Today, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) opened the 29th annual Retail Supply Chain Conference in San Diego, California with a keynote address delivered by CEO of the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), Robert Bianchi. The conference, attended by 1500 executives from retailers, product manufacturers and supply chain service providers, serves as the premier educational and networking event in the retail supply chain industry.
Held for nearly three decades, RILA’s Retail Supply Chain Conference covers the critical issues for retail supply chain executives, and provides a forum for meaningful networking among the best in the industry. For the second year in a row, RILA added a new educational track to the program. The Leadership & Development track joins existing tracks: International Logistics & Sourcing, Transportation, Distribution, Omni-channel and Inventory Management.
Kicking off the three day conference, Robert Bianchi, Rear Admiral, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.) and current CEO of NEXCOM shared his unique perspective as the first civilian CEO of the $3 billion operation and the daily challenges of maintaining a global logistics and quality of life support network to U.S. Navy and allied forces worldwide.
“Admiral Bianchi is uniquely situated to provide insights applicable to supply chains of all sizes and structures, as he is responsible for the oversight of one of the most complex supply chain operations in the world,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president, retail operations at RILA. “NEXCOM has a unique structure and mission, but they also share the same challenges as all our retailers, getting product to customers how and when they want it, through multiple channels and various retail formats.”
Later, Peter Navarro, industry pundit, business professor at the University California – Irvine and author of several books including Always a Winner, shared an analysis of the domestic and global economic picture, highlighting trends likely to impact the retail industry. Over lunch, attendees enjoyed CBS commentator, former professional golfer and best-selling author David Feherty share anecdotes from his time playing on and covering the PGA tour.
As is customary for RILA conferences, each program track was represented in both morning and afternoon breakout sessions. The conference’s newest track, Leadership & Development, featured a morning session titled, “Leading During Times of Significant Change,” followed in the afternoon by, “Workplace Diversity: Promoting Respect, Acceptance & Teamwork.” The afternoon session highlighted the importance of developing sourcing and logistics teams with broad-based experience capable of delivering results in the interconnected global supply chain.
“Every year attendance grows and new supply chain challenges emerge. Because our program is developed by the industry experts themselves, who sit on our conference steering committee, RILA is uniquely positioned to deliver new and forward-looking educational opportunities. ” said LaBruno. “RILA and the Conference Steering Committee are proud to host this event and showcase emerging trends to the world-class leaders who attend.”
A panel of retail executives closed out the first day of RILA’s 2014 Retail Supply Chain Conference with a session titled, Achieving Supply Chain Excellence in a Dynamic Era. Top supply chain executives from Petco, Meijer and Target joined to address strategies and perspectives on emerging logistics challenges, specifically focusing on topics from RILA and Auburn University’s 4th annual State of the Retail Supply Chain report: building your omni-channel capabilities, developing your supply chain management talent pool, managing metrics and analytics, and recognizing emerging challenges.
Other sessions included: Increasing Your Service Performance by Increasing Transparency of the Supply Chain, The Impact of Omni-channel to the Retail Supply Chain & Total Customer Experience, Connecting the Bits: The Networked Company & Operation Excellence, Structural Changes Impacting Global Containerized Ocean Freight, Legislative & Regulatory Issues Affecting Retailers Today and In the Future, Brick & Mortar Success Through Breakthrough Omni-Channel Fulfillment, and Inventory Management Roundtable: At the Top of The Management Agenda.
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.