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2018 MHI Executive Summit and Annual Conference

Thought Leaders to Turn MHI Annual Industry Report Findings into Actionable Strategies

* By Doug Reed, MHI Executive Vice President of Strategic Development *

When MHI plans the content for the yearly Executive Summit and Annual Conference events (to be held on October 14-17, 2018 at JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, FL), we build the agenda of speakers and panel discussions based on feedback from past attendees.

This year, we overlaid that input with insights from the 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Innovation” (available as a free download at mhi.org/publications/report). Released in April at MODEX, the fifth annual report analyzed the input of more than 1,100 manufacturing and supply chain leaders regarding industry trends and the current and potential impact of 11 key next generation technologies on their operations.
One of the key points in the report discusses a discrepancy between the anticipated and actual adoption rates of many of the technologies. That is to say, when the 2014 survey respondents were asked to what degree the technologies would be adopted within five years, their projections far outpaced actual adoption rates four years later.

The report notes that this is a well-documented and common occurrence among transformational technologies, citing the Internet’s slog through many years of slow adoption rates before making a massive impact on our daily personal and work lives. However, it also delves deeper into the three primary barriers to adoption of these next generation technologies as identified by the survey’s respondents:

• The challenges associated with making a convincing business case to invest in these innovations.
• A lack of workers with the technical skills necessary to leverage these technologies.
• A perception that no reliable mechanism exists for securely conducting data and monetary exchanges while minimizing the risk of cyber attacks.

“Taken as a whole, with the insights we gleaned from past Executive Summit and Annual Conference attendees and the 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, we framed the agenda for this year’s event around offering actionable, tactical thought leadership on these three key themes,” explains MHI CEO George Prest.

Led by several highly regarded experts, a series of keynote presentations and interactive sessions will focus on future business and economic predictions to inform strategic investment planning, ways to foster current and future workforce skills development and engagement, and solutions to build transactional trust and enhance cybersecurity.

“As with past events, we open with an Executive Summit that’s geared toward the C-level; we want to open the window for them, on what’s coming, how it will impact their business, and why they should strongly consider including an investment in one or more of these innovative technologies in their strategic planning,” he says..

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According to the recently released 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, “Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption,” eight out of ten survey respondents believe these supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. However, the report found that the adoption of some of these technologies was slower than originally reported when MHI started the annual report in 2014. The report cites three top barriers to adoption of these technologies: 1. Making the business case for NextGen supply chain investments. 2. Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage. 3. Building trust and security in digital, always-on supply chains. This issue of MHI Solutions focuses on the adoption of these digital solutions, from best practices in robotics and artificial intelligence to blockchain and innovations in last mile delivery.

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