As an industry, we are facing challenges that impact us globally and on a smaller, more localised scale. We have seen in recent years, especially in the face of new competition, new consumer demands and ever-changing technologies, that we need to be more agile than we have ever been before. And, perhaps less obviously, it has shown us that we need to be more collaborative than we’ve ever been before.

The challenges we are now facing are too big for any one company, industry or government to solve by themselves. Collaboration across the industry, through organisations like The Consumer Goods Forum, and with other key stakeholders in other sectors, is essential to achieving positive, long-term change at scale. Here at P&G, we understand this. This is why our CEO David Taylor is an active member of the CGF Board and a long-time supporter of the CGF’s Global Summit, and why I am a willing participant in the CGF’s work on the E2E Value Chain and why my colleagues are collaborating with industry peers on topics like environmental sustainability and consumer health. In today’s climate, it just makes sense.

More personally, in my role, I see how this collaboration is driving change and benefiting our business. New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchains and Data Ports present a promising future for data creation and data exchange that is more responsive and accurate than current approaches. The CGF’s “Data Leapfrog” pilots and SpringBoard Events are helping to bring these technologies to life through knowledge-sharing and the creation of industry approaches that aim to enable efficient interoperability across systems. It’s a win-win for the CGF members actively involved.

The role of technology in helping us overcome today’s supply chain challenges can not be underestimated. It is also why I am excited to be heading to Vancouver in June to attend the CGF’s annual Global Summit. This is the premier FMCG networking event exclusively reserved for the top-level management of CGF member companies, and it was great to read technology will be playing an even bigger role in 2019, as the CGF introduces the “Start-Ups Zone”.

The CGF is now helping to drive industry innovation by showcasing the very best start-ups looking to improve industry efficiency and take the technology world by storm. After a careful vetting process, a select few start-ups will be presenting their companies and visions of the future in a specially-designed area within the new-and-improved I-Zone. It’s an interesting idea to bring this type of space to a CEO-heavy event, and I am keen to see it in action. I think it’s a great way to add a more technology-focused element to the Global Summit.

Of course, as I’ve mentioned, the Global Summit is not just about technology, it’s about seeing how retailers and brand owners are working together to design and execute work that shapes the future of our industry, be it in sustainability, food safety, health or the supply chain. It’s about bringing industry leaders together, knowing that the group has the incentive and ability to implement actions that benefit our businesses, as well as the planet and our consumers around the world.  This is the value of working with the CGF: multilateral collaboration to improve the total industry in ways that don’t negatively impact the planet and its people. 

I look forward to sharing ideas and learning from others at the Global Summit in June, but, most of all, I look forward to engaging many of our top customers in our exciting go-to-market growth plans. I hope to see you there!

This post was written and contributed by:

Jeff Schomburger
Global Sales Officer
Procter & Gamble

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