#86: Maria Villablanca Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network

#86: Maria Villablanca Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network Featured Image

Maria Villablanca is the Co-Founder and CEO of Future Insights Network, a fast-growing membership network of over 50,000 Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Digital Transformation executives.

Future Insights Network is one of the largest networks of its kind, which provides relevant content, connections, and collaboration for leaders in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Digital Transformation.

Key areas of focus are  IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, Digital Transformation, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing Strategy. Before starting the network Maria worked for many years in the events and professional services business, with a strong passion for connecting people and ideas.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Maria Villablanca: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Why Future Insights Network exists
  • How supply chain companies are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis
  • Adopting and implementing new technologies to stay ahead of the curve
  • Moonshot approach vs prototype approach
  • Collaboration between MNCs and startups
  • Attracting talent to supply chain

Show Notes:

  • [01:35] How did you make a career, ultimately in building professional communities? And why did you decide to create Future Insights Network? 
  • [03:50] From talking and knowing so many of these executives, what would you say keeps them up at night in this current situation?
  • [04:45] I think in terms of what keeps them up at night is whether or not they’re able to implement digital transformation in their businesses whilst managing the crisis.
  • [05:25] Can you share some case studies of what did companies do right or some lessons you have seen that could be useful also to supply chain executives listening?
  • [06:28] I would say the companies that are really doing this very well are companies that, A –  those who understand what the customer wants and B –  those organizations that implemented digital transformation to solve problems within their business.
  • [08:13] In terms of adopting new software and new technologies, are you seeing a much faster willingness to adopt? What’s your perspective on this?
  • [10:00] I think the companies that really want to stay competitive are going to implement things in a faster way.
  • [12:54] How do you see the partnerships between big multinationals companies and startups?
  • [16:07] There is a lot to be learned from a startup, from having that kind of agile and quick thinking to solving the crisis and at the same time, failing quickly. 
  • [17:17]  I think right now the phase that we’re in is quite an interesting one where companies are trying to look at what was the lessons that were learned, but equally, what are the opportunities that lie ahead.
  • [18:41] Do you see any other trends that will occur in the workplace after COVID?
  • [19:39] What COVID has done is it elevated, even more so the strategic importance of the supply chain leader. 
  • [21:31] What are the things that you can see that supply chain executives should focus more or develop more to have a better chance of getting to the CEO position?
  • [23:12] If I go back 10 years ago, that’s what supply chain was, a call center. Whereas now supply chain has a really good opportunity to become an influencer in the bottom line of a business.
  • [24:50] What kind of talent and skills do you see supply chain need the most?
  • [25:42] The biggest issue with attracting talent is not with the supply chain function per se, it’s with the image issue that the supply chain function has. 
  • [29:09] What would be the key piece of advice or sharing that you would give to a younger professional starting out that wants to have a long-standing career in supply chain?
  • [29:27] I think right now it would be, talk to as many people from different areas as possible. One of the things that make our network very successful is the fact that people are able and willing to collaborate with each other.

Related Episodes:

#78: David Collins CEO of China Manufacturing Consultants

#80: Ilkka Tales Vice Chairman of Greensill

#85: Hannah Kain CEO and Founder of ALOM




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