The Retail Industry leaders Association (RILA) opened the second day of the 2012 RILA Logistics Conference today with a presentation from Matt Rose, Chairman and CEO of BNSF Railway. Rose discussed the needs of U.S. infrastructure and the importance of proper investment to remain competitive.
He highlighted the importance of maintaining and expanding our complex, integrated and comprehensive supply chain infrastructure, which he says requires a public and private investment that is supported by sound public policy, focused on the long-term needs of the American economy.
“Sound infrastructure is a crucial component to the fluid movement of goods for any retailer,” said Casey Chroust, executive vice president of retail operations. “Matt offered a unique perspective on the current challenges we face and how we can partner to see that the long-term needs of our infrastructure are met. He had a great message and we want to thank him for sharing his knowledge and experience.”
Attendees also heard from an exceptional group of retail executives on an industry panel discussing the state of the retail supply chain. Brian Gibson, professor of supply chain management of Auburn University acted as moderator. Gibson gave an early look at the takeaways and insights from RILA and Auburn University’s third annual State of the Retail Supply Chain study using the early findings as discussion topics. The session lent insight into best-in-class practices for creating an agile supply chain that supports customer satisfaction and company profitability. The full report is set to launch in March, 2012.
“Improvement of multi-channel fulfillment capabilities is top of mind for supply chain executives,” said Brian Gibson, professor of supply chain management of Auburn University acted as moderator. “Many retailers are developing strategies to integrate in-store, Internet, and mobile fulfillment processes and optimize performance. The goal is to create a seamless, cost-efficient customer experience regardless of the order size, origin, or delivery requirements,” Gibson concluded.
Later Chuck Taylor, Founder of Awake! Consulting explored what supply chain professionals can expect going forward as inexpensive oil becomes a thing of the past. Executives learned how factors-such as geology, geopolitics, the energy industry, the search for alternatives and risk mitigation- impact fuel prices and supply chains, and how to develop strategies to overcome the industry's growing energy challenges.
Finally, Erik Qualman, Author of Socialnomics, offered his expertise on the recent shift to the ever-informed consumer, who will soon no longer search for products and services, but absorb them through social media. The best-selling author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Qualman explored why flourishing companies are acting like Dale Carnegie-listening first and selling second-and how social media isn't a fad, it's a revolution.
RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.