By: Patrick Walsh, Vice President of Supply Chain and Chief Business Development Officer, Food Marketing Institute
2015 Supply Chain Conference

When you think about the supply chain you might get visions of plans, trains, automobiles and more. But the truth is that bringing food from point A to point B involves so much more. When you start to consider the complexities of the supply chain, the need for streamlined logistics and increase efficiency becomes clear. That’s why FMI and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have joined together as the Trading Partner Alliance (TPA) to host the sixth annual Supply Chain Conference in Phoenix, AZ on February 15 – 17.  Here are seven highlights you won’t want to miss at the conference.

1. Sailing the Seven Seas: Navigating the routine transportation of cargo in 2009 as Captain of the Maersk Alabama, his ship was hijacked by Somali pirates and he was taken hostage for five days! As an amazing leader with a highly intriguing story Captain Richard Phillips will share what it means to be a "floating CEO". He will explore lessons from those dramatic events that can help you and your organization survive and thrive, even in these times when hope and support seem to be in very short supply.

2. Soaring Insights on the Digital Future and Logistics: The results of a study produced by GMA and the Boston Consulting Group, IRI and Google will be shared, including: key trends that will reshape the grocery industry over the next five years; implications of current trends for trading partners and their supply chains; and ways to make low-risk, “no regret” moves in the near term that can bring important opportunities to retain and grow market share in the future.

Also at the Conference, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals will share their annual 25th Annual State of Logistics Report that pulls on supply chain data since 1988 for the latest trends and regulatory changes and how these could impact the economy in 2015.

3. The New Drive By: In France the majority of food retailers operate click and collect (a.k.a. drive) locations and overall market penetration in 2014 is 25%. Learn how this model evolved in France and the impact click and collect has had on company supply chain infrastructure and the integration of online and in-store supply chain systems. 

4. Diversity and Strengthening the Weakest Link: How can you use your own leadership experiences to attract a diverse population of young professionals to the supply chain industry? Understand how diverse teams improve the performance of organizations in all aspects of logistics and other operational fields.

5. Big Data, FSMA, Reverse Logistics and More: Sessions on topics that are at the utmost importance to our industry designed to help stimulate ideas and increase efficiency. 

See the full program and more at