to know about the conference. Another good way is to contact Patty Trocchio from the Supply Chain Consortium. She is leading the registration efforts and you can reach her at ptrocchio@supplychainconsortium.com. Or her phone number is 919-855-5424. Patty will be happy to register you and get you started with the process of becoming a member, if that is necessary or get you signed up to attend the Forum. Thanks a lot!

Jim

Well thank you Bruce, I very much appreciate the work you and your team are doing to put together this important event. I know I very much look forward to attending and I know many people on this podcast will give it strong consideration as well. So thanks so much Bruce for being with us today.

Thank you listeners for learning more about the Supply Chain Consortium and our annual Leadership Forum. I look forward in two weeks kicking off a new series on China Supply Chain and what we are doing to interact with China to really address the global end-to-end supply chain. Thanks so much, we will be talking with you real soon.