The inaugural meeting of an important new body, Leaders in Supply Chain, took place at the Antwerp Hilton Hotel on May 13th, bringing together over 40 leading supply chain professionals from across Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as peers from the UK.
World-renowned speaker Professor Martin Christopher gave a keynote presentation on the Mega-Trends that are Reshaping the Supply Chain Landscape, with the meeting and subsequent debate being chaired by Professor Alan G Waller OBE.
Leaders in supply chain will provide a regular forum for debate amongst director level supply chain executives from a wide range of transportation, logistics and supply chain businesses operating in Benelux. The inaugural meeting was attended by senior representatives from regional shippers, such as Procter & Gamble, Danone, Alpro, Johnson & Johnson and Heineken, transport companies such as Wim Bosman, Norbert Dentressangle and the Belgian railways, as well as logistics services providers such as DHL Supply Chain, Penske Logistics and Hessenatie Logistics.
Executive director Jos Marinus, President of founder member Vereniging voor Inkoop en Bedrijfslogistiek (VIB), says: These are challenging times in the logistics arena and I believe this forum will come to play a key role, not just in addressing the current issues faced by logistics professionals, but also in shaping a vision for the future. The calibre of those who attended this first meeting certainly gives me every confidence that Leaders in Supply Chain will be highly influential across industry.
Leaders in Supply Chain was initiated by The Logistics Directors Forum (LDF) in the UK, and has been set up by VIB and ABCAL (Association Belge des Cadres dAchat et de Logistique) in Belgium, vLm (vereniging Logistiek management) in The Netherlands, and CILT (The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) in the UK. All are not-for-profit members of the European Logistics Association.
Leaders in Supply Chain - closely modelled on the successful format of the LDF affiliate of CILT, which has been running in the UK since 1991 - aims to stimulate debate about key issues with a view to improving the efficiency and professionalism of supply chain management and to keep members up to date with the latest thinking. There will also be important networking opportunities and for the sharing of ideas between senior managers from the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK.
Alan Waller, Chairman of the LDF and founding President of Leaders in Supply Chain, adds: One of our most important objectives is to increase the influence of the supply chain in the boardroom, something that has been sadly lacking in the past. At no time has it been more important that supply chain issues and their impact on the business and economy are raised at the very highest level.
The intention is that Leaders in Supply Cain will meet three times a year at different venues in Holland and Belgium at which they will hear from key speakers on issues selected by the membership, and debate the practical implications for their businesses. Membership will be by invitation only for individuals who typically have chief executive or director status.
Mr Henk van Amstel, Secretary General of the board of vLm, concludes: We know that the concept of high ranking individuals meeting in a secure and supportive environment to discuss key issues with their peers from a cross section of supply chain participants has proved very successful in the UK. We believe the time is right to roll this out in the Benelux, and perhaps eventually more widely across Europe.