Guest speakers


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.

Mar 15, 2023

Supply Chain Lessons from Financial Markets (with Peter Cotton) - Ep 139

In an interview, Peter Cotton, Chief Data Scientist at Intech, and Joannes Vermorel, founder of Lokad, discuss probabilistic forecasting, the M6 forecasting competition, and the differences between finance and supply chain perspectives on volatility and uncertainty. They emphasize that perfect forecasts are impossible and probabilistic forecasting can help make better decisions amid volatility. Both agree on the value of simplicity and robustness in handling complex systems, whether financial markets or supply chains. They also discuss issues like P-hacking, transparency in prediction model errors, and market mechanisms for improving predictions. Vermorel highlights the cultural challenges in supply chain management, while Cotton emphasizes the importance of markets in improving overall forecasting.

Mar 1, 2023

Beyond Safety Stock: The Role of Probabilistic Forecasts in Supply Chain (with Sim Taylor) - Ep 138

The meaning, role, and value of probabilistic forecasting are often viewed as mysterious and impossible to grasp without a degree in data science. On the contrary, probabilistic forecasting is rather intuitive, as we discussed with our guest, Sim Taylor.

Feb 8, 2023

Long-term Supply Chain Resilience while Firefighting (a discussion with Jay Koganti) - Ep 137

Resilience is very much this decade’s supply chain cause célèbre (and with good reason). The intrusion of constant shocks - and the inevitable firefighting that follows - has tested the resilience (and exposed the fragility) of supply chains across the globe.

Jan 25, 2023

Histories of the Future: A Discussion with Jonathon Karelse - Ep 136

Histories of the Future Milestones in the Last 100 Years of Business Forecasting, by Jonathon Karelse, charts the fascinating development of business forecasting tools, techniques and innovations over the last century.