Major changes are impacting numerous areas of industry and society. Many of these changes are being driven by digitisation. The process of digitisation is an essential response to changing demand preferences on the part of customers. It also forms the basis for new business models. Processes are changing, and management and employees must learn to think and work in networks.
We need to recognise, accept and shape change. In 2016, BVL also made it its mission to help members find their bearings and – where possible – to address their uncertainties. Consequently, many of our events and publications were designed to generate stimuli and ideas for a successful digital future and, as one of the USPs of BVL, to encourage cross-sector debate and discussion on the implementation of the imminent and unavoidable paradigm shift.
During 2016, BVL as an organisation also played its role in driving change. It developed new digital and interactive formats for its events. It put key topics on the agenda, both through the presentations by its speakers and in its own publications in print and on the Internet. It assigned greater importance to further training, with the focus on the core fields of expertise of logistics practitioners. In the new study on trends and strategies in logistics and supply chain management, the team of researchers commissioned by BVL has defined key benchmarks. As an organisation, BVL is also becoming more international, and more youthful – and also attracting increasing numbers of female members.
The success of the association in this area is due to the commitment of and the effective cooperation between members and above all the efforts of the honorary officials in the Chapters, the Advisory Boards and the BVL Board as well as the team at head office. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have shared their knowledge and their experience with our network and who have contributed the most valuable resource of all – namely their time.
The theme of BVL for 2017 is "Think different – Act digital” and has been chosen to explore how the necessary changes can be shaped in practice. The topics will become more diverse and more complex, and developments will continue to pick up pace. Each and every one of us will face additional major challenges. BVL's activities will mirror the variety and speed of these new dimensions: we will address the key issues and adopt a definite stance. This will help to ensure that our association is well positioned to generate the important stimuli that benefit our members on their professional paths – while acting as the dependable "professional family" that is valued by so many of us.