"Transitioning into the Digitally-enabled Age” – How equipped is your Chemical Supply Chain? Mini-Conference - Hosted by Chemical Business Association (CBA)

Time & Location

Wednesday: 10.30 to 11.30, Stage 1

Session Host

Richard SmithManaging Director - Road Haulage Association

About this Session

“For all the effort that companies devote to improving the performance of their supply chains, relatively few have unlocked the full potential of digital technologies. A recent McKinsey study found that the average supply chain has a digitization level of 43 percent, the lowest of five business areas that were examined. A mere 2 percent of the surveyed executives said the supply chain is the focus of their digital strategies. Are their priorities misplaced? Perhaps. The same McKinsey research suggests that, on average, companies that aggressively digitize their supply chains can expect to boost annual growth of earnings before interest and taxes by 3.2 percent—the largest increase from digitizing any business area—and annual revenue growth by 2.3 percent.”1

This panel session will discuss why companies need to understand their chemical supply chain, what digital transformations could mean and how equipped it is to withstand these changes. The panel will discuss security and transport aspects of moving the chemical supply chain into the digital age, and the need to understand how companies can ensure they have the people and skills required for this transition.

The panellists have been drawn from all sectors of the chemical supply chain and include Richard Gilkes the Chair of the CBA and Managing Director of the Stort Group who will outline the benefits of belonging to a trade association when tackling such important details.

Panel Host, Tim Doggett the CEO of the CBA


Richard Smith, Managing Director, Road Haulage Association
Richard Gilkes, Chair of the CBA and Managing Director of The Stort Group
Craig Wallbank, Implementation Manager, Chemical Weapons Convention UK National Authority
Heather Carroll, People & Skills Lead, CBA

Speaker Bio:

Richard Smith’s career in transport and logistics has spanned over 30 years and has included working with several privately owned and third-party logistics businesses throughout the UK and Europe.

Richard joined the RHA in 2017 initially to oversee a collective claim on behalf of UK-based commercial vehicle operators against the truck manufacturers involved in the Truck Cartel.

He simultaneously led the development of several key areas of the business including membership, shop sales, training and support services making RHA a far more relevant and effective trade association that provides greater value to its members and the wider road transport community.

Appointed Managing Director in 2021, Richard has continued to lead the introduction and delivery of RHA’s strategy which has encompassed rebranding, van, coach and individual membership offerings, and the introduction of a customs brokerage and two driving training schools.

Richards strong emphasis on collaboration and stakeholder engagement has positively positioned the association as a trusted partner, enabling the organisation and its representatives to lead and represent industry across its many challenges.

In July 2023, Richard was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Trade Association Forum and soon after appointed Chairman