For nearly every new economic trend and market shift, there’s a corresponding impact on company supply chains.
From the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the widening of the Panama Canal and the rise of cyber espionage, each development brings with it direct and sometimes unexpected, indirect consequences to the flow of materials and products across the globe.
So there will be no shortage of unique issues to discuss at the sixth annual Supply Chain Management Summit Aug. 22 at Bryant University.
Reflecting the onward march of globalization and complexity of the world economy, the number of individual break-out sessions on current topics has doubled since the first summit in 2008.
“We used to have 10 workshops and now we have 20,” said Junior Jabbe, sales and marketing manager at Banneker Industries in North Smithfield and co-chair of this year’s summit. “We are really seeing directors and CEOs attending and it has grown every year.”
The brainchild of Banneker President and CEO Cheryl W. Snead, the Supply Chain Management Summit brings together company executives with a growing number of supply-chain-management academics to discuss best practices.
Jabbe said just a few years ago, Rhode Island’s colleges didn’t have supply-chain-management programs, but both Bryant and the University of Rhode Island have recently added them.
“In Rhode Island there has been a lot of focus on how to spur the economy and when we look at logistics, our location between Boston and New York, and our proximity to the Eastern Seaboard is an advantage,” Jabbe said. “With Quonset’s resurgence as a multimodal logistics hub, Rhode Island has the qualities that are being focused on.”
Jabbe said although many may not think of it as a supply-chain issue, the federal health care reform legislation now known as Obamacare is driving changes across industries.
Because of the new law’s focus on driving down costs, companies at all ends of health care, from hospitals and care providers to suppliers and manufacturers, are under pressure to trim every possible dollar out of the system.
“When you look at Obamacare, you have to do more with less,” Jabbe said. “Supply chains are where that can be done. Everything from gauze to needles and critical equipment – we have to look at where we can make it more lean.”
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