Mar 15, 2021

Gartner: Gen Z driving automation in supply chain

Rhys Thomas
3 min
Despite only recently entering the workforce, Generation Z is already impacting supply chain and must be kept front of mind for future strategy
Despite only recently entering the workforce, Generation Z is already impacting supply chain and must be kept front of mind for future strategy...

Generation Z will pick up the baton of automation and make today’s digital transformation efforts in supply chain the new normal, according to Gartner.  

While current supply chain managers experiment and hone the position of digital in the supply chain, it will be the new wave of workers who truly exploit the technology. Despite only entering the workforce in past several years, Generation Z is already making an impact, says the consultancy firm. 

Gen Z, the generation born after millennials roughly between 1997 and 2012, will drive supply chains towards what it calls hyperautomation, a coalescence of technologies and techniques, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA), to rapidly identify, research and automate business processes that currently require human intervention. 

“This generation has grown up with digital technologies, so today’s supply chain leaders expect them to be innovators that accelerate supply chain digitalisation and pave the way towards hyperautomation,” says Pierfrancesco Manenti, Vice President Analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. 

Five year vision

The coming five years will be a turning point in adoption and usage of hyperautomation solutions in supply chain, says Manenti, a period that coincides with greater numbers of Gen Z entering the workforce and, as they develop, moving towards becoming leaders in the field. 

A recent Orange Business Services study corroborates this view, finding that while only 42% of companies have already increased their level of automation, 80% acknowledge that automation is vital to empowering both internal employees and partners today and in the future. 

As such, organisations should be altering their mindset and “preparing the ground for the next level,” says Manenti. Supply chain leaders should be proactively attracting Gen Z talent, taking the following three steps into account when designing strategy and future roadmaps. 

  • Automation

Identify all repetitive tasks where humans can add no value. RPA is the primary technology here, automating everything from procure-to-pay to customer claim management. 

  • Augmentation

Technology that enhances the ingenuity and expertise of human workers will play a major role in the supply chains of the next 10 years. Unlike complete automation, these technologies perform tasks such as scanning huge data sets, which is impossible - or highly impractical - for people to complete on their own. Crucially this technology will peak as Gen Z begin to enter leadership roles. 

  • Autonomy

“All of the supply chain leaders we interviewed agree that, at some point beyond 2030, a large majority of their supply chain activities will most likely become autonomous and self-healing,” says Manenti. This transition will fully free humans to pile their expertise into defining the strategy, shepherding AI and ML systems, and increasing the experience for both employees and customers - a human pursuit that AI is yet to infiltrate. 

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Jul 23, 2021

The Ultimate Procurement & Supply Chain Event

3 min
New sponsor and speakers announced for Procurement & Supply Chain Live, where innovation meets implementation, coming to you live from London

Global eProcurement leader JAGGAER has been announced as the latest sponsor for Procurement & Supply Chain Live. 

Recognised as a Leader by Gartner in both Strategic Sourcing and Procure-To-Pay, JAGGAER’s direct and indirect eProcurement solutions help over 1850 customers, connecting to a network of 4 million+ suppliers in 70 countries.

From September 28th-30th, Procurement & Supply Chain Live gives you the opportunity to network with C-level executives, gain insight from industry pioneers and walk away with actionable insights that accelerate your career. By the end of the week, we promise you’ll have the skills to solve the world’s most pressing supply chain and procurement challenges. 

Whether you attend virtually or in-person, you’ll strategise how to cope with global disruption, learn from industry pioneers - including newly announced speakers Chris Shanahan, VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific; Jim Townsend, Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance; and David Cho, CPO at University of Massachusetts - and walk away with tips, tactics, and tangible connections. 

How to Attend


In a COVID-disrupted era, we know that the majority of people would rather avoid travelling for events─why take the risk, right? In response to the continued disruption, BizClik Media Group has decided that Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will offer the best of both worlds through hybrid accessibility. 

That means you and your peers can attend the event in person or virtually ─ with no disadvantages for people who choose not to make the trip to the Tobacco Dock venue. 



Procurement & Supply Chain LIVE will be held at the Tobacco Dock in London, an industry-leading venue that is renowned for delivering world-class events. For attendees’ peace of mind, the venue is working to the government-endorsed AEV All Secure Framework, alongside mia’s AIM Secure and ‘Good to Go’ accreditation, they will ensure that we achieve a COVID-secure environment to facilitate all of your networking needs. 


Our physical venue is both historic and stunning, but it has no bearing on the information that you and your peers can gain from the event. You can still absorb it all, interact with other attendees, and enjoy the conference experience on your alternative, virtual platform. 

The platform will feature live feeds from all of the stages, as well as virtual networking areas. So, if you want to avoid travel, it’s not a problem! You can still get involved and enjoy the entire experience from the comfort of your own home. 

New Speakers for Procurement & Supply Chain Live

Chris Shanahan
VP Global Procurement/CPO at Thermo Fisher Scientific


Shanahan is Vice President, Global Procurement/CPO for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Waltham, MA. He joined the company to lead efforts in leveraging scale in the marketplace, develop capability and processes across the company, while transforming the supply base. He co-authored the Procurement Leaders Handbook, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Open University in the United Kingdom.

Jim Townsend
Chief Procurement Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance


Townsend leads Walgreens procurement (Goods and Services Not For Resale). Prior to joining Walgreens Boots Alliance, he worked for Anglo American and General Electric also within commercial procurement. He has worked overseas extensively, in both manufacturing and retail environments. He holds an MBA in Strategic Procurement from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. 


David Cho
CPO at University of Massachusetts

Cho is Chief Procurement Officer for the University of Massachusetts, Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST), comprising strategic sourcing, contracts, supplier management, procurement operations, accounts payable, travel services, and customer service that provide quality service to the UMass system. Cho has 25-plus years of strategy and operations management consulting and industry experience. He was formerly Global Head of Sourcing and Vendor Management at BlackRock.


CLICK HERE to order now and make the most of our early-bird offer. Ticket prices increase over 50% soon!

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