International Foundry Forum, Venice, September 2014This year marked the 8th event for the International Foundry Forum. Hosted bi-annually, the forum brings together some 250 CEOs from across 26 countries worldwide of important casting users, ferrous and non-ferrous foundries, foundry equipment and equipment and consumable suppliers as well as high-level association representatives. The forum’s aim is to increase the marketing opportunities for metal casting as well as identify the future challenges and opportunities facing the foundry industry. The theme of the event was on maintaining competitiveness. Presentations were made by foundry society members from America, Japan, India, China and Russia as well as industry speakers such as Dr Wolfgang Hiller, CEO Buderus Guss GmbH and Dipl.-Phys. Christopher Thoma, Audi.
Jaymie Forrest's presentation on supply chain challenges looked specifically at the impact on working capital. In particular Jaymie focused on how improvements in working capital are achieved by addressing improvements in key indicators such as days’ sales outstanding, days’ inventory outstanding, days’ payable outstanding to shorten the cash conversion cycle, thereby reducing leverage and creating an investment opportunity. The goal is to balance working capital with operational strategies to improve competitive performance. Those companies that create a strategic advantage from their supply chain will be more successful.
As Jaymie observed, “By addressing improvements in supply chain areas, companies can have a significant impact on working capital. So, my advice is for companies to consider reducing cycle time, managing demand, integrating procurement with supply chain operations and/or improving asset utilization as a means to have a direct and significant impact on their working capital.”
The forum was extremely well received with participants remarking on the value of hearing from such a wide and varied range of informed speakers. A participant commented, ”The calibre of the speakers was excellent and provided invaluable insight.”
Full details of the conference can be found at http://www.international-foundry-forum.org.