Next week, ERP technology provider QAD will be conducting its QAD explore 2016 annual customer conference being held in Chicago.  The conference kicks-off with a welcome reception on Monday evening, May 2nd, with general sessions beginning on Tuesday May 3 thru Thursday, May 5.

The conference agenda includes a number of sessions focused on specific industry challenges, technology trends, and updates and new releases related to specific QAD applications and services. Current conference registration is nearing 800 expected attendees.

We would like to call attention to one specific panel discussion: The Skills Gap and the Gig Economy, scheduled for Thursday, May 5 at 11am local time. This Editor and independent supply chain industry analyst has been invited by QAD to be a panelist to address this important topic.  Other panelists include:

Nick Castellina, Research Director at Aberdeen Group

Kaye Swanson, HR Skills Director, QAD

Sharon Ward, Senior Director Solutions Marketing, QAD

There is little question that manufacturing and supply chain talent development and retention has become a top of mind multi-industry challenge. Many organizations express frustration in their efforts to find talent with correct skills.  Challenges often relate to the large increase in Baby Boomer era retirements, image problems related to manufacturing and or supply chain careers, and means to attract and retain millennials. Desired skills include embracing the flood of new technologies making their way into manufacturing and supply chain business processes, understanding of global business cultures and facilitating organizational change. The reality is that business, technology and supply chain business challenges are out-distancing current skill and talent needs.

Our panel will highlight current organizational challenges and trends in this important area along with root causes. This Editor will address various industry developments and differing perceptions related to either training or skills gaps that are currently impacting industry supply chains. All of the panelists will also address specific questions from our audience.

In addition, Supply Chain Matters will be featuring specific coverage of QAD explore 2016 that will include takeaways and insights derived from a panel discussion on skills and talent needs along with key themes derived from the conference.

I look forward to meeting or speaking with our readers who are part of the QAD community attending next week’s event. Please say hello if you get the opportunity.

Bob Ferrari