Supply chain leaders from around the globe to meet in Toronto to discuss cutting-edge research [JUNE 2012 PRINT EDITION]

International symposium reflects the challenges facing supply chain professionals in uncertain economic times

July 3, 2012
by Cheryl Paradowski

Towards the end of 2009, after the most serious global economic recession in recent memory, the International Monetary Fund declared that the recession was over. At the start of 2012, a European Commission report forecasted a mild recession for the Euro Zone. Just four months prior to the release of that report, the European Commission had forecasted growth for the Euro Zone economy of 0.5 percent in 2012, but they now expect a contraction of 0.3 percent. This is the uncertain economic climate that faces the world’s supply chains.

The theme of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada’s (PMAC) tenth-annual International Symposium on Supply Chain Management: “Exploring the Leading Edge in SCM: Complexity, Responsiveness, Governance”, reflects the challenges facing supply chain professionals as they strive to manage global supply chains in uncertain economic times.

PMAC is proud to be able to host this unique event, September 30-October 2, 2012, in Toronto, that brings together an international audience of leading supply chain researchers and practitioners. Through this symposium, we are able to continue our role in growing and facilitating the relationship between supply chain management professionals and the academic community, to the benefit of the field as a whole.

As luck would have it, members of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) will also be meeting in Toronto just before our event and so we have been able to confirm IFPSM executive leadership as a keynote presentation, including their incoming director general, Mary Lewis. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary earlier in the year at an IFPSM Board meeting in Warsaw, so I look forward to welcoming her to Toronto and to the symposium.

PMAC is the sole Canadian representative in the IFPSM, which is a federation of 45 national and regional purchasing associations worldwide, so I am very excited for the opportunity to introduce our international event to the other members of the federation.

Over the past decade, our symposium has become known as the international forum for supply chain practitioners and academics to learn from each other. Charles Holden, current IFPSM director general, agrees that collaboration between practitioners and researchers is key to advancing the field. “The integration of commercial need and academic thinking is a key element of the development of the profession of supply chain. Without that integration, the relevance of applied research can easily be missed. The PMAC symposium is an important forum and one which the IFPSM sees as both innovative and essential.”

Over its history, the symposium has welcomed delegates from every continent, except Antarctica, and we expect to be welcoming an equally diverse group of leading supply chain researchers and practitioners in September. I encourage all those working or studying supply chain to attend our innovative event to learn and network with the world’s leaders in supply chain management. I look forward to meeting you at this year’s event.

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