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Supply Chain ASEAN Summit prepares businesses for the digital disruption

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Supply Chain ASEAN Summit prepares
businesses for the digital disruption
Text, Photo and Video by Monsi A. Serrano

Given the digital technology develops rapidly, those unable to cope with the changes will become obsolete or left behind by their competitors.

This is one of the major points discussed at the JDA Supply Chain ASEAN Summit held last May 23 at the City of Dreams, Parañaque City. The event, organized by JDA Supply Chain and Genie Technologies Inc., showcased the most effective and relevant strategies to adopt in these times in order to remain on the top of the competition.

Participants from various companies in the retail, manufacturing, distribution and logistics business learned from the digital gurus, who shared their respective experiences and gave their forecast of what to expect in the rapidly transforming playing field in supply chain management.

Interviewed by THEPHILBIZNEWS before the start of the program, JDA Vice President for Growth Markets Vishal Dhawan said the Southeast Asian region needs to be really efficient and integrated in order to optimize the digital transformation journey of all businesses.

Dhawan said the discussions push on accelerating towards an autonomous supply chain that is agile, adaptive and self-learning given all the challenges in the digital landscape and the summit provides the valuable learning that participants would be happy and excited to hear.

Embracing AI

Speaking at the media briefing, Group Vice President of JDA Software for Asia Pacific Martin Dube pointed out the importance of accepting the need for AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the supply chain business and that this should not be seen as a replacement for the human workforce.

“I know what would be the main concern in the adaption of the new technologies such as AI, that there would be displaced workers. But this is not so. AI is there to help, to make it more efficient, avoid wastage and this would save the company a lot of money. Because what is not measurable is not manageable,” said Dube.

Changes, though, are like a bitter pill that have to be taken if one wishes to evolve with the supply chain and retail industry.

“That is the reason why I said in my talk that the supply chain and retail industry is continuously evolving. And the changes in the technology are inevitably enabling a new business model. Having said this, the choice is rather simple, disrupt of be disrupted because even if you are on the top now, but you do the same old ways despite of the advent of new technologies, expect that you will become obsolete and this is more costly in the process,” he said.

Michael Viray, IBM Portfolio Leader for Power Systems, also shared the latest developments in AI and the need for deeper learning to help manufacturers leverage advanced analytics to improve quality of service, contain costs and improve productivity.

Capitalize on technology

John Boe, senior director of JDA Client Service-Genie Technologies, noted the need for companies in the retail, manufacturing, and logistics business to capitalize on new technology.

However, he also cautioned tech users, saying: “Yes, indeed there are various new technologies that are available in the market. An astute company or businessman will not just get something that is cheap and available. The key is to choose the right technology that would really help you increase your supply chain efficiency and result in a seamlessly connected consumer experience.”

Case studies

Interestingly, industry practitioners and leaders from various global brands handling the Supply Chain Management were generous enough to share their respective best practices during the panel discussions. They shared the ones adopted by their companies that kept them on top and continually provided them the competitive edge they needed in the ever-changing business landscape in the midst of the digital evolution.

From Coca-Cola Philippines, Logistics Director Ruth Genota practically addressed the issue of the heavy traffic that inevitably affects the supply chain and why there arises a need to adopt the available technology for their own advantage such as AI.

Puskar Mukherjee, Unilever Philippines supply chain performance director, shared how Unilever remains to be the market leader, owing to its openness to accept not just the latest technology but the right technology based on their business model.

Others who also gave their valuable input were Arnold Ballesteros, senior territory account manager of Zebra Technologies; and Charlie Villaseñor, chairman of the board of the Procurement & Supply Institute of Asia (PASIA) and CEO of TransProcure Corporation, who emphasized the importance of keeping in mind the three essential elements of best practice in a digital world and these are ethics, excellence, and e-enablement.

There was Petrus Carbonell, Lazada’s head of business development, who shared his company’s story and vision which is to penetrate the Southeast Asian market via use of technology and e-commerce.

Meanwhile, Ernst & Young Senior Manager Alamelu Ganes discussed the outlook on the trends, challenges, and enabling technologies that companies need to face in the digital transformation journey that would lead to disruption.


Truly, the event lived up to its theme, “Seamless supply chain for seamless customer experience,” as all participants were delighted to listen to and learn from what the speakers shared.

One of the participants that THEPHILBIZNEWS interviewed said, “Technology may look expensive from the surface, but given the real scenarios and best practices being done by other companies as shared by the speakers from their real experience, it is really worthy to invest in the right technology and in longer terms saves the company a lot of money from unforeseen and uncontrolled losses.”

Other notable speakers included JDA Senior Director Daniel Kohut, JDA Senior Solutions Advisor Santosh Bhakta, and JDA Senior Industry Strategy Advisor Richard Ryan.

See related story:

GenieTech urges ASEAN businesses to reinvent, transform to leapfrog global competition

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