Blue Yonder ICON 2021: Highlights, Emerging Trends, and More

Written by delaPlex
May 13,2021

Webinar_LI_Post (1)

Blue Yonder’s annual customer conference – ICON – connects supply chain experts, technology innovators, and inspiring industry leaders from across the globe to explore customer-driven commerce.

This year, ICON was held virtually, April 21-23rd, and featured over 14 powerful keynote speeches and 40 learning sessions, along with interactive demos and other engaging events.

Speakers and attendees explored supply chain trends, including:

  • Automation

  • Digital Transformation

  • Omni-Channel Commerce

As a Blue Yonder Partner, delaPlex had the privilege of sponsoring this dynamic three-day event, where we attended various sessions and heard from executives at Accenture, Black Girls CODE, DHL, Petco, and more. Here are some of our takeaways around emerging supply chain trends:

Adopt a Direct to Consumer Mindset

COVID-19 ignited rapid eCommerce growth and led the charge for a new wave of order fulfillment, as customers' expectations around delivery speed, accuracy, and branding continue to evolve.

These recent developments have led retailers, suppliers, and wholesalers alike to shift their primary focus onto the end customer, regardless of where their brand fits into the fulfillment process.

Leverage Robots & Automation

A.I. solutions have been raising eyebrows in tech for years, but COVID-19 accelerated the need for autonomous, solutions that could keep operations running smoothly when social distancing mandates restricted warehouse capacity.

Now, brands like DHL have implemented robots into their picking workflows to increase efficiency and accuracy without spiking labor costs or putting staff at risk. In fact, DHL's CIO and COO, Markus Voss, shared that the robots are acting as great colleagues to their employees.

Embrace Disruptive Solutions

Disruption was the unofficial theme of 2020. And while most people are anxious to return to "normal," supply chain experts encourage brands to lean into disruptive technologies as they look to innovate and drive growth.

For example, Maryann Byrdak of Feeding America shared how they embraced new technology to get food from farmers to the right location during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bottom line? No matter which solutions you adopt, be sure to get your teams in on the ground floor, as people play an important role in integrating and maintaining disruptive technology.

Prioritize D&I in Technology & Beyond

As brands look to refocus and reprioritize their diversity & inclusion efforts, brands like McCormick & Company and Guess? shared their approaches to D&I in an inspiring keynote session.

Kimberly Bryant, Founder, and CEO, of Black Girls CODE, highlighted the importance of creating a safe space for women in the technology field, as well as nurturing a diverse, women-led talent pool and exploring new recruiting strategies

BONUS: Our DEVCON Takeaways

DEVCON is all about helping developers build a better supply chain, with frictionless experiences that enable teams to move fast.

This year, the DEVCON track of ICON focused on Blue Yonder's Luminate Platform, with product deep dives, hands-on sessions, labs, and workshops centered around user experience and powerful APIs.

Developers in attendance even collaborated in real-time to build a Vaccine Distribution and Tracking application on Luminate.

If you weren't able to join us live, you can still access all of the 2021 keynote speeches and learning sessions on-demand via the ICON portal.

Want to Learn More?

Subscribe to the delaPlex Download newsletter to stay ahead of upcoming industry events, learning opportunities, webinars, and more.