For many supply chain professionals, last week was a particularly gruelling one – it certainly was for me. It was also one of the most exciting, because this was the week when the entrants in the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards went eyeball to eyeball with the judges.
It’s a central part of the judging process that every shortlisted entrant spends an hour making a presentation to the judges and then being closely questioned.
It’s hard work for both the entrants and the judges. But for me it’s tremendously rewarding. I am always struck by the commitment, ingenuity and enthusiasm of the entrants. It’s rare come out of a presentation without being impressed and almost willing them to win.
This year, I was particularly struck by the speed at which the business environment is changing. Developments in the global economy are being reflected in how goods are manufactured and distributed globally. Not only that, retail supply chains are continuing to change to meet the seemingly inexorable growth of online shopping.
Innovation is key to success in this rapidly changing environment – and there was plenty of innovation exhibited in the entries to the awards this year. I was also struck by the importance of education and training in bringing talented people into the discipline – and then retaining them.
There is still some way to go in the Awards process, but I would like to congratulate all the companies who made presentations last week. It was a memorable experience for all of us on the judging team.
The winners will be revealed at the Awards dinner on 16th November. It promises to be an unforgettable night and I hope you will be able to join us.