33rd International Supply Chain Conference

Harnessing the "Wind of Change" of digitisation

Prof. Raimund Klinkner, Dr. Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, Prof. Clemens Fuest, Alexander Dobrindt

Prof. Raimund Klinkner, Dr. Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta, Prof. Clemens Fuest, Alexander Dobrindt

3,303 participants came together from October 19 to 21 in Berlin for the 33rd International Supply Chain Conference with the theme "Driving Change", and both the content and the accompanying programme proved universally popular.

In his opening address, BVL President Prof. Raimund Klinkner focused on the process of the digital transformation and on the associated opportunities and risks. "One thing is certain: the organisation of value added activities in dynamic networks is fundamentally changing the nature of competition. The "time factor" has been reduced to the minimum: we are now acting and reacting in real time. Smart factories are gearing their production to the preferences of individual customers at short notice. Smart companies are operating parallel supply chains and dynamically aligning their product and service portfolios to the trends in the social media", is how Klinkner described the current scenario, adding that "the only companies that enjoy digital access to customers are those that understand the rules of the game in the digital market".

Four tracks with the headings "Transformation", "Digital", "Sectors" and "Science and Research", each with four parallel sessions, covered the full range of topical issues in logistics. The themes included change management, urban logistics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare as well as digital transport management. The presentations and discussions before the full conference, the 16 specialist sessions and four outings were supplemented in 2016 by a new format: the LOG.Camp is designed to appeal to all those who not only want to discuss the theory of digitisation but also to experience it in practice. The programme provided many opportunities to discuss digital developments, the special modus operandi of start-ups and new forms of personnel management in an era of digitisation and interconnection. The presentations by the keynote speakers – among them three Ministers of Transport, multiple CEOs and Board members from respected companies as well as experts from the academic field – provided important stimuli.

In chronological order, presentations were held by Michael Ziesemer (President of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) and Vice-President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI)), Oliver Zipse (member of the Board of Management for Production at BMW), Joachim Drees (CEO of MAN), Hans Christian Schmidt (Danish Minister for Transport and Building), HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed (Bahrain Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications), Stephen Brobst (CTO, Teradata Corporation), Roy Perticucci (Vice President Europe Customer Fulfillment, EU Operations, Amazon), EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (Chairman, Spitzberg Partners), Janina Kugel (member of the Managing Board at Siemens), Dr. Sigrid Evelyn Nikutta (CEO, Director of Operations of Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), Prof. Clemens Fuest (President of the ifo Institute) and, concluding the event, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt.

Roy Perticucci, Stephan Brobst, Prof. Robert Blackburn, D. E. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Günther H. Oettinger

Roy Perticucci, Stephan Brobst, Prof. Robert Blackburn, D. E. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Günther H. Oettinger

A further highlight of the conference was the panel discussion on day one. In a session chaired by publicist Roland Tichy, panellists Christoph Behrendt (SAP), Sabine Bendiek (Microsoft Germany), Amadou Diallo (DHL Freight), Prof. Günther Schuh (Aachen University) and Peter Umundum (Österreichische Post) discussed how change can be recognised and accepted.

Peter Umundum, Christoph Behrendt, Sabine Bendiek, Prof. Günther Schuh, Roland Tichy, Amadou Diallo

Peter Umundum, Christoph Behrendt, Sabine Bendiek, Prof. Günther Schuh, Roland Tichy, Amadou Diallo

HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark and Hans Christian Schmidt, Danish Minister of Transport and Building, were among the guests on day one of the conference together with representatives from the Danish Embassy. The key topics of the Danish-German dialogue included bilateral economic relations and the plans for a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt. Denmark is the driving force behind this project, which – through the building of a tunnel via Fehmarn on the German side and Lolland in Denmark – will create a new economic region comprising around nine million people: from Hamburg and Lübeck via Copenhagen and extending all the way to Malmo in southern Sweden.

HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark, guest of honour at the Gala, in conversation with Prof. Thomas Wimmer

The German Award for SCM was presented during the Gala on the evening of day one of the conference and went to agricultural machinery manufacturer Agco and its 4PL service provider 4flow for the project "Agco Smart Logistics". The Science Award for SCM was presented to Dr.-Ing. Max Gath for his dissertation entitled "Optimizing Transport Logistics Processes with Multiagent Planning and Control" and Dr.-Ing. Zäzilia Seibold for her dissertation on "Logical Time for Decentralized Control of Material Handling Systems".