IWLA convention shines light on warehousing’s economic impact and leadership in e-fulfillment

Members and friends of the International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA), the resource for warehouse logistics, gathered March 19-21, 2017, in Palm Springs for the IWLA Convention & Expo. While the theme focused on Leadership that Inspires, content and programs made it evident that warehousing has a key role in the new e-economy.

“IWLA members are always eager to see each other and discuss many changes that are happening within our industry, the U.S. administration and retail trends,” says IWLA President & CEO Steve DeHaan. “But in 2017, the breadth of our industry’s impact in the new economy emerged as a focus. The content and speakers sparked discussions around the reality of what is happening in warehousing right now.”

Here are the highlights from the three-day event:

  • Harry Kraemer, clinical Professor of Strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, kicked off the event as the keynote speaker. His no nonsense fundamentals of leadership provided valuable takeaways for anyone at any point in their career.
  • Scott McWilliams, EVP Strategic Development, GEODIS and moderator Chip Scholz, Scholz and Associates, shared during a fireside chat about taking risks and creating opportunities.
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers released the preliminary results of the IWLA-sponsored Warehouse Economic Impact Report. This study measures the 3PL warehouse industry’s economic impact in the form of jobs, labor, income, GDP, and taxes.
  • Washington insider Eric Miller, president, Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, discussed trade policy in the age of Trump, including bilateral agreements that will replace the Trans Pacific Partnership; renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement; the Mexican border tax; and a weakened U.S./China relationship and how this can disrupt the global supply chain.
  • IWLA officially launched its Fulfillment Council with an expert panel on the ins and outs of e-commerce and fulfillment warehousing.

Attendees voted on the most innovative exhibitors: Nulogy earned the Most Innovative Product recognition and Southeast Solutions and Zethcon tied as the Most Innovative Service suppliers. IWLA members shared their convention experiences and innovations through the IWLA Convention App, sponsored by Zethcon. Outgoing Chairman Mark DeFabis, CEO of Integrated Distribution Systems, Inc., welcomed incoming Chairman Cliff Otto, CEO of Saddle Creek Logistics Services during the final Starry Night in the Desert Chairman’s Reception & Dinner.  “The convention is a great place to connect with fellow IWLA members, to meet new people and generate new ideas, and to learn from leaders who are experts in their roles,” DeHaan says. “This year we continued the tradition.”