When the leaders of an industry come together to collaborate, attack challenges, and share ideas, a clear picture of the future comes into greater focus. That’s exactly what we had in mind when we started turning the idea for the first real technology thought leadership summit in the industry, focused on creating actionable change and driving real business results. We wanted a carefully selected group of the industry’s primary thought leaders, and we wanted to make sure that everyone could have time to meet with the people they wanted to meet with, and see the speakers and panels they thought were most relevant to them. We wanted to create an environment where real change could be discussed so that we could put it into action.
That idea came to fruition early this month in the form of projectAUTOMATE, our first annual thought leadership summit in Chicago.
Change is Coming, Collaboration is Key
From the moment project44 Founder and CEO, Jett McCandless, delivered his keynote entitled Disrupt or be Disrupted, it was clear that progressive change would be a prominent theme at projectAUTOMATE.
President of GT Nexus, an Infor Company, Kurt Cavano gave an excellent talk on the ways technology is disrupting several industries, pointing to the trend that disruption isn’t just coming from huge companies like Amazon and Uber, but from smaller, niche companies as well. Cavano refers to these companies as “Disruptor Minions,” and he believes that the $430 million investors have sunk into logistics technology companies in the last 5 years is proof that Disruptor Minions are having an impact on the industry.
That idea is supported by the overall desire to learn that was exhibited by projectATUOMATE attendees. Digitization is a relatively new thing for the logistics industry, but people are catching onto the fact that it’s the best way to achieve automation and visibility. The only issue is that not everyone is certain how to approach digitization.
During his panel, project44 President, Tommy Barnes, addressed this concern, “My biggest fear is that companies either don’t recognize the need to change or how to change.” A sentiment that was covered by former Amazon employee,and author of The Amazon Way, John Rossman, in his keynote speech, “An Insider’s Insight into How Amazon Wins,“ where he discussed moments that industries tried to resist Amazon, but eventually found that their value was too strong. One of the sentiments echoed throughout projectAUTOMATE by panelists, speakers, and attendees alike was that the Transportation and Logistics Industry can’t resist change any longer.
That’s one of the primary benefits of an event like projectAUTOMATE. When you remove the sales pitch, and simply bring people in to collaborate and share ideas, the flow of information takes center stage. Getting each segment of the supply chain on the same page in terms of a digitization strategy is going to be crucial, and that all starts with education and collaboration.