Supply Chain Management professionals to host annual roundtable event

Supply chain management is one of the most integral parts of any business. Now, local business owners will have the chance to learn about new trends and best practices. The Arizona Chapter of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) will host its thirteenth annual Roundtable Symposium later this month.

States Logistics operations manager Tim Richards explains that business leaders across many industries will be in attendance. “The Symposium is usually made up of supply chain roundtable officials, whether it’s executives, leads, etc,” Richards said. “Honestly, it’s a wide variety of people; warehouse professionals, real estate leaders — essentially anyone that touches supply chain management.”

The event will feature a panel discussion about SkyBridge Arizona, the first international air cargo hub at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. SkyBridge includes a first-of-its-kind joint United States-Mexico Customs inspections facility, which dramatically streamlines the Customs process with Mexico. Freight times that used to take up to 10 days to clear are slashed by up to 80 percent by Customs Pre-Clearance. The first e-commerce shipment processed through the combined United States-Mexico Customs unified cargo inspection at SkyBridge took flight out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport last week.

“I think the biggest thing about [SkyBridge] is it opens up more opportunities for Arizona with trade and makes us more attractive to companies who will utilize SkyBridge.” richards said. “This includes any company who is importing products into the United States, as well as e-commerce companies.”

Dr. Henrik Sternberg, a supply chain management professor at Iowa State University, will discuss a Swedish open-door policy, which has allowed commercial trucks to transport goods in and out of Sweden freely. He will examine the results of the study and how a similar hypothetical strategy would impact the United States.  “It is a relevant topic given that there’s been discussion about doing the same thing in the United States,” Richards said. “Looking back to what other countries have experienced — the benefits, the challenges, and the takeaways — is very helpful.”

There will also be a discussion about employee recruitment since that is one of the biggest issues that companies are facing with the low unemployment rate. Panelists will share strategies to recruit college students and recent graduates, as well as more experienced members of the supply chain workforce. “Everybody is competing against everybody,” Richards said, so this will help firms learn how to maximize their attractiveness to future employees.

Richards believes that almost everyone even remotely interested in the event will benefit from attending. “I think anyone who deals with the supply chain — which is just about anyone in business — will be updated in current trends and how to improve their organizations,” Richards said.

Ben Norman

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