ESCF History

How ESCF started

The European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF) is the premier Operations and Supply Chain Competence Centre in Europe. We have a large number of full members and community members consisting of internationally ambitious companies. We already hosted around 160 events on the latest Operations & Supply Chain challenges and opportunities.
In 1996, the European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF) was founded by TU/e academics when a 2-day lasting meeting was organized, connecting 30 leading global players to share problems and insights related to Supply Chain Management. 

From 1998 onwards, the ESCF began to take a definitive set-up. Each year, four workshops were planned on the latest supply chain topics and an annual forum meeting was organized. An advisory board, with executives from multi-national companies like DOW and Unilever, was established to examine and debate on the form of the ESCF.

How it continued

After 2000, the interest in Supply Chain Management turned into a hype and the ESCF was thriving when large companies like ASML became members and close partners of the ESCF. The strategy of the ESCF was revised and together with the advisory board it became clear that one conception was key: we are a network and we work together. Together we commit to helping each other out.Over the period of 2001 until 2011, research of the ESCF together with our members and for our members led to yields of 1 billion euros.

To match the growth and potential of the ESCF ecosystem, the ESCF value delivery was updated in 2018. Together with our members, the ESCF updated their delivery and way of work to connect talent, knowledge and network better.

ESCF in the future

Throughout the years, the ESCF constantly kept discussing and exploring hot topics together with our members. This led to inspirational and memorable moments like the launch event ‘Supply Chain Renaissance: human capital as a key enabler’ in 2014 with speakers like prof Hau Lee, Harrie de Haas and Roeland Baaijens.

To match the growth and potential of the ESCF eco-system, the ESCF value delivery is updated in 2018. Together with our members, the ESCF updated their delivery and way of work to better connect talent, knowledge and network. To accelerate learning, the ESCF team expands and three brand new communities are set up to enrich the already existing eco-system. Data2Move, Customer-driven Transformation (CDT) and ESCF High Tech Community (EHTC) are established as network-drive, participatory and action-oriented ESCF communities. In 2020, the Servitization community and in 2024, the LifeScience community joins the ESCF eco-system.

Workshops are organized for each community, fully dedicated to topics in the interest of that specific community. The ESCF Executive Table, including supply chain executives of our full members, co-creates the ESCF strategy. This way, we hear the voice of our entire eco-system to decide upon our strategy. The new ESCF provides great value to its members by “Enabling professionals in and around supply chains to create, exchange and integrate knowledge by collectively exploring the future.”

In short, we focus on connecting network, knowledge and talent by:

  • Providing a global, interactive platform for our members to exchange key supply chain and operations management solutions and best-in-class operating practices, adhering to fundamental ethical principles.
  • Promoting the application of world-class research into supply chain and operations management phenomena to opportunity areas in member companies.
  • Facilitating joint projects to encourage innovation and provide competitive advantage to members’ supply chains.
  • Providing a full-service talent development package, including the full range of training for (future) supply chain and operations management professionals.