Guest speakers


Jun 19, 2024

Supply Chain Debate - Is S&OP a net good for companies? (with Milos Vrzic) - Ep 164

In a debate hosted by Conor Doherty of Lokad, Milos Vrzic, former Head of Supply Chain at Galderma, and Joannes Vermorel, CEO of Lokad, discussed the value of S&OP for companies. Vermorel critiqued S&OP as simplistic and outdated, while Vrzic emphasized its role in tactical planning. The debate highlighted the complexities of S&OP and the need for a nuanced understanding of its role in business.

May 29, 2024

Probabilistic Forecasts & Sequential Decision-Making (with Warren Powell) - Ep 163

In a recent LokadTV interview, Conor Doherty, Joannes Vermorel, and guest Warren Powell discussed probabilistic forecasts and decision making in supply chains. Warren Powell, a retired Princeton professor and Chief Innovation Officer at Optimal Dynamics, shared his career journey and insights on planning under uncertainty. Joannes Vermorel, Lokad's CEO, discussed his transition from deterministic methods to probabilistic forecasting, criticizing academia's lack of real-world application. Both agreed on the superiority of probabilistic forecasting, despite its complexity and businesses' struggle to apply it. The conversation highlighted the need for a broader perspective and a unified approach to dealing with uncertainty in decision-making.

May 22, 2024

Decision-making under Uncertainty in Supply Chain (with Dr. Meinolf Sellmann) - Ep 162

In a recent LokadTV interview, Conor Doherty, Joannes Vermorel, and guest Meinolf Sellmann discussed the role of stochastic optimization in supply chain management. They highlighted the importance of considering variability and uncertainty in decision-making processes. Traditional deterministic methods often fall short in real-world scenarios, leading to over-optimistic optimization plans. Both Vermorel and Sellmann criticized the "predict then optimize" approach, suggesting that companies can achieve better results by accounting for forecast variability during optimization. They emphasized the need for executable plans and measurable effectiveness in any optimization model.

May 16, 2024

Forecast Congruence and Supply Chain Decision-Making (with Nikolaos Kourentzes) - Ep 161

In a recent LokadTV interview, Nikos Kourentzes, a professor at the University of Skövde, and Joannes Vermorel, CEO of Lokad, discussed forecast congruence in supply chain decision-making. They emphasized the importance of aligning forecasts with decisions, acknowledging that models may be misspecified. They distinguished between forecasting accuracy and congruence, arguing that the most accurate forecast may not be the best for decision-making if it doesn't align with the decision's objective. They also discussed the practical application of forecasting congruence in inventory decision making and its potential to mitigate the bullwhip effect. The role of AI and human involvement in forecasting congruence was also discussed.

Jan 24, 2024

Resilience, Risk, and Effective Leadership (with Knut Alicke) - Ep 153

Knut Alicke of McKinsey joins Lokad to discuss the need for systematic planning and digital tool utilization, as well as his recent (co-authored) book, From Source to Sold. Alicke emphasizes the importance of visibility and pre-warning systems to detect potential disruptions, and elucidates some of the key ingredients for successful supply chain leadership.

Dec 13, 2023

Large Language Models in Supply Chain (with Rinat Abdullin)

In a recent dialogue, Conor Doherty of Lokad conversed with Joannes Vermorel and Rinat Abdullin about generative AI's impact on supply chains. Vermorel, Lokad's CEO, and Abdullin, a technical consultant,discussed the evolution from time series forecasting to leveraging Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. They explored LLMs' potential to automate tasks, enhance productivity, and assist in data analysis without displacing jobs. While Vermorel remained cautious about LLMs in planning, both acknowledged their utility in composing solutions. The interview underscored the transformative role of AI in supply chain management and the importance of integrating LLMs with specialized tools.

Nov 22, 2023

The Evolution of Supply Chain Education (with Paul Jan)

Conor Doherty, host of Lokad TV, recently engaged in a discussion with Joannes Vermorel, founder of Lokad, and Paul Jan, a supply chain professor at the University of Toronto. The conversation centered on the evolving field of supply chain management, the role of data, and the importance of education. Vermorel introduced the concept of "wicked problems" in supply chain, highlighting the limitations of Excel and the need for tools like SQL Server. Jan shared his experience transitioning from Excel to more programmatic options, praising Lokad's tool, Envision. Both emphasized the need for industry disruption and the importance of education in supply chain management.

Oct 30, 2023

Supply Chain Board Games (with Mathias Le Scaon)

In a LokadTV interview, Lokad's Conor Doherty converses with Joannes Vermorel of Lokad and Mathias Le Scaon of Zensimu about the development and purpose of supply chain games. Zensimu creates online games to educate on supply chain topics, while Lokad has released a board game, SkuZ, to make supply chain practice more engaging. Both founders discuss the challenges of balancing realism, learning, and entertainment in game design. They also touch on the potential of AI in supply chain games, with Mathias expressing skepticism due to added complexity. Both commit to continuous improvement and innovation in their games.

Oct 4, 2023

Customizing Trek Bikes (Mastering Configurability with Dan Scharneck) - Ep 147

In a dialogue moderated by Conor Doherty, Joannes Vermorel of Lokad and Dan Scharneck, the Director of Supply Chain at Trek Bicycle explored the intricacies of supply chain management for customizable products. Vermorel emphasized the combinatorial complexity of supply chains, noting that companies are using them as a differentiator for customer experience. Scharneck agreed, highlighting the importance of delivering custom products promptly and reliably. He acknowledged the challenges of managing inventory with traditional ERP systems, leading Trek to adopt Lokad's more adaptable solution. Vermorel explained that Lokad uses probabilistic forecasts to assess the risk of bottlenecks, providing a more powerful perspective on supply chain delays. Both agreed on the importance of managing supply chain complexity and the value configurability offers to customers.

May 17, 2023

The End of Certainty (White-boxing Probabilistic Forecasting with Pierre Pinson) - Ep 143

In an interview with Conor Doherty, Joannes Vermorel, founder of Lokad, and Pierre Pinson, Chair of Data-centric Design Engineering at Imperial College London, discuss probabilistic forecasting and its applications in various fields. They emphasize the importance of understanding uncertainty in forecasting and the need for ongoing education in the area. All three agree that innovation happens faster than people can embrace it, and they encourage staying updated on new developments in the field and being prepared for the advancements yet to come.

Apr 19, 2023

Quantum Computing and Enterprise Software (with Olivier Ezratty) - Ep 142

Quantum technology expert Olivier Ezratty discusses with Joannes Vermorel the potential of quantum computing, communication, and sensing. Quantum computing aims to harness quantum phenomena like superposition and entanglement to perform tasks beyond classical computers' capabilities. Quantum communication has applications beyond security, such as the quantum internet and distributed quantum computing. Quantum sensing can measure physical properties with unprecedented precision. Despite progress in the field, there is still a significant gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation. The timeline for widespread adoption remains uncertain, with experts estimating 10-15 years before quantum technology reaches its full potential.

Apr 5, 2023

Optimizing Retail Stock Allocation at Worten (with Bruno Saraiva) - Ep 141

Bruno Saraiva, Head of Stock and Space Management at Worten, joins Joannes and Conor in studio to discuss the challenges of retail stock allocation and Worten's collaboration with Lokad. Bruno also shares his experience in the retail industry and the crucial role of supply chain management in customer satisfaction. Saraiva shares his experience working with Lokad, noting that the company's approach has helped Worten make better inventory management decisions while still allowing employees the freedom to challenge and question recommendations. He believes that trust and collaboration between teams are crucial for a successful supply chain management strategy.