The Future of Supply Chains

Why has our supply chain become so fragile and what can we do to make it stronger?

For as long as civilization has existed, we have thrived and survived in our ability to get access to stuff that we need further and further away from our homes or more complex things to allow us to work and play in the way we've become used to. Explore what the supply chain really involves beyond widgets and services, the importance of building a large network, and how culture will always lead innovation. 


Rachel Eade MBE

Rachel Eade has over twenty years’ experience in business support and development, specializing in the automotive and transport manufacturing supply chain, awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honor’s list for services to the automotive industry, and in May 2015 received the ISME Gold Medal Award. 

In previous roles at Accelerate and MAS Rachel has played a pivotal role in evolving the SME support offer, and has assisted more than 5000 companies. Rachel has worked with and supported in excess of 50 supply chain development programs, with many UK OEMs and Tier 1s/primes, along with more than 250 SME supply group networks, and works as a manufacturing SME champion. Currently working both independently and with the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education at the University of Birmingham to promote innovation and growth opportunities across the transport supply chain.

Rachel enjoys acting as a judge for manufacturing and supply chain awards, with The Manufacturer (ten plus years), Top 100 Manufacturing Leaders, Black Country Chamber, Insider, CBM, and Formula 1 Schools. Along with being a passionate commentator on transport manufacturing issues and as a go-to spokesperson for local, regional and national media.

Barry Leahey MBE

Barry is CEO of Playdale who are the UK’s leading manufacturer of children’s playground equipment and has distributors in 50 countries. Playdale has won national Manufacturing and export awards, Barry personally receiving an MBE for services to International Trade on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2017.  

In 2018 Barry was named IoD ‘Global Director of the Year’ and ‘Cumbria Business Person of the Year’, featuring in the ‘Telegraph’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders’ and ‘The Manufacturer Top 100 people in Manufacturing’, he is currently the Chair of the Institute of Directors in Cumbria and an Honorary Professor at Lancaster University Management School.

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