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SummerCon 2018 Trip Report

By Manda Schweitzer-Miller  June 20, 2018

Last week 600+ of the LLamasoft community took to Atlanta for our eighth annual SummerCon conference. It was a great week of training, workshops, keynotes, sessions and fun. Here are a few highlights from the week.


After an intro from LLamasoft Chairman of the Board Don Hicks, LLamasoft CEO Razat Gaurav took the stage and offered his perspective on the state of the supply chain industry, where LLamasoft is today, and where it is going.

“This business, this product, this company, this culture – more than anything, LLamasoft is a culture – is addictive. It makes you think differently. “ Razat Gaurav

Dr. Daniel Kahneman participated in a thought-provoking conversation along with Hicks, Gaurav and CEO of software company Saganworks, Erika Block. Author of the book “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, Kahneman explored the implicit bias we bring to our daily interactions. He and the rest of the panel also discussed how the emergence of AI and fast-computing is impacting the thought and decision-making process.

LLamasoft’s Chief Strategy Officer Toby Brzoznowski offered attendees a look at what’s very near on the horizon for LLamasoft technology. Brzoznowski discussed that in this increasingly volatile market, there is a direct correlation between supply chain maturity and increased speed to value. The greater maturity in your people, processes and technology, the more ROI you can attain. He also noted that the new Supply Chain Guru Cloud Platform will bring all of the functions that are required of supply chain analysts into a single platform. The platform will support the entire end-to-end design and decision-making process. Stay tuned for more info on the Supply Chain Guru Cloud Platform in the coming weeks!

CSO Brzoznowski addressing the SummerCon audience.

Dr. J. Craig Venter delivered a keynote address that gave attendees insight on the many of the discoveries he, and the organizations he has led, have made in the field of human genome research. The keynotes wrapped up with magician Penn Jillette entertaining the audience.

Lots of great info sharing and networking in the Expo Hall!

Customer Sessions


GM presented a session that focused largely on securing some wins to garner buy-in for leadership to further expand the usage of design within an organization. GM noted that what is optimal one year, month, week or day can vary greatly, so regular modeling is key to true optimization. With the number of scenarios available, GM has run up to 1100, but having that curiosity and desire to explore has proven critical to their design process. Having a tool that can handle this volume is essential for GM to find the right solution. In one instance GM cited eliminating upwards of 15 percent in wasted resources due in large part to the number of scenarios Supply Chain Guru has been able to handle for their team. When examining other keys to success the GM team noted that having strong project management processes, the right team in place and the ability and desire to collaborate have been key differentiators.

Dow Chemical

In their session Dow Chemical, along with team members from LLamasoft and Chainalytics, discussed how they are leveraging Supply Chain Guru X as their single platform to execute Data Guru workflows. By migrating to Supply Chain Guru X, Dow has been able to build a standardized, repeatable, scalable approach to their modeling. Since leveraging version X, Dow has been able to reduce orders and the magnitude of the manual work required. They’ve decreased their modeling time, increased trade-off analysis time and have been able to incorporate more business scope changes into their modeling practice. In general, by building a repeatable process, they’ve been able to spend less time on things like data collection and focus more on strategy.

Time for Fun!

While SummerCon offered numerous learning opportunities, it’s also fun! We held our third annual LLama Run, offered a sunrise yoga class, mingled with attendees at the Expo Hall. We also named the LLamasoft Modeling Game World Champions at a World Cup themed workshop. Then we capped it all off with our annual Customer Appreciation Party Thursday night, this year at Atlanta’s Skyline Park.

Clockwise from top left: LLama Run, sunrise yoga, the Modeling Game World Champions and Skyline Park.

Many thanks to all those who participated in SummerCon 2018. We can’t wait to welcome you all to Chicago next year, June 17-21 for SummerCon 2019!