Last year we highlighted again the high performance of the ECR Department of the Valahia University of Tȃrgovişte which has received the Academic Alliance Membership accreditation from the International Commerce Institute of ECR Europe. There is no doubt that only the passion, the competence and the perseverance of Professor Virgil Popa made it possible to build a real brand, such as Supply Chain Management (SCM) for Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Conference. The theme of this year’s SCM 4 ECR Conference (organized at International Conference Center of Valahia University of Tȃrgovişte, 31 May-1 June 2013) was: Customer Experience Management through Sustainable Supply Chain.
The 2013 SCM 4 ECR Conference began with a “Welcome speech” by Professor Virgil Popa, Editor-in-Chief of the “Supply Chain Management” Journal (http://scm-journal.com/ ), and also Member of the Editorial Board of the “Holistic Marketing Management” Journal. Professor Virgil Popa is also: Member of the Board of the Romanian Distribution Committee, RDC (http://www.crd-aida.ro/our-team/virgil-popa/ ), and Director of ECR Department of RDC; Vice President of the Executive College of the Romanian Scientific Society of Management (SSMAR: http://www.ssmar.ase.ro/pdf/documente/Organigrama%20SSMAR_martie%2013.pdf ). His contribution was recognized on the occasion of the ordinary working session of the Senate of the SSMAR on March 7, 2013 (http://holisticmarketingmanagement.ro/ordinary-working-session-of-the-senate-of-the-romanian-scientific-society-of-management-ssmar-march-7-2013-the-senate-hall-of-the-romanian-american-university/; see the first photo, from right to left: Valentina Vasile, Constantin Rosca, Ioan Talpos, Petru Filip, Theodor Valentin Purcarea, Virgil Popa).
After the “Welcome speech”, Professor Virgil Popa received the Diploma of Special Merit awarded by the Romanian Distribution Committee for his significant contribution to the success of the partnership for „ Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing”, „SANABUNA” International (http://www.sanabuna.ro/ ). After this special moment, Virgil Popa and Theodor Valentin Purcarea made keynotes presentations. Plenary Sessions Co-chairs were: Gheorghe Gh. Ionescu and Dan Miricescu; Cristinel Vasiliu and Veronica Ştefan. The Moderators for the Doctoral Session and Masters Sessions were Virgil Popa and Dorina Tănăsescu.
All Conference participants were fully aware of the fact that: ECR allows companies to seek a competitive advantage by demonstrating their superior ability in working with trading partners to add value for the consumer; it is important to understand the necessity of supply chain transformation, by ensuring visibility, predictability and sustainability, by combining the advantages of leanness and agility, by learning the new lesson of collaboration in a crisis through collaboration programs, by integrating the physical world with digital technology, and impacting the shopping experience; customer experience consists of eliminating dissatisfiers and creating surprising and inspiring experiences; Customer Experience Management (CEM) represents managing customer interactions to build brand equity and improve long-term profitability; the power of a brand lies in the minds of consumers / clients / users and what they have experienced and learned about a brand over time; sustainability must be at the core of the business models; a strategic and holistic approach is the first ingredient of a sustainable supply chain strategy; it is important to understand correctly the evolution of the consumer attitudes about sustainability and their implications for supply chain practices; the transformation of the supply chain presupposes a well-designed road map starting from observing principles such as: compression, conformance, co-operation and communication; senior supply chain executives underline the need for actionable intelligence in solutions that will allow leaders to maximize their current operations by increasing productivity, reducing cost, improving utilization and quality, and yielding greater returns on existing assets, supply chain optimization, innovations for changing times, and performance excellence being on their agenda; beyond the new buzzword “resilience” stemming from an optimistic nature and determining who succeeds and who fails by creating significance in difficult situations and even improvising an adequate solution, in approaching the necessary resilience strategies within the supply chains (business and government approaches to building resilience being complementary) all four core components must be considered: partnerships, policy, strategy and information technology (according to the blueprint offered by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Accenture). No wonder, for e.g., why a topic such as “Supply Chain Security Management (SCRM) and Business Continuity Management(BCM)” presented by Professor Virgil Popa, enjoyed that much attention. Also, it is appropriate to bring a warm word of appreciation for master and PhD students who impressed the audience both, by engaging in the debate and by their valuable contribution to the work papers presented at the 2013 SCM 4 ECR Conference.