Mastering SAP EAM + Supply Chain & Procurement held its first ever Empowering Women in Supply Chain Breakfast session. It featured keynote speaker Darcy MacLaren, global head of digital supply chain network and Annette Slunjski, chief executive officer, Mastering SAP. The session aimed to promote diversity and networking within the supply chain industry.
Distinctive colors were used to distinguish individuals based on their tenure in the SAP world and encourage networking and mentorship opportunities. Green denoted those with less than 10 years of experience, lilac represented the nine to 15-year range and orange identified those with 15 or more years in the industry.
MacLaren boasts over 30 years experience as a strategic global leader focused on improving business through technology transformation, especially in supply chain. She also founded Empowering Women in Supply Chain Network in 2020 which has since grown to over 800 members.
As the plenary session began, MacLaren discussed the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic on supply chain practitioners. She said that while this period of time was very dramatic, hard and stressful for supply chain practitioners, the pandemic elevated the industry’s importance, making it more visible.
“It got a lot of attention. The visibility of the importance of supply chain – you saw it rise in organizations. Heads of companies were interested in it. Heads of states were interested. All of a sudden, very talented, early stage employees wanted to get involved in the supply chain, so it became cool, right? It really helped the industry to gain visibility and the importance of what it does. That to me was the good part of what happened in COVID.”
MacLaren and Slunjski discussed digital transformation in supply chain, highlighting the need to begin the journey promptly and the importance of understanding trigger points within companies. MacLaren said that the majority of companies are recognizing the need to digitize with each company’s journey differing from the other.
She said: “My advice to customers is you need to have the big picture of where you’re trying to go and ultimately what your view is. But the most important thing is to get started.
“And there are certain trigger points in companies as to when they digitize, where they start, that will vary. But where most people actually start if they don’t have a logical place is with sales and operation planning, integrated business planning is a great way because it’s very strategic and it looks at your whole organization.”
As MacLaren concluded the session, she encouraged individuals to identify their superpowers and be true to themselves.
She said: “What is your superpower? Now many times people don’t know that. I often can see it in somebody when they don’t even realize it themselves. You really have to kind of figure it out yourself at what you’re really good at. Usually it’s what you really like and you develop that and you do not worry about certain things that you’re not good at. As a leader, you compliment that with other people that have that skill set. The team matters.”