Event Speakers
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Sara Park
Sara Park
The Coca-Cola Company
VP of Business Development
Sara Park, VP of Business Development at Coca-Cola Refreshments, runs the Sales& Operations Planning process for the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the world. She also leads and facilitates the innovation launch process, portfolio optimization efforts, and shelf space strategy and planning. Sara has extensive experience in establishing and evolving the S&OP process across multiple organizations; as such, she has deep knowledge in integrated business planning and within the areas of collaborative forecasting and demand and supply planning. Prior to Coca-Cola, she held executive-level positions at Georgia-Pacific, Evergreen Packaging, and H.J. Heinz. Sara is a results-driven leader with a track record of delivering sustained results in an ever-changing environment. Sara has a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She has published in the Journal of Business Forecasting and speaks at conferences covering the S&OP Process Foundations and Best Practices. Sara currently serves on IBF's Board of Advisors.
Eric Wilson, CPF
Eric Wilson, CPF
Escalade Sports
Director of Planning
Eric is a predictive analytics and business planning innovator, author, and speaker. He is the Director of Demand Planning at Escalade Sports. Prior to this he worked as the Director of Demand Planning at Berry Plastics, and Director of Demand Planning & S&OP at Tempur Sealy International. In 2016, he received the Excellence in Business Forecasting & Planning award from the IBF. He is a Certified Professional Forecaster (CPF) with over 20 years experience. Eric is a visionary in his field, a frequent speaker and panelist for many executive forums and professional conferences, and has written numerous articles in publications such as The Journal of Business Forecasting and APICS Magazine. He is also the author of the book Cultural Cycles.
Patrick Bower
Patrick Bower
Combe Inc.
Sr. Director, Global Supply Chain Planning & Customer Service
Patrick Bower has a wide area of expertise, including S&OP, Demand Planning, Inventory, Network Optimization, and Production Scheduling. A recognized expert on demand planning and S&OP, and a self-professed “S&OP geek” - Patrick was previously Practice Manager of Supply Chain Planning at the consulting firm, Plan4Demand where his client list included Diageo, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Foster Farms, Cabot Industries and American Girl. Patrick’s experience encompasses tenures with Cadbury, Kraft Foods, Unisys, and Snapple. Patrick also worked for the supply chain software company - Numetrix, and was Vice President of R&D at Atrion International. He was also the recipient of IBF’s 2012 award for Excellence in Business Forecasting & Planning.
Greg Spira
Greg Spira
Mondelēz International
Head of Forecasting - North America
Greg Spira has a broad background covering Integrated Business Planning, Forecasting and Demand Management, Finance/Accounting, and Information Technology. He currently leads Forecasting for Mondelēz North America, and prior to that he led Integrated Business Planning for the North American Biscuits category. Prior to Mondelēz, Greg led Global Demand Management at BlackBerry, and has 15 years of experience in a variety of industries. Greg has a passion for solving challenging problems and driving change with the right mix of people, process, and tools. He combines operational savvy with an agile approach to solving business problems to add value and achieve goals. He has a successful track record of leading teams through challenging transformations, and enjoys developing and motivating talent.
Mike Reibsamen, CPIM
Mike Reibsamen, CPIM
Berry Global
Director, Integrated Supply Chain
Following a successful tenure as Director of Supply Chain for Domtar's Personal Care Division, Mike Reibsamen leverages 18 years of Supply Chain experience in his role as Director of Integrated Supply Chain, Center of Excellence at Berry Plastics, a Fortune 500 multinational company specializing in consumer packaging, engineered materials and healthcare components. Mike creates value from the Supply Chain by employing a people process-tools approach to synergistically assimilate all of the key fundamental Supply Chain activities together to drive poignant business decisions. Mike champions the value of the Integrated Supply Chain and its ability to balance the needs of Sales, Operations and Finance in an increasingly customer-focused world. Mr. Reibsamen holds a Bachelors of Science degree, an MBA, APICS CPIM certification, and was named to the Top 25 Supply Chain Pros to Know in 2018 by SDC Executive.
Christine Barnhart, CPIM, PMP
Christine Barnhart, CPIM, PMP
Berry Global
Global Process Owner - Supply Chain
Christine Barnhart is the global process owner - supply chain for Berry Global, a producer of protective packaging that generated $7.1 billion in sales in fiscal 2017. She is tasked with building Berry's supply chain council and program management office to identify, prioritize and manage supply chain continuous improvement and transformation activities. She also leads the design and construction of a global supply chain blueprint that harmonizes all the various processes and tools across all Berry divisions, and serves as the supply chain subject matter expert for Berry's digital enterprise transformation. Christine has a diverse background in supply chain with extensive experience in plant operations, strategic planning and global procurement across consumer packaging, pharmaceutical and appliance industries. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Evansville and a MBA with distinction from the University of Louisville. She holds APICS certification as well as PMP certification from the Project Management Institute.
Carol Utrup, CSCP, CS&OP
Carol Utrup, CSCP, CS&OP
Parker Hannifin
S&OP Business Analyst Lead
After graduating with a degree in History and Political Science, Carol took a job in operations to pay the rent. Within a year she had fallen in love with the field and never looked back. She has over 20 years of supply chain management experience including distribution, logistics, inventory management, business analytics, demand planning, forecasting, and her great passion S&OP. She was CSCP certified by APICS in 2012, CS&OP certified by the S&OP Institute and The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business in 2014, and become an APICS Associate Instructor in 2016. She serves as the Director of Education for the APICS Cleveland chapter. Currently she is the S&OP Business Analyst Lead at Parker Hannifin, traveling around North America coaching, advising, and training divisions in S&OP and enterprise tools for demand and supply planning.
Brandon Bland
Brandon Bland
Parker Hannifin Corporation
CPIM, Materials Manager
Brandon is the Materials Manager at Parker Hannifin in Moncks Corner, SC., where he has worked in a variety of roles since 2008, including Contracts Administrator, Operations Team Leader, Value Stream Planner, and Logistics Team Leader. He began his career in the fire sprinkler and suppression business as a project manager. Brandon’s successes at Parker Hannifin include building the S&OP process from scratch and developing it into a key decision-making tool, establishing a tugger route, creating lean Kabnan systems for shop floor control, implementing and managing the facility’s PFEP, and managing the facility’s inventory. He holds an MBA from Charleston Southern University, and a Bachelors in Science from Clemson University with an emphasis in Transportation and Logistics. He is APICS CPIM certified and is a Six Sigma Green Belt.
Lachelle Buchanan
Lachelle Buchanan
US Silica
Director of Sales & Operations Planning
Lachelle Buchanan is an experienced S&OP professional who works with medium and large industrial companies in the energy sector, currently working as Director of Sales and Operations Planning at US Silica. Before taking this role, Lachelle spent the previous decade helping General Electric evaluate international market opportunities, developing new products and commercializing new technology in the Oil & Gas market. Her successes include leading Integrated Business Planning processes and coaching business leaders in Demand Planning and IBP. Lachelle holds a BBA in Marketing and Management from the University of Oklahoma, and Oliver Wight certifications in Integrated Business Planning, Demand Management, Product and Portfolio Optimization, and Integrated Supply Chain Management.
John Piechule, CSCP, CPIM, CPF
John Piechule, CSCP, CPIM, CPF
Arkema Inc.
Supply Chain / Sr. Manager, Product Supply
John is the Senior Manager of Supply Chain at Arkema Inc.’s Sartomer Business Unit. At Sartomer he is responsible for supply chain process optimization, sharing best practices within the Sartomer organization and other Arkema business units. He is experienced in demand management, production planning/scheduling, inventory management, quality assurance and quality control. Prior to working at Sartomer, John spent significant time in the aerospace and heavy industry business sectors. He received his MBA and undergraduate degrees at Widener University in Chester, PA. John is a Certified Supply Chain Professional and certified in Production and Inventory Management. He is also an IBF Certified Professional Forecaster (CPF).
Greg Schlegel
Greg Schlegel
SherTrack LLC | Lehigh University | The Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium | Villanova University, EMBA Program
VP/ Principal | Adjunct Professor Supply Chain Risk Management | Founder | Adjunct Professor, ERM-Enterprise Risk Management
Greg has over 25 years of experience with several Fortune 100 companies across multiple industries. He has held executive positions in the systems, staff and plant operations environments and has been Supply Chain Director, Materials Director, Logistics Manager, Plant Operations Manager, CIO and Systems Director with companies such as Hercules Chemical, Sandvik Specialty Steel, International Harvester, Schlumberger, Loral Aerospace & Defense Electronics, GAF/ISP Specialty Chemicals and IBM Supply Chain Solutions. Greg is presently teaching MBA supply chain risk management at Lehigh University. Plus, he is VP Business Development/Principal for SherTrack LLC that provides Demand-Driven Predictive Manufacturing solutions. He has also implemented CPFR, collaborative planning, forecasting & replenishment systems, S&OP Processes, and more. Greg was APICS’ 1997 International Society President. He is a frequent speaker at IBF conferences and seminars, globally. Greg is widely published in many well known supply chain and logistics publications, including IBF’s Journal of Business Forecasting. He is a graduate of Penn State, holding a B.S. in Operations Research and Computer Science, and has attended Lake Forest College of Graduate Studies.
Peter C. Thomas, CPF
Peter C. Thomas, CPF
DuPont Crop Protection
Head of Demand Planning & Forecasting
Pete Thomas is the Demand Leader for the DuPont Crop Protection business. His experience with DuPont and Agribusiness spans over 35 years in various commercial roles including sales, market research, product management, business development, project management, and business improvement. He is a Certified Professional Forecaster, Certified Supply Chain Consultant, and Certified Six Sigma Champion. In 2015, he was assigned to create a Demand Management organization and lead an End-to-End business improvement transformation.
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    Why Attend

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    About ASCM

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    About IBF

This event was very informative and there were great ideas presented that I will be using to improve our forecasting process.
Barbara Thomas, Demand Planning Manager, Ecolab, Inc.

Now in its 12th year, the Best of the Best S&OP Conference is renowned as a global gathering of the brightest minds in the industry. The Best of the Best S&OP Conference presented by ASCM and the Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning (IBF) is the leading educational and networking event for professionals in the field. The educational sessions presented here in Chicago will cover a range of in-depth topics to help you implement or improve S&OP within your organization.

At the event, you will learn to:

• Effectively use forecasting and demand planning in your S&OP process
• Employ integrated business planning techniques
• Enhance collaboration across sales, marketing, finance and supply chain
• Extend S&OP outside your organization and throughout the supply chain
• Manage and mitigate risk
• Use S&OP to enhance new product launches
• And so much more

Completion of this event is eligible for Continuing Education (CE) credit and maintenance towards your accounting, supply chain, analytics, ASCM, and IBF certifications. Contact us for details.

See What our Participants are Saying
Past Companies Presenting
Past Event Speakers
Show all Speakers
Sara Park
The Coca-Cola Company
VP of Business Development
Eric Wilson, CPF
Escalade Sports
Director of Planning
Patrick Bower
Combe Inc.
Sr. Director, Global Supply Chain Planning & Customer Service
Conference Schedule
  • Conference Day 1
    Jun 13, 2019
  • Conference Day 2
    Jun 14, 2019
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Registration, Continental Breakfast and Exhibitor Connections
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Welcome & Opening Remarks
8:45 AM - 9:45 AM
Modernizing Old S&OP for Brand New Profits: Your Roadmap to S&OP Maturity

S&OP has gained critical mass, and about time! It is now accepted as a key operational process and we’re all agreed on the value it provides. But that doesn’t mean it is a static set-and-forget project. S&OP is constantly evolving, and the S&OP of 2018 is very different to how it was when it was first conceived 30-odd years ago. In this rapidly changing Supply Chain environment, the focus is not so much on new technology like AI and Predictive Analytics, but maximizing existing processes for operational efficiency that can then support these disruptive technologies. Join this general session that will stimulate out of the box thinking to identify areas of improvement in your own S&OP processes, accelerate your company’s journey to maturity, while setting the stage for the rest of the conference.

You will learn:

  • A simple process model to use when discussing S&OP and the measures that really matter
  • How to integrate quality and six sigma elements into your planning process and why they are important
  • Steps you can take to accelerate your S&OP process now and tips on presenting your plan for maximum effectiveness
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Integrate to Accumulate: How Demand Planning, Forecasting and S&OP Work Together To Drive Growth

What is demand planning and how does it differ to forecasting? How does S&OP fit into the overall business planning process? In the world of forecasting and planning, it is not only important to define and clarify these functions, but to also understand their relationships to one another. In this session, you will discover how an effective forecast drives better S&OP and how demand planning’s collaborative approach is a catalyst for effective decision making, both for supply chain and the wider business.

You will learn:

  • How the forecasting function of an organization aligns with the demand planning function to support S&OP
  • How to identify tactical relationships between forecasting and demand planning, and define steps to support overall strategy
  • How common misunderstandings of S&OP cause fractures in your planning process
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
The People Puzzle: Identifying Required Skills and Hiring The Best Talent To Deliver Strategy

S&OP requires commitment, consistency, and qualified decision makers for a company to succeed in achieving its business objectives. Meticulous consideration must be paid not only to identifying individuals with the desired leadership abilities, but also to those added post-implementation. S&OP functional requirements are essential for anyone joining the S&OP family of leaders within an organization. Whether you are adding specialized practitioners, mid management managers, or executive level leaders, soft skills in collaboration with management are fundamental requirements for any team member. This session will detail how to strengthen your S&OP team with the right balance of skills to establish S&OP as a cross-functional value driver.

You will learn:

  • Identifying opportunities to develop the necessary skillset within the broader organization to enable cross-silo business planning
  • How to identify the necessary ‘soft skills’ for your organization based on its strategic vision, S&OP leadership needs, and functional strength
  • Addressing what the future demand planning and S&OP organization may look like
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Graduating To The Big Leagues: Implementing S&OP to Successfully Scale and Manage Growth

Rapid growth or dramatic changes in the business often expose company processes that are not scalable. Forward-thinking companies recognize that implementing a well-functioning S&OP process is instrumental to operational success. But to achieve successful S&OP you need to understand where you are today and know the obstacles and gaps that you will need to overcome in implementing an S&OP process. In this session, we will discuss aligning planning operations with the organizational goals to achieve a more accurate strategic decision-making process within the business. We will also focus on the importance of change management and ongoing oversight of an S&OP process to align with growth and cross functional

You will learn:

  • How to clarify and establish the time, effort and collaboration required to design, and implement an effective S&OP process
  • How to recognize if your organization is ready for change in order to move the S&OP process forward
  • How to encourage a change in mindset to build a culture capable of delivering truly transformational improvements.
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Forecasting The Unforecastable: How to Align and Manage Demand for New Products

Managing new product launch processes are essential to your company’s growth, but demand error for new products is high. How do you mitigate the risk of new product launches and ensure maximum probability of success? Innovation is one of the few tools companies can use to adapt to new patterns of consumer behavior, while improving top and bottom line performance. As such, a well-designed new product introduction process needs to keep the consumer in mind every step of the way. In this session, you will learn how to develop new strategies for today’s competitive markets and implement best practices for product planning. This includes leveraging the portfolio management review to better understand new product performance and better manage new products once released.

You will learn:

  • How to implement innovative forecasting techniques for new product launches while maintaining proper visibility in S&OP meetings
  • How to help your company drive alignment between the intersection of S&OP with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • How to leverage the portfolio management review for improved new product forecasting
12:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Lunch & Keynote Presentation: Disruptive Supply Chains: Managing Demand and Supply in a Global Supply Chain
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Stop Reacting & Start Predicting: How To Improve Demand Planning for Better Demand Reviews and Decision Making

The overall aim of the S&OP process is to be a vehicle for decision making and arrive at a game plan to manage and allocate the firm’s resources to meet the needs of customers and grow the business. A key driver for effective S&OP is demand planning and forecasting, which many companies find extremely challenging. Demand Planning and Forecasting drives the Demand Review meeting. Forecasts must therefore be assessed to ensure that they are realistic and unbiased. Gaps between supply and demand, and between forecasts and plans, must be closed to maximize revenue and profit, whilst risks and opportunities need to be visible to develop corporate strategy. If your team struggles to achieve an effective demand review process driven by accurate forecasts, this session is for you.

You will learn:

  • How to develop your forecasting and planning process for better S&OP
  • The need for an unconstrained and unbiased demand plan
  • Why it is necessary to invest resources to improve your demand planning and forecasting process
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Big Data, Bigger Answers: Gaining Actionable Insights from Data and Predictive Analytics, and Proper Metrics

With the technology today, there is a tremendous amount of data available, as well as a variety of techniques such as machine learning and data mining to provide unparalleled insight into demand. Understanding how to harness this innovation for more robust planning is not easy, but one thing’s for sure: the technology that we’ve been talking about for years is now here and ready to be implemented in your organization. This session will reveal how to convert the mass of both structured and unstructured data into value-added insight to help improve service, reduce costs, improve inventory management, and increase profits. With a clear action plan, you can accomplish all this and more.

You will learn:

  • How to use descriptive analytics (e.g. reports, KPI's, dashboards) to report on performance metrics and determine plans for possible change
  • How to use predictive analytics to improve forecasting, customer relationship management and inventory control
  • How to determine when to use judgement or qualitative measures instead of analytics for better planning and forecasting
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Balancing Act: Optimizing the S&OP Supply Review Process To Meet Demand

The supply review process is the “other half” of the Supply and Demand Balancing process, and is critical for long term management of capacity and inventory. Demand planning offers an unconstrained plan, while the Supply Review arrives at a constrained plan with options for resolution or issues that need to be elevated to a higher level. During this session, we will review the basics of the Supply Review process, while sharing best practices and what should be discussed during the meeting. This will include important metrics, tools, suggested participants, the cadence to keep, and more. With practical takeaways, you will learn how to make the supply process in your own organization as lean and efficient as possible.

You will learn:

  • How to develop your supply planning process and supply review for better S&OP
  • Cycle timing – should planning and reporting be done in days, weeks or monthly buckets?
  • How to leverage the Supply Review for strategic decision making
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Best-Laid Plans: Scenario Planning and Mitigating Risk Within the S&OP Process

Scenario planning and dynamic simulation look at changes in key drivers that impact supply, demand, inventory, and other variables. In other words, looking into the future to see how changes across these variables could impact the business. Scenario Planning done well and done constantly gives you the freedom to explore different options before they occur, allowing for better preparation and planning. This dramatically improves the effectiveness of your S&OP process but what tools and methodologies do you need? This session will reveal how to close gaps in strategic and operational planning, highlight risk and opportunities, develop playbooks, and be ready to react to multiple scenarios in order to mitigate such risks.

You will learn:

  • How to minimize surprises, ranging from 6 months to 10 years in the future
  • How to select and prepare scenarios for an efficient executive S&OP meeting
  • How to react to multiple unexpected situations and limit damage to the bottom line
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Best of the Best Attendee Reception
Super Early Bird Rate
(Expires in 9 days, 18 hours)
Discount Price
(3+, per person)
Put ASCM & IBF to Work for You!

Become a Member of IBF & ASCM and Start Improving Your S&OP Performance Today.

The IBF Advantage:

IBF members include well-known company professionals that span a broad array of business sectors. By joining our organization, you can make certain that your company sets up the right forecasting & planning process and uses the best techniques available. Moreover, you can be sure that your forecasting and demand planning staff has the proper knowledge and skill set for success.

As an IBF member you receive:

  • A subscription to the Journal of Business Forecasting, which is primarily written by and geared toward practitioners.
  • Our Research Reports which include valuable benchmarking information and provide you with eye opening information on various topics in Business Forecasting and Planning.
  • Special discounts on our Conferences, Workshops, Training Seminars, Certification Program, as well as on any new products and services we will offer in the future.
  • Access to Journal of Business Forecasting Past Articles (FREE)Access to our growing online Knowledge section & Action Templates
  • Complimentary 1-day Tutorials at select Global events ($1000 USD Value)
The ASCM Advantage:

There's never been a better time to be an ASCM member. No matter what stage you're at in your career, ASCM membership provides opportunities to extend your knowledge base through members-only resources and cost savings on educational materials. By becoming an ASCM member, you'll be part of a community that is committed to your success and to preparing you for a brighter future.

ASCM membership provides you with resources that are unmatched in our industry:

  • ASCM magazine, ASCM Dictionary and other award-winning publications
  • Member savings on courses and certification exams
  • ASCM Career Center and career resources
  • Local, national and international networking opportunities
  • ASCM Supply Chain Channel, an online community
  • Exclusive industry research

It's important to invest in your future. ASCM offers access to exclusive and innovative career and professional resources. Join today to be a part of the ASCM membership community.

Upcoming Events & Trainings
August 12 – 13, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Business Planning, Forecasting & S&OP...
June 19 – 21, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
Supply Chain Planning Training Course w/ 1-Day S&OP and Demand Management Workshop...
February 11 – 12, 2019
Scottsdale, Arizona USA
Making Integrated Business Planning a Reality at Your Organization...
Event Location
Chicago Marriott O'Hare
West Higgins Road, 8535, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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