Tuesday 19th March, 2019

Welcome drinks reception

A great chance for you to get together with fellow delegates in a relaxed atmosphere before the conference starts. Our welcome reception provides an excellent forum in which to exchange views and contact details with some of the finest minds in the North American automotive supply chain sector... bring lots of business cards!


Wednesday 20th March, 2019


Join us to collect your badge, enjoy a bite to eat and start the conversation with your fellow delegates.

SESSION 1: Supply Chain Innovation and Transformation

As the automotive industry adapts to new technology, companies are adapting their business models, value chains and organisations to stay agile and competitive. Industry leaders and experts provide insights into their organisation’s journey so far, and outline practical steps for the future

Welcome and introduction

9.10 Opening Keynote address: From hardware to software supply chains

Rene Deist, Chief Information Officer, Faurecia
A leading player in Faurecia’s digital transformation, Rene Deist talks about inspiring organisational and industry change, and what it means to add software capabilities alongside industrial efficiency, from AI in plants and logistics to cybersecurity verification, and more

9.30 Topics covered by speakers and panellists will include:

  • How predictive analytics and AI could change automotive organisations and their supply chains
  • Trade and regulatory influences today and tomorrow
  • Skills and recruitment challenges for the future
  • Autonomous, shared, electrified: what they mean for the supply chain
Networking and coffee

An excellent chance to discuss the opening session with your peers over light refreshments.

SESSION 2a: Strategic Supply Chain Planning

Automotive supply chains must be connected across functions, predictive based on data, personalised to customer demand while modular in design. Experts present case studies and best practice for supply chain and material planning across R&D, purchasing, inbound, manufacturing, distribution and the aftermarket.

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • Integrating functions and enterprises for holistic supply chain management
  • Improving forecasting and building a sales and operations planning function
  • Optimising plan-for-every-part (PFEF) and bill of materials (BOM) management
  • Strategic purchasing and supplier management
  • The potential of AI and analytics in supply chain planning
SESSION 2b: Strategic Logistics Execution

The principles of having the right product in the right place at the right time will remain fundamental to lean automotive logistics. However, experts reveal how to further improve execution in the future, including through real-time visibility, dynamic scheduling and sustainable supply chains.

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • Optimising transport, inventory and distribution networks
  • Implementing dynamic scheduling and load building
  • Packaging and container management
  • Lean management for future supply chains
  • Closed-loop and reverse logistics strategies
Networking and lunch

An extended networking lunch break giving delegates ample opportunity to rub shoulders with our unique gathering of vehicle-makers, tier suppliers, logistics service providers, infrastructure operators, sponsors and exhibitors.

SESSION 3: Ideas Labs

Ideas Labs are practical, solutions-orientated workshops led by supply chain and technology leaders and designed for collective exploration of complex challenges. Expect to leave with new ideas, action plans and new contacts

Ideas Lab 1: Order and demand planning

Strategies and technologies for making automotive demand planning and forecasting more accurate and synchronised across the supply chain

Ideas Lab 2: Collaboration for the future and beyond

A changing supply chain might mean new players and competition, but it also means evaluating existing partnerships with suppliers and providers to ensure they are mutually beneficial and fit for purpose

Ideas Lab 3: Smart transport, smarter supply chains

Connected vehicles, infrastructure and truck fleets offer new opportunities to make the supply chain even more efficient and responsive to the needs of manufacturing and customers

Ideas Lab 4: Supply chain in the cloud

Strategies for navigating the challenges and opportunities of moving enterprise and supply chain systems between the cloud and the edge, between legacy and the latest, while controlling costs

Ideas Lab 5: The supply chain electrified

How manufacturers, service and technology providers should adapt to the supply chain requirements for automotive electrification

Ideas Lab 6: Big Data and analytics

How supply chain analytics is driving improvements and operational effectiveness by enabling data-driven decisions at strategic, operational and tactical levels

Networking and coffee

Your chance to discuss the key issues of the day so far with fellow delegates over light refreshments.

SESSION 4: The Connected Supply Chain

Supply chain and logistics are already the biggest customer for internal automotive IT departments. Now, as manufacturers speed up product development, digitalise data and processes, and connect logistics, manufacturing and distribution, experts reveal how technology tools will become even more valuable – provided organisations use the right skills and partners.

16.05 Keynote address: Journey to the cloud and beyond

Raman Mehta, Chief Information Office, Visteon
Leading a highly compressed and ambitious transformation programme, including integrating product lifecycle management in the cloud, and rolling out data visualisation in plants, Raman Mehta discusses game-changing lessons in digitalising systems across the supply chain

16.30 Topics covered by speakers and panellists will include:

  • Enterprise and logistics systems, including ERP, MRP, PLM and TMS
  • Game-changer potential: AI, machine learning, blockchain
  • Digital twinning and augmented/virtual reality applications
  • Supply chain IoT: sensor-linked equipment, networks and products
  • Keeping the supply chain cyber secure
The Supply Chain Conference gala dinner

Dine in style as you compare notes on the first day of the conference with all the top people on the North American automotive supply chain scene.


Thursday 21st March, 2019

SESSION 5a: Future-proofing the supply chain

Whether greenfield or existing facilities, automotive firms are investing to ensure they have the right products, processes, skills and technology to stay competitive. Our supply chain experts discuss strategies for current and future optimisation, from digitalisation and automation, network engineering and partner management.

9.05 Keynote address: Building a digital framework

Jeetendra Kumar, Director IT – Enterprise Application Services, AGCO
From rolling out ERP standards globally, building IT centres of excellence, to promoting digital manufacturing tools and technology, Jeetendra Kumar outlines agricultural equipment giant AGCO's strategic framework for creating a more agile, digital enterprise and supply chain

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • What should be digitalised and automated today, and what to plan for future
  • Equipment for today and tomorrow: mobile robots, AGVs, augmented reality and drones
  • Greenfield versus brownfield upgrades
  • Motivating and partnering with suppliers, providers and start-ups
  • Preparing for future technology: how electrified and autonomous vehicle supply chain processes will be different
Session 5b: Customer-centric distribution and service

Whether through software services, new mobility models, e-commerce or changing customer expectations, automotive firms must get closer to their customers. Our panel discusses ways to keep up, including collecting and analysing data, direct communication and providing more responsive, faster service.

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • Service and value chain opportunities for new mobility concepts, from ride-sharing to subscriptions
  • Faster, more responsive distribution and logistics
  • Linking customer data to the supply chain
  • How digital retail and ecommerce will change the supply chain
  • Impacts of software and over-the-air updates
Networking and coffee

Chew over today’s opening session with your colleagues as you enjoy some light refreshments.

SESSION 6a: Students of supply chain workshop

The automotive supply chain of the future will depend on experience and in-depth industry knowledge, combined with new skills and talent, as well as continuing training and education throughout careers. This session brings together industry leaders, university professors and students to discuss opportunities in the sector.

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • What the automotive supply chain should offer future employees
  • Keeping up with technology, AI and automation
  • Continuous learning and training strategies
  • Matching curriculums to industry needs
  • The role of IT and coding skills in supply chain
SESSION 6b: Ideas Labs
Ideas Lab 1: Start-up supply chains

How manufacturers, technology and service providers can obtain new skills, partners and ecosystems, including through incubators, universities and corporate venturing

Ideas Lab 2: Packaging for the future supply chain

An-depth discussion of how packaging must evolve with new automotive products, networks and sustainability requirements, and how the industry can best prepare

Ideas Lab 3: Future of the aftermarket

How customer requirements, ecommerce and new products are influencing services, distribution and facilities for the automotive aftermarket.

Ideas Lab 4: Sustainable supply chains

Regulatory and customer requirements will continue to require more focus on sustainable transport, sourcing and equipment, from production to end-of-life processes

Networking and lunch

Our second extended networking lunch gives delegates another great chance to circulate and connect with all the vehicle-makers, tier suppliers, logistics service providers, infrastructure operators, sponsors and exhibitors at the event.

SESSION 7: The human factor and the future supply chain

While further enterprise digitalisation potential is enormous, the present and future supply chain will rely on the hard work, creativity and skills of the people who operate and manage it. Speakers and panelists share how their companies are making sure they implement technology that is safe and mutually beneficial to workers, integrates with existing systems and ultimately improves performance.

Topics covered by speakers and panelists will include:

  • Human-machine compatibility and collaboration
  • What technologies are worth the hype, and which are not…yet
  • Integrating and optimising legacy systems and processes
  • What processes and skills should remain with people

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