People, Processes, and Technologies

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Keynote Speaker Cliff Engle, SVP Fender Musical Instruments Corporation at the 2010 BOTB Conference

As I sit here on an airplane traveling home from the APICS/IBF Best of the Best S&OP Conference (BOTB), I find myself reviewing my notes and writing this entry. As I overlook Detroit through my window I think about the words I am writing as I jot them down, and can’t help to feel a true sense of pride for the event that we collaborated to produce. We were fortunate to have had thought leaders in the field as part of this event who have been leading with success, eager to pass on to others what they have learned and willing to offer inspiration to those who are just hitting the ground running. But yet, even with that this was unlike any other event we have held. It seemed like all of the pieces meshed together in a special way, peppered with funny moments like Cliff Engle’s classic quote during his keynote speech, “I don’t know what school you went to, but I went to FU…Fender University”. There were aha moments… such as when Tom Wallace told us about the soft benefits of S&OP during the opening panel discussion. He used examples to drive this point home such as seeing a sharp increase in teamwork, which in essence drives the hard benefits of S&OP like having better numbers. Then there were clarification moments when it was emphasized that S&OP needs PPT, (no not Power Point), but People, Processes and Technologies.

And of course, no one will be able to bring up the 2010 Best of the Best S&OP Conference without mentioning the outstanding performance by well known guitarist Greg Koch along with his Fender colleagues during the IBM/Cognos cocktail reception. I cannot think of the last time I was at a business event, where I heard someone in the audience yell “Free Bird” while I was speaking on stage. As if that was not enough, Fender was incredibly generous to the BOTB attendees and gave away a guitar! It was truly over the top.

Through IBF’s collaboration with the APICS team, we have formed an event unlike any other. The meshing of these two organizations, which are passionate about delivering educational yet fun events in order to grow the field of supply chain and demand planning has resulted in the production of a high level and memorable event. I feel that our speakers have communicated an overall sense of enthusiasm and support for their fellow industry professionals. We were fortunate to be able to lasso this group together in the name of offering professionals the knowledge they need to go back to the office and create change.

Check out flip video footage here on the IBF Demand Planning You Tube Channel:

Constance Korol is the Senior Marketing Manager for the Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning (IBF). Follow her and the IBF team on Twitter:

Photo credit to Hwa Kim, Photographer, APICS