Learning and Networking Journey at CSCMP Supply Chain EDGE Conference                     

Matheen Sait

Matheen Sait

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Cedric Staehli, the CSCMP Switzerland 2023 Supply Chain Future Leader and FHGR University student who recently attended the annual CSCMP Supply Chain Global EDGE conference. After winning the Switzerland Supply Chain Future Leader competition run by CSCMP Switzerland in 2023, Cedric traveled to the US to take part in the leading event for global supply chain professionals and academics.

In this interview, Cedric shares his memorable experiences at EDGE, key highlights from speakers and sessions, his top takeaways from the exhibition hall, and overall impressions that will profoundly shape his future supply chain career. As part of the next generation of supply chain talent, Cedric’s perspectives underscore the importance of the CSCMP Switzerland Education activities in developing young Supply Chain talent and experiential learning opportunities.

cedric at CSCMP EDGE

Cedric, can you provide some background on the CSCMP EDGE conference and how you got the opportunity to attend?

The EDGE is the supply chain event of the year, where leading professionals and academics come together. I was able to travel there thanks to a competition I won from CSCMP Switzerland.

What were your initial experiences upon arriving in Florida for the conference?

Upon arriving in sunny Florida, I took the shuttle to the hotel and the conference venue. After checking in, I met my roommate Rishi from Purdue University, and together we connected with other students who had been selected to volunteer at the EDGE conference. These students, representing universities like the University of Tennessee and Boston University, were tasked with various responsibilities, providing us with ample opportunities to engage with industry professionals.

What were some of the memorable experiences in your journey and during your time there?

My trip started with a stopover in New York where I visited for the first time in years. A highlight was seeing my first NHL game. When I arrived in Orlando, I met students from top universities who were also volunteer participants. I represented Switzerland in the Round Table Summit. The exchange about different approaches to supply chain challenges was invaluable.

Which sessions and speakers stood out to you at the conference and what key lessons did you take away?

Some of the standout sessions included a presentation by Yossi Sheffi, the Director of the Center for Logistics and Transportation at MIT, who discussed the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence at work. Another notable presentation was the Global State of Semiconductor Supply Chain Report, highlighting the critical role of the Dutch company ASML. Delta Airlines’ presentation on supplier collaboration, addressing invoice mismatches and the use of software to resolve issues, also left a lasting impression. The trends around visibility, sustainability, automation and analytics were impressive.

What did you discover in the exhibition hall, and were there any notable trends?

The exhibition hall featured highlights such as project 44, a leading software in supply chain visibility, and discussions with Uber Freight about its efforts to establish a presence in Europe. Sustainability emerged as a significant theme, with a focus on measuring data related to CO2 emissions. Companies like Amazon Freight, which provides free capacity to third parties, showcased the industry’s dedication to transportation solutions. Notably, data analytics and automation were major trends, with many fully automated warehouse solutions on display.

Can you tell us about your involvement as a volunteer at the EDGE conference?

A: As a volunteer, my responsibilities included tasks such as preparing goody bags, counting session participants, and assisting with conference logistics. This allowed me to interact with well-known personalities in the supply chain industry, including a Senior Vice President from Supply Chain Intel and a Vice President from Transportation Coca-Cola. The exchange with international students during the Round Table Summit, where I represented Switzerland, was particularly valuable.

How did the conference contribute to your understanding of transportation and supply chain planning?

A: The conference provided me with valuable insights into transportation and supply chain planning, both through the software exhibited in the exhibition hall and through interactions with fellow students and industry leaders. The experience was a unique opportunity to learn about emerging trends and innovative solutions in the field.

What were your key takeaways from the CSCMP EDGE Supply Chain Conference?

A: The conference was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that expanded my knowledge in transportation and supply chain planning. I am grateful to CSCMP-Switzerland for the opportunity, FHGR for the foundational knowledge in supply chain, my employer Hamilton for their flexibility, and my friends and family for their support throughout this journey.

It was fantastic speaking with Cedric about his EDGE experience which opens doors for networking, gaining visibility into industry trends, and witnessing innovations shaping supply chain’s future. As exemplified by Cedric’s enriching learnings, competitions like the Supply Chain Future Leaders program enable growth for Switzerland’s emerging talent.

We congratulate Cedric on this journey and the importance of such initiatives from CSCMP Switzerland supported by FHGR University for developing young Supply Chain Professionals.

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