More than 1500 retail supply
chain executives gathered in Orlando for the Retail Industry Leaders
Association’s (RILA’s) Retail Supply Chain Conference: Logistics 2013, opening
with keynote Laura Sen, chief executive officer of BJ’s Wholesale Club.
In its 28th year of existence, RILA’s Logistics Conference is the industry’s
premier educational program, addressing the most current and relevant issues
facing retailers, wholesalers and supply chain leaders. New to the
program this year is the Inventory Management breakout track that will join
other popular breakout tracks, International Logistics & Sourcing,
Transportation, Distribution and Multichannel.
Kicking off the day, Laura Sen shared her unique perspective on the retail
industry from a warehouse club concept point of view, and discussed the
critical role that supply chain plays in retail success. Formerly the
executive vice president of merchandising and logistics for BJ’s, Laura
understands as well as anyone the challenges facing retail supply chain
executives today, particularly in the world of omnichannel retailing, where a
seamless customer experience accessing all channels is the expectation of
“Laura’s keynote was extremely informative and gave attendees a unique
perspective into the world of warehouse club retailers. Her insight is relevant
to all industry partners and we are delighted that she was able to share her
experiences with us today,” said Lisa Labruno, senior vice president of
retail operations for RILA.
Later, economist Marci Rossell gave a spirited presentation on the economic
factors that lead to the state of the U.S. economy today, and predicted 2013 is
the year that consumers will truly start feeling the current economic recovery
already underway, a recovery unlike any seen in recent history because it is
fueled by U.S. exports rather than a housing boom or government stimulus.
CEO & Chief Research Officer of Telsey Advisory Group, Dana Telsey, shared
an analyst’s perspective on how retailers conduct business in the shifting
economic landscape and identified several success factors for retailers today,
including a focus on multichannel, speed to market, product innovation, growth
of mobile and the importance of execution.
“Every year we continue to see record breaking attendance, more diverse
breakout sessions and invaluable education during this conference,” said
LaBruno. “RILA and our Logistics Conference Steering Committee are proud to
host this event and be a part of a world-class group of industry leaders.”
Breakout track, International Logistics & Sourcing addressed critical
subjects in global procurement and goods movement. This session covered the
impacts from cost and capacity, to new collaboration opportunities between
shippers and gateways in today’s ever-changing economy. The Transportation
track highlighted insights in to the latest governmental policies and
operational advances affecting transportation processes and systems.
Other sessions included: Dedicated Fleet Utilization and Network
Optimization; Surprises and Challenges on the Lean Journey; Online, Big Box
Showrooming; Roadmap, Forecasting, Replenishment, Integrated Planning and
Execution; Innovation and Forward-Leaning Trends in Supply Chain; Evolving
International Container Chassis Supply Models; Brick and Mortar: Leveraging
your DC and Store Capabilities to Win in the Future; Inventory Management
Continuous Improvement Panel.
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.