Operations Summit 2012: Glimpse Into Future of Operations and Fulfilment
Just yesterday I received a package in the mail. It was a box filled with records, CDs, a t-shirt, Polaroids and a whole bunch of goodies that I forgot I’d ordered from a band a few months ago. Before that I received a package filled with Japanese literature from a publisher I used to work with. On the whole, I’ve received more packages in the last five years than I have in all the years before that. And I’m not the only one.
As our society continues to integrate and rely on ecommerce into our own operations, so also we rely on fulfillment services. Those interested in seeing where such an important part of our future is headed generally look to industry conferences to get a sneak peek at what we can expect.
The Operations Summit, an annual conference devoted to Direct-to-Customer operations and fulfillment, just wrapped in Memphis, Tennessee. This inaugural event was sponsored by Multichannel Merchant magazine and was designed for retail operations experts – from the warehouse manager to CEOs. That may seem like a niche group, but with sponsors including FedEx, United States Postal Service, Fifth Gear, DHL and friends it’s easy to see just how important this is.
Naturally, many of the panels are intended only for industry professionals and don’t offer the casual enthusiast much in the ways of BREAKING NEWS, but some of the more interesting panels afford a glimpse into what we can expect in shipping/receiving.
Power Shipping Panel
In what was probably the most salient panel of the day, Fifth Gear President Matt Konkle joined Glenn Gooding or Bird Dog Solutions and Marc McCrery of the USPS to address trends, changes, opportunities and challenges for shippers. The panelists were chosen specifically to approach the questions from three unique perspectives: the in house retailer, the outsourced provider and the carrier. The confluence of these three sectors of the industry brings valuable insight to each of them, the branches they represent and also broader understanding of how industry changes affect all parts of fulfillment.Continued on the next page