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Symposium Keynote Speakers - Summary of presentations

Our thanks to all the keynote presenters who contributed to this year's symposium.  A summary of some of the keypoints made is below with a link to the presentation, where we are able to make it available. 

Day 1 - Thursday 26 September

CATERPILLAR – Haydn Powell - Presentation

  • Safety first, quality always, values every day
  • Services, operational excellence, expanded offerings
  • 10 digital supply chain scenarios
  • VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous
  • Data – connectivity – analytics – automation – prediction
  • Evaluate – go see – prioritise – proof of concept – scale
  • RPA, dashboards, tracking, sensors, ML cameras, robots
  • The future of digital is analogue! People, skills, attitudes

IKEA – Per Berggren - Presentation

  • Plant roles and network design philosophy
  • The rise of the ecosystems
  • Consumer electronics in the factory, connected
  • Consumer-data led, integrated back to the forest
  • Robots now 50% previous cost!
  • Rats in the hardware and wiring!!
  • OT – operations technology: IT for the shop floor
  • Resistors are middle managers

WEHKAMP – Maarten Tibosch - Presentation

  • From catalogue to leading e-tailer
  • Specific segment – dept store for families in Netherlands
  • Emerging families, families, empty nesters
  • 500,000 visitors per day (17m population!)
  • Offering: payment, delivery, availability, carefree returns
  • 24 operators, 300,000 orders in 6 hours!
  • What’s next urban logistics, last mile
  • Expanding assortment via partners

MICROSOFT – Sophia Velastegui (no presentation available currently)

  • 60% current automation is AI
  • Predictive analytics is #1 AI use case
  • 75m jobs displaced by AI, 133m new jobs created
  • 60% production tasks can be automated
  • Connected field service, factory/supply chain of the future
  • 5 deg warmer or colder, 15% productivity hit
  • Intelligent supply chain: track-and-trace, smart logistics
  • Reinvent processes, transform business models

ELECTROLUX – Frank Wagner - Presentation

  • Safer than du Pont!
  • 17 global levers for driving synergy
  • Core vs. non core processes
  • Hard to succeed on strategic alliances
  • New market entry investment guidelines
  • Ideal plant size – min and max size
  • Market-to-factory-floor manufacturing strategy
  • Linking standard processes, modularisation & automation

UNILEVER – Biswaranjan Sen (no presentation available)

  • Are we running the right race?
  • Founded on mass production, distribution, communication
  • Disruption on all three – competitive advantages disappear
  • Hyper-fragmentation – customisation – always on demand
  • How to scale up successful pilots vs. ‘pilot purgatory’
  • More meaningful work, enhancing the power of being human
  • Decoupling physical and intelligent assets
  • Key: how well we manage the people role/skills transition

HOT TOPICS FROM WRAP UP DISCUSSION  - thanks to all our participants for their contribution.

  1. Climate change – disruption
  2. Compensating for political instability
  3. Agile reconfiguration of assets
  4. Digital transformation – people are the key
  5. Double standard: AI vs. statistics
  6. New jobs – who will teach them?
  7. Dominance of MNCs – what happens to SMEs?
  8. OR Erosion of MNCs scale barriers to entry?
  9. What does the world look like after digitalisation?
  10. Tipping point – digitalisation will happen quicker than we think
  11. AI and authentication / counterfeit products
  12. Talent being sucked up by providers
  13. Middle management as change resistors
  14. OR Biggest challenge is senior management?
  15. Building the next generation talent – where are they coming from?
  16. MNCs developing internal talent (1000 data scientists in 6 months)
  17. Training within – 1 month data scientist boot camp
  18. Fragmentation of distribution / distributed manufacturing
  19. How does this change life for the consumer?
  20. Additive manufacturing and new materials
  21. Cybersecurity – more connectivity, higher risk
  22. Reconfiguration of trade rules – tariffs, Brexit etc
  23. Fastest digital adoption is in China
  24. Competition based on ecosystems
  25. Integrating circular economy with digitalisation – social impact

Day 2 - Friday 27 September

Reshaping the supply chain through digital platforms – implications for firms, consumers and society - 

Geoffrey Parker - Presentation


Designing and manufacturing for sustainability: SCEnAT Life Cycle Platform - 

Professor Lenny Koh - Presentation

The 24th Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium


Many of us are facing disruptions resulting from COVID-19 and we wish you and your families good health in these uncertain times. Regarding our annual Symposium, at this stage, we are continuing our preparations with a view to confirming arrangements at the end of June. Please register your interest below to be kept up to date on the event and booking announcements.

Jagjit Singh Srai
On behalf of the organising committee

> Register your interest