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Trip Report: SMC3’s Jump Start Conference

By John Trestrail  February 18, 2016

In January I attended Jump Start, SMC3’s annual conference, this year held in Atlanta. SMC3 is a long-time partner of LLamasoft and their annual conference gathers together representatives of nearly 300 shippers, trucking companies, third-party logistics providers, and technology companies to discuss the latest tech trends and examine trucking industry challenges on the horizon.

There were many break-out sessions on a wide range of topics including a great session from Francisco Miguez, EVP Finance & Administration of the Panama Canal Authority, who shared updates on the Panama Canal expansion project. The expansion is on track to be open for business in the second half of 2016 and the PCA is working toward developing Panama as a regional transportation hub in Latin America. Part of this expansion includes adding more multi-modal and value-added service offerings to patrons.

LLamasoft’s VP of Solutions Strategy Jeff Metersky presented a popular session, “Simulation Technology: Achieving a Performance-Enhanced Supply Chain.” In his session Jeff discussed leveraging scenario-based discrete event simulation capabilities. Supply chain simulation allows organizations to test out supply chain strategies, backed by their own data, before implementing them in the real world.

VP of Solutions Strategy Jeff Metersky presenting his session.

VP of Solutions Strategy Jeff Metersky presenting his session.

Jeff’s session spawned a lot of interest and questions which we were able to address in several one-on-one sessions with attendees. A mixed group of various roles within the supply chain, logistics and transportation industries, not all attendees were familiar with the competitive edge supply chain design offers organizations. This also provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the full LLamasoft supply chain design platform, including Data Services. Much of the benchmark data available within Data Services, including several modules provided by the host, SCM3, fill in data gaps in models, making outputs more accurate and executable.

During one of the one-on-one sessions, discussing Data Services.

During one of the one-on-one sessions, discussing Data Services.

An emerging theme is the shift in the balance of off-shoring and near-shoring of manufacturing for US consumption. The current landscape is facing drastic changes for off-shoring in China. With raising labor rates the Chinese no longer want to focus predominately on simple production. In order to maximize their opportunities for growth they are seeking to develop and manufacture more innovative and possibly more complex products than is typical of their portfolio today. Mexican production is gaining more traction, with shorter lead times and cheaper transportation costs making it arguably more responsive to US demand. Also, improved practices have made security concerns less of an issue for Mexican commerce.

SCM3 also had a big announcement with their recently launched CzarliteXL, a new less-than-truckload (LTL) pricing tariff. This new offering is similar to their already existing Czarlite tariff, but has been recalibrated to current market conditions. Additionally, it can handle both freight-class and dimension-based rating, increasing the options for users.  Today customers with SMC3 licenses can use RatewareXL to pull in the new CzarliteXL tariff rates into LLamasoft products.

The event demonstrated the diversity of the supply chain industry and how quickly it evolves.

To find out when LLamasoft will be at a supply chain event near you, click here