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The Supply Chain Forum this fall boasted record attendance and some of the most influential speakers in the event’s twenty-year history.

More than 200 people participated in this year’s forum, held November 12-13—a 30 percent increase from the largest previous attendance. More than half the business professionals at the forum were first-time attendees. About sixty corporations were represented.

The Haslam College of Business Global Supply Chain Institute hosted the event.

Frederick W. Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx Corporation, was the keynote speaker. Smith discussed the role of logistics in the recovering US economy and addressed growing concerns over transportation talent shortages, oil prices, and the deterioration of American transport infrastructure.

Kevin O’Marah of SCM World gave a second keynote address on supply chain industry megatrends. O’Marah emphasized the growth of digitization, demographic risk assessment, and sustainability practices across the most efficiently run supply chains. According to O’Marah, these trends influence a company’s bottom line on a much larger scale than traditional cost-cutting measures.

Other speakers included James L. Harlan II of Eastman Chemical Company and Louis Ferretti of IBM.

The Supply Chain Forum takes place in April and November each year, giving industry professionals a chance to recruit, network, and discuss opportunities and challenges.


Katie Bahr (865) 974-3589,