#UnderConstruction | Why Is A Global Grassroots Supply Chain Community Starting in NYC, and Charleston, SC?

Disclaimer: This blog post reflects my personal opinions only. It does not represent the opinions of REFASHIOND Ventures, or REFASHIOND CO:LAB. It does not represent the opinions of The New York Supply Chain Meetup, or The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation. It does not reflect the opinions of any other person who is associated with any of those entities. This blog post does not represent the opinion of any other individual or organization that is mentioned by the author.

ANNOUNCEMENT – We’re Coming to Charleston, SC!

The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation is launching a sister chapter in Charleston, South Carolina: The Charleston Supply Chain Meetup (#TCHSSCM). It is being organized by G. Michael Rentz, Jr., CEO and Co-founder of Antimatter.

The Charleston Supply Chain Meetup will host its launch event on Wednesday, March 27 from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM at the South Carolina Ports Authority’s new headquarters. The event will be highlighted by a keynote address by Jim Newsome, President and Chief Executive Officer of The South Carolina Ports Authority. Other details are being finalized, and will be posted to the event page on Meetup.com.

When I asked Michael about his motivations for wanting to start organizing The Charleston Supply Chain Meetup, he said: “After nearly 3 years working in global trade and logistics at Maersk, I was amazed by the enthusiasm and expertise that I encountered in the community in New York City. I believe that enthusiasm and expertise exists in other places too, and I am excited to start building the community in Charleston, South Carolina, to harness that potential entrepreneurial energy and passion and to build collaborative connections with the other chapters in our growing and global network of communities.” He goes further to say: “The goal of The Charleston Supply Chain Meetup is to leverage the existing assets, players, and progress already accomplished in the state by both people, agencies, and companies – by bringing them together, nurturing conversations, building relationships, and then watching something special develop.”

A Shot of the NYC Skyline – January 2018

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

After launching The New York Supply Chain Meetup in November 2017, we attracted speakers from emerging supply chain technology startups, as well as companies like SAP, IBM, Maersk, UPS, Tapestry, A.T. Kearny, L’Oreal, ALDO Group, EY, and GS1-US over the course of our first year.

We celebrated the one year anniversary of our public launch in NYC with an anniversary party on November 15, 2018. We followed that with the launch of a sister chapter in Bangalore on November 24, 2018.

Since our launch in NYC;

  • We have become the largest, most active, and fastest growing community on Meetup that focuses on the intersection of supply chains, technology and innovation.
  • We have more than 1,600 members in The New York Supply Chain Meetup, and more than 1,700 across the network.
  • Other chapters in process include; Vancouver, Athens, Singapore, and Chicago.

According to Mercedes Delgado and Karen Mills, in their book The Supply Chain Economy: A New Framework for Understanding Innovation and Services; “The U.S. supply chain contains 37% of all jobs, employing 44 million people. These jobs have significantly higher than average wages, and account for much of the innovative activity in the economy.” This makes the community we have set out to build one that offers enormous promise for collaboration between cities, states, and companies as well about how supply chain can function as a foundation for economic growth. The work we are doing to build this community is driven by our motivation to bring together two key groups of people;

  • The people inventing new technologies and developing new innovations for supply chains, and
  • The people who make buying decisions related to deploying new technologies and innovations within the supply chains on which businesses are reliant for their commercial operations.
    • I believe firmly that supply chain is the basis on which companies win or lose competitive advantage. It is arguably the basis on which communities, countries, and societies prosper or fail.
#TNYSCM02 – January 2018 at SAP in NYC

WHY ARE WE BUILDING THIS COMMUNITY?

When I asked Lisa Morales-Hellebo to help me build The New York Supply Chain Meetup in August 2017, it was because we share the belief that the world is in the early stages of one of the largest sector-driven opportunities of our lifetime, the secular refashioning of global supply chains. The innovations that drive the technology-led reinvention of global supply chains will begin at the grassroots. We started in New York City, but our vision has always been that we would ultimately build a global network of interconnected, and mutually cooperative communities that nurture, champion, and support the entrepreneurs, innovators, and technologists who will propel this transformation.

We also believe that software-enabled technologies will lead to the rearrangement of supply chains all over the world. This process will cause the reorganization of industrial processes, the displacement of incumbent market leaders, and the disruption of formerly stable markets. We are building a decentralized network of open and multidisciplinary communities to act as catalysts in the adoption of the technological innovations that accelerate the reinvention of global supply chain networks.

Our strategic goals for 2019 are:

  • To grow the number of chapters in our global network of communities – both internationally and within the United States,
  • To continue to engage our members with rich programming and networking opportunities,
  • To recruit sponsors and other partners who believe that supply chain, technology, and innovation serve as a powerful economic multiplier and as a catalyst for a sustainable and profitable future.

I am excited that we can formally announce the new chapter in Charleston, SC. I met Michael in early 2018. We have become friends over that period – talking on the phone, and texting one another multiple times each week. I believe he’s exactly the sort of person who can act as a catalyst around which a thriving community develops.

About The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation

The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation is the collaborative, and mutually supportive coalition of open and multidisciplinary grassroots communities focused on technology and innovation in the global supply chain industry. Founded in August, 2017, The New York Supply Chain Meetup is its founding chapter. Local chapters are run by volunteer organizers who each build a team to manage chapter activities and events. You can learn more here: The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation – Our Manifesto.

About REFASHIOND Ventures

REFASHIOND Ventures is an emerging early stage venture capital firm that is being built to invest in early-stage startups creating innovations to reinvent global supply chain networks. REFASHIOND Ventures is based in New York City. The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation and The New York Supply Chain Meetup are initiatives of REFASHIOND Ventures.

Update #1, Thu Feb 14 2019, at 21:05 EST: To fix some mechanical errors, and add bullet about supply chain and competitive advantage.

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