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Lazaridis School of Business and Economics


The Sixth Annual World Class Supply Chain Summit on May 4th, 2022 was a landmark in at least threes ways: First, it marked a return to having the annual summit in-person following the COVID-driven cancellation of the 2020 summit and the virtual delivery format of the 2021 summit. Second, the 2022 summit’s hybrid format (simultaneous in-person delivery in Milton, Ontario and online delivery to delegates who attended virtually) required the summit planning team to creatively deploy teleconferencing tools that characterise the pandemic-era. Third, for the very first time, we scheduled a Student Forum segment in which students presented material from their immersive experience with supply chain issues that two Canadian organizations grappled with. This innovative Student Forum, like the panel of executives, and the keynote presentation, yielded thought-provoking perspectives on the summit theme: Creating a Sustainable Future.

The panel discussion emphasized five key issues related to supply chain sustainability, the Student Forum addressed issues relevant to established manufacturer as well as start-up manufacturers, and the keynote presentation focused on post-pandemic supply chains. Across the extensive range of topics that these speakers covered during their formal delivery and their less formal but scheduled "fireside chats" with the audience, three topics took the lion’s share of the dialogue:

(i) Sustainability touches a very broad range of a company’s internal and external activities

(ii) The transition from a company’s current position to its desired position is very unlikely to be straightforward and direct

(iii) Companies need to be more proactive in identifying, recruiting, and nurturing new talent for supply chains of the future

The importance of not only considering what has happened and/or is happening in supply chains but also what could happen in the future was featured throughout the day’s dialogue and was evidently epitomized in the title of Professor Alan Amling’s keynote address: Post-pandemic SCM Practices, Insights, and Predictions. Some notable future supply chain items in his presentation include natural resource scarcity, population growth, demographic shifts, and man-made supply chain disruptions. These are among the insights that will be explicated in this white paper.

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