Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium 2023

The 27th Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium took place on 21-22 September with a full house, featuring insightful keynote talks from senior business executives and academic thought leaders on the theme: ‘Architecting New Design Rules for Global Supply Chains in a Changing Geopolitical Landscape.’


As per the usual format, Day 1 saw leading speakers share insights on their manufacturing supply chain initiatives, Apple on their evolving approach to Smart Manufacturing systems, Adidas and J&J on their digital supply chain transformation journey – covering the design of digital supply chain architectures, and end-to-end autonomous planning. To complete the industry formal input, AP Moller-Maersk, Philips, Siemens, and Unilever gave insights on navigating supply chains through multiple external disruptions. Elizabeth Reynolds (MIT) completed Day 1 with her first-hand experiences of US industrial policy generation. The wrap-up panel discussed implications for practitioners, policy-makers and research, bridging nicely into our Day 2 Academic keynote sessions.


Day 1 Keynote panel: Bas Dijkmann (Philips), Omera Khan (Maersk), Petra Monn (Siemens), Liz Reynolds (MIT), J&J (Richard Sparkes), Alex De Cesare (Adidas), Vicky Cuthbert (Unilever), Priya Balasubramaniam (Apple)


Excellent inputs from international academics touched on topics of why supply chain management is becoming so complex and what to do about it, the drivers behind reshoring, energy transition and finally why sustainability will drive reconfiguration of supply chains. Two intense workshops that followed the keynotes enabled deep-dives on the development of Digital-Twin Supply Chains and Control Towers, and leadership response mechanisms for managing disruptions. Parallel academic sessions completed the programme with over 60 international speakers, reflecting the global remit of the event.


This year’s mood had clearly shifted, from a ‘challenges’ to a ‘solutions’ mindset as firms are finding new ways to manage market uncertainties and leverage digital technologies to address challenges. Programme details and next year’s dates can be found here


Click here to find out more about the Centre for International Manufacturing.

Date published

1 November 2023

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