International Business Engineering Conference

Representatives from companies and universities from all over the world exchange views on “digital supply chains”

More than 60 participants attended the International Business Engineering Conference ...

... and took the opportunity to exchange views on digitisation in supply chains.

Ansgar Diekmann, Vice President International Key-Accounts ALSCO Group, delivered the keynote speech.

Two alumni of the MSc Operations Management degree programme are dedicated to the development of supply chain risk management software.

Prof. Dr Edward Sweeney and Prof. Dr Andreas Taschner presented the results of a survey among companies on digital technologies in supply chains.

By: Joanne Corlett, Petra Greiner

On 11 November representatives from globally operating companies and from a number of ESB Business School’s university partners from Southeast Asia, the UK, the USA and the Netherlands got together for the third International Business Engineering Conference (IBEC). For the first time the IBEC took place on the campus of Reutlingen University. ESB students were also there and joined in the discussions about the opportunities and possibilities created by digitisation in supply chains.  

In a lively exchange of ideas and experiences the more than sixty attendees from the industrial and academic worlds discovered a broad consensus. For future projects they identified common priorities and topics. At the beginning Ansgar Diekmann, vice-president International Key Accounts ALSCO Group, illustrated how tomorrow’s technologies can reduce costs, delays and other barriers to trade in international container transportation. Here, from his standpoint, a major role is played by 5G networks, the internet of things and smart production and logistics processes.

Prior to the conference a survey was conducted via the International Association of Business Engineering Professionals (IABEP) among many companies with experience in international supply chains. Professor Dr Edward Sweeney (Aston University, UK) and Professor Dr Andreas Taschner (ESB Business School) presented the results. They demonstrated to what extent companies already deploy new digital technologies in their supply chains and the challenges they face in doing so. The result of the study was that the two professors proposed ways in which companies can benefit from the opportunities that arise from digitisation.   

Reports on initiatives and projects implemented by ESB Business School graduates and students complemented the programme. For example, the founders of PriLogiX, including two alumni from the MSc Operations Management degree programme, presented their company, which is dedicated to the development of a supply chain management software.

In the following four workshops the attendees had the opportunity to explore further the individual topics and collect impulses for their companies. What is more, the international perspective and heterogeneity of the group provided new input for the research issues of the workshop leaders, Professor Dr Martin Mocker from ESB Business School, Professor. Jan H. Jansen from HAN University in the Netherlands, Dr Patricio Torres-Palacio from Bridgewater State University in the USA and Dr Nur Budi Mulyono from the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Indonesia.  

The conference was organised by the IABEP (The International Association of Business Engineering Professionals). The IABEP is a network that brings together universities, companies and practitioners from all over the world. It allows its members to align their mutual interests and to establish tandems between industry and the academic world. The attendees of the International Business Engineering Conference agreed that even in times of digitisation the personal exchange of experiences and ideas cannot be replaced. The IBEC is therefore an important format that provides the IABEP network with a substantial information and communication platform which is not to be underestimated.