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Translog Connect Congress: Gathering with an edge

Conferences

From the Budapest Business Journal print edition: Kickstarted by TEG Group in 2011 for the first time, TRANSLOG Connect Congress is a special cross-industrial business summit offering a hub for those involved in transportation, logistics and supply chain management. Managing Director Dennis Lantos told BBJ about the event’s edge and what’s next for the industries concerned.

    1. BBJ: What makes TRANSLOG Connect Congress unique compared to other events in the CEE region?
      Lantos: TRANSLOG Connect is the only cross-industrial business summit for transportation, logistics and supply chain management. Strictly operating on an invitation only basis guarantees that the highest-level delegation is present. The key recipe is our unique TEG Meeting Scheduler, which has been acknowledged as the best in the industry worldwide. Furthermore, the online software ensures that each participant can customize their agenda with a series of one-to-one meetings, presentations and specially organized plant excursions. In addition, our renowned program advisory committee is formed of global experts from multiple industry sectors, which guarantees a state-of-the art event.

      The milieu surely suited the premium content of the gathering.
      The event is organized in a five-star environment to comply with our equally five-star business summit to offer every single participant the most convenient setting for formal and informal business discussions. To sum it up with a recent statement from Andrzej Michalak, Logistics Operations Director Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia at Delphi: “This is the best event I have ever attended.”

      Did participation figures meet your expectations?
      Each year the number of delegates, both internationally and locally, are increasing, as well as the amount of delegates holding Europe-wide or global positions, which clearly shows that TRANSLOG is heading in the right direction. To talk numbers, more than 500 senior decision makers from 23 countries gathered together and conducted more than 2,000 pre-scheduled and ad-hoc business meetings, making the third edition an outstanding success. From my point of view, I’m pleased with the development and I believe the figures speak for themselves.

      What were the most exciting presentations about?
      Cost saving potentials, distribution network optimization, talent management, supply chain assessment and efficient packaging solutions are just a few examples of the wide range of topics presented during the two days by our highly renowned speakers. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kummer, Head of the Institute of Transport and Logistics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business presented his views about supply chain management in a multi-polar world, while Miguel Suarez, director of supply chain & purchasing manager at Lafarge Central Europe shared examples on how to assess a supply chain in order to implement a successful strategy, emphasizing the CEO’s support as an obligatory criteria. Stefan Putzlocher, logistics director at Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing, also a big supporter of TRANSLOG, shared the secrets behind the successful JIS processes at Mercedes-Benz. Chaim Huijsman, head of corporate sales at Gebrüder Weiss was presenting a case study on the logistics of Tegeta Motors.

      The first CEE Logistics and Supply Chain Excellence award was also granted.
      The award has been established to honor, recognize and promote outstanding logistics and supply chain management achievements in the rapidly growing CEE region. Manufacturers, retailers and solution providers from all industry sectors were welcome to apply with their most innovative projects and methods implemented in the region. The award was brought to life to provide CEE with a platform to boost innovation, recognize exceptional achievements and to encourage logistics professionals to further strengthen the development of the region. In 2013 the winners were Gebrüder Weiss and SMR.

      Is there any specific feedback from the participants on the success of their networking activities provided by the conference, with special regard to their one-to-one discussions?
      One of the key factors for attending this event is to reduce the sales cycle process dramatically. We received feedback that the types of decision makers we attract in most cases are not available for meetings and very rarely are they reachable. They are what I like to call the “difficult to reach decision makers’’. Providing a platform to reach them in a short space of time in a focused and controlled buying and selling environment is resulting in new collaborations on not just the local but also regional and European levels.

      How productive has that platform turned out to be?
      Based on the direct feedback from our customers following TRANSLOG 2012, the event resulted in more than €1 billion of newly signed agreements, which is more than remarkable. In two days, the number of contacts and tangible business meetings achieved on average are at least equivalent to a 6-12 month timeframe using other methods. To quote one of our sponsors from 2013, Roland Havranek, area manager Germany, Far East Land Bridge, “100% of our meetings were absolutely new contacts; I’m certain we will sign new business with a minimum of 20% of the contacts we met during TRANSLOG.”

      What are the current and future trends of logistics and supply chain management?
      The logistics industry in CEE is experiencing substantial growth. China and the United States remain the top sourcing locations but a new trend is emerging, as companies shift from low-cost country sourcing towards near sourcing, which puts CEE in the spotlight. We also see the tendency that leading manufacturers and service providers are shifting from traditional to collaborative business models, but at the same time shortening contract lengths and selecting the best providers in order to reduce operational costs has become more important than ever.

      What are the plans for TRANSLOG Connect Congress?
      To maintain the quality and to increase the numbers of delegates and countries in order to become unquestionably the number one logistics and supply chain business summit in Europe. We have already received feedback that we are better than the biggest events in Europe such as the Munich Fair, e.g. Prof. Sebastian Kummer who chaired both days mentioned: “I spoke with many people and they say it’s better than the biggest conferences in Europe because there are much more opportunities to talk, to discuss, so I think it’s really unique and the number of participants who come every year show that this concept is something that not only serves one time, but is sustainable.” 

      When will the next TEG event take place?
      We are working on PHARM Connect 2014 at the moment, the largest and most important pharmaceutical and biotechnology business summit in CEE, which will be running for the fourth time at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest on February 26-27. PHARM Connect is equal to TRANSLOG not only in volume, but in structure and professionalism as well. Leading service providers such as GE Intelligent Platforms, FESTO, Aptar Pharma, Xellia (part of Novo Nordisk) and Finesse have the opportunity to meet key decision makers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector, e.g. István Király, managing director of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals or Yoram Eshel, senior director, global transportation and logistics at TEVA.

      –by Levente Hörömpöli-Tóth

      Dennis Lantos, a Canadian and Hungarian citizen who was born and raised in Canada, moved to Budapest in 2001. He has comprehensive experience of more than nine years in the event management industry, and held several senior European management positions before he founded TEG (The Events Group) in 2009. He likes tennis, golf, skiing, traveling and spending time with his three-year-old son.

      For more information on the PHARM Connect summit, please visit the official website PharmConnect.eu. The next TRANSLOG Connect Congress will be taking place again in November 2014 in Budapest; details as they happen may be found at TranslogConnect.eu.

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