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Full Agenda

This full Operations Summit agenda details all the sessions you can join April 14-16 in Louisville.  There’s plenty more to come – so keep checking back for the latest updates!
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Tuesday, April 14

Start Time End Time Information
7:45 AM 11:30 AM
eBay Enterprise Fulfillment Center Tour
eBay Enterprise operates 5.7M square feet of fulfillment space across the U.S., in which we optimize operations and efficiently scale to manage the peaks and valleys of ecommerce brands and retailers. eBay Enterprise’s Richwood fulfillment center is the size of approximately ten football fields, including a four level mezzanine, and contains more than four miles of powered conveyor. This automated, paperless facility fulfills products including licensed sporting goods, apparel, DVDs, books, pet supplies & food and others. The Richwood center holds 12 million units of inventory during peak months including 200,000 plus SKUs on hand in forward pick locations and has 600,000 total pick and storage locations. In one year the facility processes more than 86 million units in and out, with 40% of those handled during October through December.

A Richwood picker can walk up to 8 miles per day in peak periods. The center has Speed Line capabilities to handle hot market products and offers many value added services including gift wrapping, embroidery, engraving, packing, kitting, and hazmat. The Richwood fulfillment center averages 70% same day shipping for all clients during normal business operations.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:45 a.m.
Tour: 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 11:30 a.m.
Limit: 50 attendees

Special information and instructions: Please bring valid government-issued ID.

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11:45 AM 4:30 PM
Workshop: How to Turn Omnichannel from Retail Disruptor to Game-Changer
Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you know that omnichannel is the biggest trend to hit retail in a generation. Driven by increasing expectations from digitally connected consumers, omnichannel seeks to meet that demand through tactics like ship to store, ship from store and in-store pickup, as well as online inventory visibility.

But going omnichannel presents a number of logistical challenges that touch every area of retail operations: stores, ecommerce, distribution and fulfillment, technology and workforce. For this reason many retailers find themselves struggling to realize the promise of omnichannel: thrilled and loyal customers, increased sales and fully optimized inventory and supply chain.

This informative workshop will tap the experience of retail industry experts to help attendees sort out how to create an effective omnichannel strategy, or improve upon their existing one. Topics covered will include:

• Which tactic to tackle first, and why
• Breaking down silos
• Technology, systems and integration
• Infrastructure
• Workforce, culture and training
• Getting cross-channel sales allocation right
• Achieving a high degree of inventory accuracy across channels
• Utilizing store space and layout

Moderator:
Mike O'Brien, Senior Editor, Multichannel Merchant
Speakers:
Kevin Gardiner, Director, Store Operations and Strategy, Macy's
 
Kevin Klisz, Senior Manager of Omnichannel Fulfillment and Inventory Placement Strategy, Kohl's
 
Christopher Forbes, Ecommerce/3PL manager, PVH
 
Walter Wallace, Senior Manager, Ecommerce 3PL, Tory Burch
 
Kevon Hills, Vice President, Research, StellaService
 
Chris Pacetti, Vice President of Technology/Innovation, Trade Global

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11:45 AM 4:30 PM
Workshop: Operations & Fulfillment Best Practices
This half- day workshop is the perfect opportunity to get a fantastic overview of the details and strategies of all operating functions in a single session.

The session will provide you a comprehensive but practical look at what it takes to deliver superior fulfillment as a competitive advantage. The latest strategies, tactics and best practices will be presented by someone who has seen it and done it. It is loaded with examples and anecdotes, and typically stimulates great interaction among attendees.

The focus will be on maximizing service performance and operational efficiency. This workshop is a ‘must’ if you are responsible for the fulfillment process, from supervisors to executives.

Topics will include:

World-Class Customer Care
Managing Distribution Performance
Best Practices in Returns Management
IT Strategies & Opportunities
Omnichannel fulfillment (ship from store, in-store pickup, etc.)
Performance Management

Workshop Leader:
Bill Kuipers, Partner, Spaide, Kuipers and Company

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11:45 AM 4:30 PM
Workshop: Negotiate Like the Pros – Contract Negotiations & Other Real World Strategies to Cut Your Parcel Costs 5-25%
Shipping costs too high? Then you cannot afford to miss this workshop! Led by one of the top consultants in the industry, gain valuable information to negotiate best-in-class pricing and reduce overall shipping costs 5-25%. You will walk away from this half-day session with an in-depth understanding of parcel contracts terms and how to maximize pricing agreements with your parcel carriers. Using actual shipping data, you will learn:

• How to establish shipping baselines and requirements prior to beginning any carrier negotiations
• Different ways to reduce the impact of accessorial charges and other contract “gotchas”
• Understand the impact of new carrier dimensional pricing, with strategies to minimize increases
• How to use your weekly parcel invoice data to generate powerful information to lower costs

We will place particular emphasis on how to gain leverage during contract negotiations, and using benchmarking (provided) to your advantage. You’ll also learn additional strategies used by other shippers to reduce delivery costs, how to offer “free” shipping, and how to make delivery a competitive differentiator in your business.

Workshop Leader:
Rob Martinez, President & CEO, Shipware LLC

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11:45 AM 4:30 PM
Workshop: Best Practices for the Ever-Evolving Contact Center
When someone picks up a phone, sends an email or initiates a chat session with your company – whether it’s to place an order, lodge a complaint or seek information – the associate at the other end is a frontline representative of your brand and all it represents. How they handle that interaction impacts critical areas like customer retention, sales and brand reputation.

And in an increasingly omnichannel world, rising expectations from the always-on consumer are impacting the contact center as never before. As associates are expected to keep on top of traditional and digital channels, companies are finding they need to ensure their skillsets are constantly updated and refined.

There are many other important considerations, such as hiring and retention in a competitive, shifting labor market; finding the right technology and tools – and successfully integrating them with existing systems; and melding it all together to create an outstanding customer culture that breeds loyalty and drives sales.

This highly informative and interactive session will address:

• Overall challenges and trends impacting today’s contact center
• How to understand and address rapidly evolving customer expectations
• Gaining a single view of the customer across channels
• The right mix of technology and tools – and their costs – for your size operation
• Recruitment, hiring and training best practices
• The most critical KPIs for success, and how to track and manage them
• How to improve cross-sell and upsell
• The right mix of live contact and customer self-service

Workshop Leaders:
Michael Moseman, Director, Customer Contact Center, Brooks Brothers
 
David Tull, Customer Engagement Manager, JackThreads
 
Susan Drummer, Director of Client Services, American Mint
 
Sheron Copeland Smith, Contact Center Director, Sports Endeavors

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7:00 PM 9:30 PM
Welcome Party
The Welcome Party kicks off the 2015 Operations Summit in style This Louisville-themed cocktail reception is a great venue to meet your fellow attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors and kick off your networking.

The Operations Summit Welcome Party takes place on Tuesday night April 14th, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.

Make sure to check “Yes” at the time of registration to let us know you’re attending.

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11:00 PM 2:00 AM
UPS Worldport Peak Time Tour, Day 1
Located in Louisville, Worldport is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world. The operation currently turns over approximately 130 aircraft daily, processing an average of 1.6 million packages a day with a record of nearly 5 million packages processed on Peak Day 2013. Take a journey through this more than 5.2 million square foot automated express sorting facility that can process 416,000 packages and documents per hour.

This tour will highlight the cornerstone of an integrated transportation network that makes UPS the global leader in logistics. It enables UPS to make more guaranteed on-time deliveries around the world than any other carrier. These fast and reliable global delivery options help suppliers and e-commerce businesses enhance their online and omnichannel customer experience.

Bus departs Marriott: 11:00 p.m.
Tour time: 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 2:00 a.m.

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Wednesday, April 15

Start Time End Time Information
7:30 AM 9:30 AM
Ann Inc. Tour
ANN INC. is the parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, two of the leading women’s specialty retail fashion brands in North America. The Company operates approximately 1,040 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT and LOFT Outlet stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our Ann Taylor and LOFT brands are also available online in more than 100 countries worldwide at AnnTaylor.com and LOFT.com.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:30 a.m.
Tour time: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 9:30 a.m.
Limit: 50 attendees

ANN Inc. Special information and instructions: Guests will be required to present a government issued photo ID (driver’s license or passport) before admittance onto the Bus. Business casual attire is recommended (no dresses or skirts). For safety reasons, open-toe and high-heel shoes are not permitted.

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7:30 AM 9:30 AM
eBay Enterprise Trade Port Fulfillment Center Tour
eBay Enterprise operates more than 5.7 million square feet of fulfillment capacity across the U.S., of which half a million square feet is in our Trade Port One fulfillment center in Louisville, KY. Trade Port One is an automated fulfillment center with three levels of mezzanine and five level high pallet rack storage. There are sixteen brands in the center including apparel, cosmetics, footwear, health & beauty, and sporting goods. The facility houses more than 131,000 SKUs in various product categories including conveyables, non-conveyables, fragile, garment on hanger, hazmat and perishables. During 2013, Trade Port One processes more than 80 million units, 40% of which were during Q4. During Peak 2013, this facility shipped 701,000 units in one day, and over f4.2 million units during peak week.

The facility manages inbound receiving and put-away, outbound, and returns processing and utilizes cart pick, dynamic wave pick and RF picking to fulfill orders. Trade Port One has three lines of transport conveyor that merge to the sorter, which has a throughput rate of 130 cartons per minute. This high volume facility provides clients with the speed, accuracy and flexibility to scale during peak seasons to provide an exceptional customer experience and delivery.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:30 a.m.
Tour time: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 9:30 a.m.

Special information and instructions: Please bring valid government-issued ID

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7:30 AM 8:20 AM
Breakfast Roundtables
Always popular, our roundtables offer you an opportunity to meet face-to-face and share ideas on a variety of issues facing the operations and fulfillment industry throughout the conference. You will be able to choose from dozens of roundtable discussions, each facilitated by an industry expert.

Breakfast buffet sponsored by Dart Industries

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8:30 AM 9:20 AM
A Look at Winning Customer Experience and Retail Innovation Benchmarks
Come and learn from the “Excellence in Customer Experience Awards” finalists. Theses retail innovators were selected based on actual performance data collected by Innotrac's SmartHub team about orders placed with more than 200 ecommerce merchants. SmartHub analyzed each important customer touchpoint, charting everything from free shipping price points at the time of ordering, to the expedience of confirmation emails, to evaluation of the packaging material used in shipment, and the touchpoints involved in the returns process. We'll discuss how to achieve customer-centric excellence across the entire order spectrum.

At Thursday’s lunch, we'll find out who wins the awards. In the meantime, come hear specifics from awards finalists about to up your game in terms of innovation in customer experience.

Merchant finalists TBA

Moderator:
Tim Parry, Managing Editor, Multichannel Merchant
Speaker:
Mark Pierce, Director of Client Onboarding, SmartHub, Innotrac Corporation

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8:30 AM 9:20 AM
The State of Operations 2015
If you’re an operations and fulfillment professional in 2015, it may seem at times as if change is the only constant. From the continued rapid growth in ecommerce, to broader adoption of omnichannel fulfillment, to growing global operations and cross-border, there’s an awful lot to sort through and keep on top of. But not to worry – we’ve assembled a panel of operations executives from across disciplines, market sizes and sectors to discuss some of the key issues of the day. In this moderated session, the panel will address questions based on Multichannel Merchant’s MCM Outlook 2015 report, as well as executive reports on operations topics, to help arm you with insights and intelligence that will prepare you for what comes next in this dynamic, exciting industry.

Moderator:
Mike O'Brien, Senior Editor, Multichannel Merchant
Panelists:
Catherine Bickel, Director of Operations, eBags
 
Matt Glauber, President & COO, BuyAutoParts.com
 
Trey Dean, Manager of DTC Operations, Express
 
Michael Ryan, Executive Vice President-Parcel Solutions, Pro Star Logistics

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8:30 AM 9:20 AM
Packaging Options to Reduce Your DIM Impact and Freight Costs
This year’s addition of parcels measuring less than one cubic foot in size to dimensional weight pricing by UPS and FedEx was one of the biggest changes to retail shipping in a long time. It has merchants scrambling to find ways to lessen the impact of the new rates.

In this interactive session, attendees will be encouraged to talk about their experience with the DIM changes, and how the new rates have affected their organizations from both a cost and process standpoint.

Our expert panel will then share solutions that can help companies of all sizes reduce their packaging dimensions to mitigate the DIM factor, thus lessening their freight cost moving forward.

Takeaways:

• A presentation of a range of packaging options that address DIM-related issues, whether you’re a midsized business or an enterprise organization
• Real-life examples from merchants on the front lines who have implemented new approaches to packaging
• Action steps you can take now to reduce your DIM impact and start saving on your freight bill

Below is the moderator; panelists TBA

Moderator:
Ken Myers, Director, Packaging & Automation, Tension Packaging & Automation

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8:30 AM 9:20 AM
Omnichannel Done Right: How Macy's is Transforming Modern Retail
Omnichannel is the word on everyone’s lips in retail, and marching orders are going out to make it happen as customer expectations rise, but how do you make this vision into a reality? It requires a business transformation involving people, processes and technology, and the establishment of a framework that properly allocates responsibilities among store operations, IT and ecommerce.

In this session, learn how Macy’s is working to solve the omnichannel puzzle and drive not only business growth but operational efficiencies through delivering what the customer wants no matter how they connect.

Takeaways:

• How to establish a viable omnichannel framework among all stakeholders, and achieve buy-in
• How to set up a tactical roadmap (ship to store, ship from store, in-store pickup)
• How to address technology, systems and integration issues
• How to achieve inventory visibility and accuracy across channels

Speaker:
Kevin Gardiner, Director, Store Operations and Strategy, Macy's

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8:30 AM 9:20 AM
Advanced Parcel Negotiation Tips, Tricks & Tactics
This isn’t your first operations conference. You’ve taken the classes on negotiating parcel agreements in the past. In fact, you’ve negotiated multiple parcel carrier agreements. This session is for shippers looking for advanced strategies that will reduce parcel costs through contract negotiations. Learn the ins and outs from a former parcel carrier executive and leading industry consultant that will help you achieve savings of 5%-30%.
In this session, you will learn:
• How to take your current parcel rates from “good” to “great.”
• How to address both rates and terms in carrier agreements

Speaker:
Rob Martinez, President & CEO, Shipware LLC

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9:20 AM 10:15 AM
Exhibit Hall Opens/Networking Refreshment Break 9:20 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

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10:20 AM 11:15 AM
Keynote Power Panel
We’ve brought together some of the best, brightest, and most experienced operations executives to discuss where direct-to-customer operations is heading, and where you should be spending your time and money. As DTC operations become more and more important to your company’s success, attending this session is crucial for your company, and for your personal future.

Prior to the panel, Multichannel Merchant and headline sponsor UPS will welcome Operations Summit attendees and offer brief introductory remarks, including some "state of the industry" trends and observations.

Moderator:
Bill Kuipers, Partner, Spaide, Kuipers and Company
Panelists:
Rick Duley, Director of Network Fulfillment, Belk
 
Cindy Turcot, COO, Gardener's Supply Co.
 
James Reid, Vice President of Distribution, QVC
 
Chris Halkyard, Chief Supply Chain Officer, GM of Distribution Services, Gilt
 
David Kravetz, Co-Founder, Fairytale Brownies

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11:00 AM 2:00 PM
UPS Worldport Daytime Tour, Day 2
Located in Louisville, Worldport is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world. The operation currently turns over approximately 130 aircraft daily, processing an average of 1.6 million packages a day with a record of nearly 5 million packages processed on Peak Day 2013. Take a journey through this more than 5.2 million square foot automated express sorting facility that can process 416,000 packages and documents per hour.

This tour will highlight the cornerstone of an integrated transportation network that makes UPS the global leader in logistics. It enables UPS to make more guaranteed on-time deliveries around the world than any other carrier. These fast and reliable global delivery options help suppliers and e-commerce businesses enhance their online and omnichannel customer experience.

Bus departs Marriott: 11:00 a.m.
Tour time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 2:00 p.m.

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11:20 AM 12:15 PM
The Balancing Act: Hiring and Retaining Great CSRs in a Shifting Labor Market
With the economy improving, it’s becoming tougher to find quality customer service representatives. So how do you find folks who are technically savvy, yet also are comfortable selling and addressing customer needs? This session will focus on best practices for identifying, hiring and retaining agents who have the skills to help you deliver stellar customer service, in a tighter labor market.

Takeaways:
• How to partner with HR on hiring priorities, skillsets, descriptions, etc.
• How to determine appropriate levels of compensation
• Developing performance incentives that yield gains
• Creating a “best place to work” atmosphere and mindset

Speakers:
Karen Stokdyk, Director, Customer Contact Center, Gardener's Supply Co.
 
Susan Drummer, Director of Client Services, American Mint

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11:20 AM 1:35 PM
Senior Executive Forum: Senior Operations Executives
Looking for a venue to discuss key marketplace trends, challenges and opportunities and business approaches in a high-level, peer-to-peer exchange?

This session is designed as a forum for senior retail operations executives to dialog on important issues, act as a sounding board, share feedback and talk about what works. A merchant panel will briefly introduce each hot-button topic, then hand it off for a time of moderated roundtable discussion; insights and findings will then be reported back to the entire group.

The forum will run the length of two normal conference sessions, and include a buffet lunch during the second half. Participants will be expected to take part in the dialog, as this will add value to the session’s output.

You must pre-register for this forum. There is no extra cost, but only one person per company is allowed – and you must be the top operations executive in your organization in order to participate.

Leader:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company
Roundtable Moderators:
Erik Caldwell, SVP/GM, Luxottica North America
 
Chip Edgington, Executive Vice President, Operations, FULLBEAUTY Brands
 
Matt Jordan, CEO, Premier Performance
 
Peter Rice, Chairman, Elk Run, LLC
 
Paulo Delgado, Director of Fulfillment, Doheny's Pool Supply
 
Jennifer Ide, COO, Deputy Director of Business Operations, U.S. Marine Corps Exchange
 
Bruce Zolot, President, Travers Tool Co. Inc.
 
Rick Amour, CEO and Owner, That Pet Place
 
William Burke, Vice President of Logistics, MidwayUSA

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11:20 AM 12:15 PM
Solving Inefficiencies in Ecommerce Fulfillment and Distribution
When ecommerce orders show up at a direct-to-consumer fulfillment center, companies typically rush to get every single one out the door and to the customer as fast as possible, and they track and rate themselves on this basis. What gets lost in the sauce, however, is the fact that there are a number of inefficiencies unwittingly baked into this default system, because the orders themselves have various levels of fulfillment priority based on customer needs and desires. What if instead, a rules-based system could be set up so that customers can self-select options that lead to greater operational efficiency and cost savings – as well as price reductions? The result would be a win-win for consumer and retailer, greater satisfaction and loyalty, and increased sales.

In this session, Scott Hilton, Chief Revenue Officer for online marketplace startup Jet.com, will illustrate often overlooked problems with the status quo and reveal steps retailers can take to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in order to optimize the ecommerce fulfillment process.

Takeaways:

• Understanding how basket size influences costs
• How to better align consumer behavior with the fulfillment process to gain efficiencies
• Understanding how in-stock levels impact both the consumer experience and cost
• Why managing to averages is a losing game

Speaker:
Scott Hilton, Chief Revenue Officer, Jet.com

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11:20 AM 12:15 PM
Implementing and Managing Ecommerce Supply Chains During Hyper Growth
Lots of ecommerce companies experiencing hyper growth have a difficult time planning for the future while maintaining an efficient and effective supply chain operation. Complicating things, many of them are new to the ecommerce fulfillment world or are transitioning to omnichannel operations – or both. These transitions demand ever higher levels of customer service while maintaining operational efficiencies that drive bottom-line results.

This nut-and-bolt session is a must for any organization that is launching new fulfillment operations, implementing supply chain changes, going through omnichannel transitions or experiencing hyper growth.

Key areas to be covered include:

• Should we in-source or outsource fulfillment in the face of hard-to-predict hyper growth?
• Setting up outsourcing and picking a 3PL fulfillment partner
• If in-sourced, where to locate our operations, and what factors need to be considered?
• Where can we find great people, and how do we flex up for peak periods?
• How to plan for the right amount of fulfillment space given uncertain growth levels
• How to mitigate hyper growth risks and plan the space flexibly
• What are the capital requirements?
• What material handling equipment systems should be considered and why?
• How long to get operations up and running, and what if we can’t wait that long?

Speakers:
Steve Johnson, Principal, Johnson Stephens Consulting
 
Chris Halkyard, Chief Supply Chain Officer, GM of Distribution Services, Gilt

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11:20 AM 12:15 PM
The Rise of the Regional Carriers – What’s Driving It?
Recently the retail shipping marketplace has seen a rise in the use of regional carriers, especially as it relates to ecommerce. Multiple factors can be attributed to this shift, but the biggest one is the combination of annual rate increases by major parcel carriers UPS and FedEx and their adoption of DIM weight pricing for smaller ground packages.

The expansion of DIM pricing in particular has dramatically impacted DTC merchants, as both volume and weight now factor into the cost of shipping smaller packages. To cope with this, many are looking to change their shipping strategy, including greater consideration of regional carriers.

With advances in parcel tracking capabilities and the flexibility to quickly adjust to changes in shipper volumes, regional carriers are getting a second look from merchants. Also, partnerships and agreements among regional carriers have expanded their footprints and made them more competitive to the major players. This session will look at how the regionals are positioning themselves to take advantage of the growing opportunities, and how merchants are leveraging them as they work to rationalize their freight spend.

Attendees will learn:

- How market forces, especially pricing, are changing the dynamic in DTC shipping
- How regional carriers have upped their game to take advantage of these changes
- How merchants are rethinking their carrier mix to optimize shipping operations

Moderator:
Paul Steiner, Vice President, Strategic Analysis, Spend Management Experts
Panelists:
Mark Magill, VP of Business Development, OnTrac
 
John Janson, Transportation Supply, MWI Veterinary Supply

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12:20 PM 1:35 PM
Luncheon Roundtables
Luncheon sponsored by Pitney Bowes

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1:40 PM 2:30 PM
Going Social (and Digital): Owning It in the Contact Center
As more customer exchanges shift to social media, chat and text, not only do customer service and contact center agents need to learn a whole new set of skills, but managers need to find creative ways to balance out traditional and new media responsibilities. Organizations also need to figure out how much of the social dialog is managed by marketing and how much by customer service.

Come learn how two retail brands are addressing these challenges and charting a course that combines old and new disciplines and processes, while maintaining service levels and hitting KPIs.

In this session you will learn:

• How to balance traditional and digital customer interaction channels
• Training and development guidelines
• Identifying and reaching the right metrics for success
• How to partner with marketing on ownership, shared and separate responsibilities
• How to identifying and meet customer expectations across digital and social media

Speakers:
David Tull, Customer Engagement Manager, JackThreads
 
Michael Moseman, Director, Customer Contact Center, Brooks Brothers

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1:40 PM 2:30 PM
Executive Session: Technology and Integration in Mid-to-Large Businesses
With all the rapid advances in technology for DTC and omnichannel operations, from robotics to RFID to the latest iteration of WMS, the options can seem bewildering. Do you go for an end-to-end solution or take a best-of-breed approach? How will these new tools work with your ERP system? And how will they integrate with other third-party software? In this session, a panel of technology experts will help you break through the clutter and provide guidance on how to develop your operations technology roadmap.

Takeaways:
• How to deal with enterprise-wide integration issues – ERP, OMS, WMS, etc.
• What automation tools make sense, and when
• Moving beyond transaction-based systems to real-time data flow for omnichannel fulfillment
• How to balance your people, processes and technology
• Finding the right mix of internal and external resources

Moderator:
Doug Brochu, CEO, Bridge Solutions Group
Panelists:
Scott Cohn, VP, Ecommerce, Chinese Laundry
 
Ranga Bodla, Senior Director of Industry Marketing, NetSuite
 
Kenneth Ruehrdanz, Market Manager, Distribution and Warehousing Systems, Dematic

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1:40 PM 2:30 PM
The ABCs of Opening a New DC
As your business grows and expands, you face some major decisions about how to handle the logistics of getting products to your new customers quickly and efficiently. For many retailers, this involves consideration of opening a new distribution center. Whether it’s your first or tenth facility, there are a whole host of questions and issues that need to be addressed as part of the planning and siting process. What location makes the most sense from a customer fulfillment, cost and logistics perspective (proximity to carrier hubs, etc.)? What about the local labor market? Do you buy or lease? What are the tax benefits? Do you go in through a 3PL partner or go it alone? What’s a realistic timeline?

In this session, a panel of three merchant operations executives will talk about their experiences planning and executing on their DC expansion plans, including pain points and lessons learned, what worked and what didn’t.

Takeaways:

• A walk-through of the location process, including decision criteria
• Factors to weigh in build vs. lease, partner vs. solo considerations
• What are the tax implications of setting up shop in a new state?
• Developing a network model of expansion

Moderator:
Scott Belfer, Senior Vice President, CBRE Inc.
Panelists:
Jerry Bellante, Director, Operations, Duluth Trading Co.
 
Kunal Thakkar, Vice President, Operations, Newegg.com
 
Michael DeFabis, Vice President of Fulfillment/Warehousing Sales, IDS

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1:40 PM 2:30 PM
Achieving Omnichannel Visibility in the Supply Chain
As more retailers adopt omnichannel fulfillment to meet rising consumer expectations, visibility into increasingly complex and global supply chains becomes ever more critical. While much of the focus has been on the outbound side – tracking orders from the retailer to end consumer – the importance of inbound visibility cannot be discounted. Retailers can benefit from having a fuller grasp on the flow of products and materials from the source to their door, DC to store, store to store or directly to the end customer, in order to optimize omnichannel customer experiences through fulfillment and cost reduction initiatives. This becomes more important with the increasing demands on the time of store personnel.

In this session, Bala Ganesh, director of marketing, UPS, and a merchant panel will discuss how the implementation of collaborative synchronization among all the players in the supply chain can be achieved, increasing agility and responsiveness while also fueling growth and success.

Below is the moderator; other panelists TBA

Moderator:
Bala Ganesh, Director, Marketing, UPS
Speakers:
Mark Albright, VP of Logistics, Sports Authority
 
Andy Villas, Director of Omnichannel, Sports Authority

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2:35 PM 3:30 PM
Dessert Reception in the Exhibit Hall

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3:35 PM 4:25 PM
Stepping Up Your Customer Self-Service Game
Merchants need to balance live customer contact with self-service options that make their lives easier by quickly answering questions and addressing issues. But how do you strike that balance? How often should you update your self-service tools and information like company policies and FAQs? This session will provide hands-on tips and insights to help you meet customer needs across both live and self-service touchpoints while driving sales growth.

Takeaways:

• Live contact vs. self-service – finding the balance
• Developing your self-service toolkit
• Best practices on content and FAQ refresh cycles

Speaker:
David McInnis, Vice President, Customer Relations, FULLBEAUTY Brands

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3:35 PM 4:25 PM
The Ecommerce Horizon: Building the Right Roadmap for your Cross-Border Journey
As merchants look to global demand to grow their businesses, cross-border transactions represent a significant market opportunity. But delivering on the promise of a satisfying customer experience can be daunting. Whether you’re in the early stages of planning or have already committed, it’s important to identify where you are in your cross-border ecommerce journey. Developing a clearly-defined roadmap can help drive customer engagement and achieve near and long-term business goals.

In this session, Pitney Bowes’ Michael Lamia, Vice President, Global Network Operations, Ecommerce will share insight on how you can help ensure your cross-border ecommerce model is on the right trajectory. From a supply chain that gets it right every time to a “no surprises” disclosure of upfront payments, taxes and fees for every customer, you will learn how to optimize your cross-border planning and create an extraordinary experience while building the foundation for enduring consumer loyalty.

Speaker:
Michael Lamia, Vice President, Global Network Operations, Ecommerce, Pitney Bowes

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3:35 PM 4:25 PM
The Business Benefits of Creating a Great Returns Experience
Returns are an extremely important part of the overall customer experience that is often not given the level of attention it deserves. While many retailers understandably view returns as a cost center and a necessary evil, they actually represent a key aspect of delivering on your service level – making them a key driver of customer loyalty. They also deserve time in the omnichannel conversation because customer expectations of the returns process have kept pace with their overall demand for channel-agnostic shopping that is fast, convenient and enjoyable.

In this session, learn from a leading solutions provider and top retailers how to raise your returns game by approaching it with more of a customer-centric view – seeing it as more of an opportunity to enhance your brand, wow the customer and drives sales than a hassle and afterthought.

Takeaways:

- How improved processes can create a great returns experience
- How to evolve and adapt returns in an increasingly omnichannel world
- How the right frequency and messaging in customer communications creates loyalty
- Benchmarking your returns policies against other retailers

Moderator:
Ellen Shannon, Chief Content Director & Publisher, Multichannel Merchant
Panelists:
Patrick Allard, Vice President Sales and Business Development, NEWGISTICS
 
Mike Pflugrad, Director, E-commerce Operations Strategies, Ralph Lauren
 
Bryan Gefroh, Logistics Manager, Swanson Health Products
 
Brett Briley, Senior Manager of Customer Experience-Logistics, American Eagle Outfitters
 
Douglas Smith, Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer Operations, Shepler's Western Store

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3:35 PM 4:25 PM
Making Complex Omnichannel Order Management Work
Learn from Rick's experience leading omnichannel order management and fulfillment at Carter’s Inc., a publicly traded company with annual revenues of over $2 billion, and Belk, one of the largest department store brands in the US. He will discuss how to make omnichannel order management work when using any or all of these channels - national department stores, retail stores, ecommerce, wholesalers and international resellers. This session will also discuss selection and implementation of order management solutions.

You'll also learn:

• The power of solution fit-gap and blueprinting sessions before you begin an order fulfillment initiative
• How to develop a building block approach to your order management projects
• How a smaller pilot can be used to unlock insights that will help your larger business
• The potential of a lower risk implementation that provides a platform for future growth
• Insight on reducing the complexity between multiple order channels by aligning the order management processes
• The power of Distributed Order Management (DOM) solutions; examples include IBM Sterling OMS and Manhattan DOM

Speaker:
Rick Duley, Director of Network Fulfillment, Belk

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3:35 PM 4:25 PM
Shipping and Distribution Power Panel
With all the changes affecting the shipping/distribution piece of DTC and ecommerce operations, there’s a lot to keep on top of. From ensuring sufficient network capacity and meeting SLAs like time in transit, to working out carrier mix, negotiations, logistics (in house or 3PL?) and inbound freight, executives and managers of shipping and distribution operations have their hands full. They also have to make sure that parcel tracking is up to snuff, and ensure visibility throughout the supply chain.

This panel of experts and DTC practitioners will address the key issues and trends impacting retail shipping and distribution, giving decision-makers actionable information and insights that will help them ensure their operations are running at peak efficiency and effectiveness.

Moderator:
Katie Parker, Strategic Solutions Manager, Green Mountain Consulting
Panelists:
Ashley W. Boggs, Sr. Marketing Manager, UPS
 
Rodney Small, National Sales Manager, STAMPS.COM
 
Nate Skiver, Senior Logistics Manager, Stella & Dot

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4:30 PM 6:00 PM
Exhibit Hall Reception
Come enjoy a time of cocktails, networking and unwinding with your peers and colleagues. Renew old acquaintances and make new ones!

Cocktail reception sponsored by UPS

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6:30 PM 9:00 PM
Networking Dinner
Please join us at Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge, 446 South 4th St. in Louisville.

Dinner hosted by UPS

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11:00 PM 2:00 AM
UPS Worldport Peak Time Tour, Day 2
Located in Louisville, Worldport is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world. The operation currently turns over approximately 130 aircraft daily, processing an average of 1.6 million packages a day with a record of nearly 5 million packages processed on Peak Day 2013. Take a journey through this more than 5.2 million square foot automated express sorting facility that can process 416,000 packages and documents per hour.

This tour will highlight the cornerstone of an integrated transportation network that makes UPS the global leader in logistics. It enables UPS to make more guaranteed on-time deliveries around the world than any other carrier. These fast and reliable global delivery options help suppliers and e-commerce businesses enhance their online and omnichannel customer experience.

Bus departs Marriott: 11:00 p.m.
Tour time: 11:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 2:00 a.m.

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Thursday, April 16

Start Time End Time Information
7:30 AM 9:30 AM
UPS Global Logistics and Distribution Tour
You are invited to join UPS for a tour of one of its innovative fulfillment operations within their Global Logistics and Distribution campus located in Louisville, Kentucky; the operation will showcase both B2B and D2C under one roof. The campus in Louisville has ten facilities totaling four million square feet and is the largest footprint within their global distribution network, which totals more than 23 million square feet. An industry-experienced team of UPS employees services a wide variety of customers and capabilities within the campus. The campus sits less than three miles away from UPS’ largest international all points hub, UPS Worldport and leverages shipping advantages for both air and ground modes. With capabilities and expertise to provide logistics support wherever in the world you need to reach your customers, UPS is pleased to showcase this critical link in its network as part of the Operations Summit.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:30 a.m.
Tour time: 7:45 a.m.- 9:15 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 9:30 a.m.
Limit:50 attendees

Special information and instructions: Please bring valid government-issued ID

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7:30 AM 9:30 AM
Gilt Tour
Gilt provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Join us in this tour of the 300,000 square foot center in Louisville, KY, which serves as the primary fulfillment point for orders placed through Gilt.com. Major product types handled in this facility include flat pack apparel, footwear, garment on hanger and small accessories. The combination of advanced robotics, modern conveyors, order routing, and labor support systems allows Gilt to quickly process customer orders and allow rapid transit to our members throughout the United States and around the world.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:30 a.m.
Tour time: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 9:30 a.m.
Limit: 50 attendees

Special information and instructions: Please bring valid government-issued ID. No photography permitted during this tour.

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7:30 AM 9:30 AM
Guess? Inc. Distribution Center Tour
Guess?, Inc. designs, markets, distributes and licenses a lifestyle collection of contemporary apparel, denim, handbags, watches, footwear and other related consumer products. The US fulfillment and service operation is located in Louisville, KY within minutes of major interstates and 20 miles from the UPS Worldport package handling center. The 500,000 sq. ft. distribution center is highly automated with miles of conveyor, 2 carton sorters, 3 unit sorters, RF scanners, automated print and apply labels applicators and RFID audit tunnels. The facility ships 25,000,000 units per year to its own stores, department stores, and directly to ecommerce customers. In addition, the facility operates full inbound quality and vendor compliance audit programs, complete store supply distribution, multi-channel returns operatoins, and maintains FTZ and CTPAT certification.

Bus departs Marriott: 7:30 a.m.
Tour time: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Bus returns to Marriott: 9:30 a.m.
Limit: 50 attendees

Special information and instructions: Please bring valid government-issued ID

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7:45 AM 8:40 AM
Breakfast Roundtables, Day 2

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8:45 AM 9:35 AM
Knowing What to Measure: Tracking Metrics That Matter in the Contact Center
Making sense of the emotionally-driven interactions of everyday contact center operations is key to providing impactful customer care. This session will isolate the metrics that matter in the customer contact center, identifying quantifiable and actionable insights and exploring different ways of putting this data to use.

Further, in this session you will learn:

• How to identify priority metrics of CCC interactions, such as time to live agent, issue resolution and more
• Ways to incentivize better customer service performance using this data
• How to use these metrics to create long-term benchmarks for success
• The importance of tracking customer care interactions during high-volume seasons

Moderator:
Kevon Hills, Vice President, Research, StellaService
Panelists:
Trent Funk, Chief Operations Officer, Saddleback Leather
 
Ty Munson, Omnichannel Manager, Sports Authority

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8:45 AM 9:35 AM
Executive session: Lean/Six Sigma Best Practices
Lean/Six Sigma practices are all too often associated with manufacturing, when in reality the tools and training are ideal for many different use cases and functional areas. By utilizing the fundamentals of lean/Six Sigma tools, organizations can save millions of dollars in operating costs. By removing waste (lean) and increasing quality (Six Sigma) the overall customer experience is enhanced, and both the customer and the business are winners.

This informative session will discuss the uses of lean and Six Sigma tools in a transactional environment that takes in the range of DTC operations (fulfillment, distribution, logistics and customer service).

Takeaways:

- An overview of lean/Six Sigma practices and why they’re important
- What are the first steps?
- Gaining stakeholder buy-in
- Why implementation doesn’t have to be expensive or complex
- Learning why data is key
- The importance of tracking savings

Speakers:
Steve Addy, Director, Customer Service, Standard Register
 
Kurt Leisman, Director, enVista

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8:45 AM 9:35 AM
The Great Picture Show: Real World Examples of What Works in the Distribution Center
Twenty site-visits rolled into one hour! A picture is worth a thousand words, and this session is nothing but pictures. Observe actual photographic examples of successful distribution methods and layouts, and some not so successful. The informal and brief commentary will provide a practical explanation of when and why they make sense. Photos are constantly updated and selected from dozens of different operations to highlight specific examples, including:

• Best practices and innovations
• Practical fixture and equipment options
• Processing alternatives
• Techniques to handle extreme peak season volumes
• Low-tech ideas with a big bang
• High-tech tips from the big guys
• Facility layout and design considerations
• How systems can make a difference
• Examples from the dreaded “don’t let this happen to you” file

This session is always a conference favorite, and the photos are constantly updated. Enough PowerPoint, already… here’s the real thing!

Speaker:
Bill Kuipers, Partner, Spaide, Kuipers and Company

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8:45 AM 9:35 AM
How to Select Technology That Best Fits Your Direct-to-Customer Business
There are many systems possibilities for direct-to-customer businesses: ecommerce platforms with order management functionality; standalone order management systems; “best of breed” solutions with both order management and warehouse management systems; and enterprise-wide platforms. But each option has a number of ramifications which will significantly impact your business and your DTC operations. How do you determine which is the best fit for you?

In this session, hear from an operations industry thought leader and merchant panelists how the selection process has been dealt with successfully, including the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and realistic timeframes for implementation. You’ll also hear how the requirements document can become the baseline for an apples-to-apples comparison of RFP responses, including modifications and addendums for services.

Other takeaways include:

• Examples of how companies have used exception requirements rather than a full set of requirements
• Items to include in calculating the total cost of ownership and ROI
• Pluses and minuses of SaaS, cloud and on-premise license models
• Whether project management of the implementation should be handled internally, externally or by the vendor

Moderator:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company
Panelists:
Jim Poulin, CTO, Gardener's Supply Co.
 
Gary Gauntt, President, DHC Care

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8:45 AM 9:35 AM
I Want It Now - Or Do I? Gauging Demand for Same-Day/Next Day and Balancing Cost and Service Level
Hardly a day goes by without media reports of some new whiz-bang same-day delivery offering, be it Amazon, eBay, Google, a major retailer or a next-gen delivery service. But lots of questions arise: How much consumer demand is there for same-day, or even next-day delivery? Are shoppers willing to sacrifice fast for free or cheap? In what markets does rapid delivery make sense, and where does it break down? How can I deliver on this kind of service without eating all the added costs and erasing profits? What kind of operational changes are needed to make it happen?

In this interactive session, you will hear from a major carrier executive and merchant operations leaders about the pros and cons of establishing a same-day/next-day shipping plan, the market forces that are shaping it, and the way forward from here.

Moderator:
Deanna Kaufman, Manager, Solutions, FedEx Services
Panelists:
Mark Desrosiers, Director, Distribution, S&S Worldwide, Inc.
 
Troy Van Wormer, Vice President of Operations, iHerb
 
Doug Smith, Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer Operations, Shepler's Western Store

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9:35 AM 10:25 AM
Exhibit Hall Opens/Networking Refreshment Break, Day 2

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10:30 AM 11:20 AM
Maintaining Customer Service Standards and Operational Efficiency Across the Enterprise
As consumers become less focused on a single means of brand engagement – hopping from store to phone to chat, etc. – how are retailers able to present themselves as truly channel agnostic? And how can they maintain a single view of the customer through all these interactions? Is the customer data aggregated at the master record level, or separated into silos?

In this session, you will learn:

• How to overcome challenges posed by multiple agent tools and data repositories
• How to create a seamless customer experience – no matter how they connect
• How to gain a single view of the customer across channels

Speakers:
Michael Moseman, Director, Customer Contact Center, Brooks Brothers
 
Sally Beebe, Senior Manager, Customer Service, Luxottica North America

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10:30 AM 11:20 AM
Executive Session: Hiring and Retention Best Practices, From the DC Floor to the Office
Maintaining a top-flight workforce up and down your DTC operations is a continual challenge. There are numerous issues that need to addressed, such as labor pool shrinkage, training and development, the ebb and flow of seasonality and right-sizing as you roll out new automation initiatives. And once you have groomed and advanced top performers, how can you keep them down on the farm? What about your approach to filling key manager positions?

In this session, DTC operations professionals who have “been there, done that” will talk about the pain points they’ve faced, the strategies they’ve implemented, the results they’ve seen and where their workforce management is headed. You’ll hear about:

- How to identify and land the right talent, from entry level positions to leadership
- Best practices for flexing your staffing levels as demand ebbs and flows
- Aligning workforce levels with new technology rollouts
- How to properly incentivize to boost performance and increase retention

Moderator:
Cindy Turcot, COO, Gardener's Supply Co.
Panelists:
Troy Van Wormer, Vice President of Operations, iHerb
 
Erik Caldwell, SVP/GM, Luxottica North America

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10:30 AM 11:20 AM
Packaging Innovation: How to Address Sustainability, Limit Damage and Streamline Processes
Today, addressing packaging in DTC operations is about much more than just loading products into boxes and whisking them off to their final destination. It’s about using cutting-edge tools like data analytics and survey insights to drive innovation. It’s also about staying attuned to consumer perceptions, adding to the customer “wow” factor while also being durable AND green in the process. There are other important considerations like cube optimization, packaging stress testing, sustainability and exploring ways to increase efficiency and throughput.

In this session, come learn about the latest and greatest advancements in packaging technology, and how they can be applied to organizations both large and small to get the job done both cost effectively and in a high-quality manner.

Takeaways:

- How software simulation and virtual testing based on material characteristics can help determine packaging performance in transit
- How a sustainability focus can make you green – and save you green
- How automation integration is driving solutions that can scale up or down based on capital requirements, while still providing process and efficiency benefits
- How packaging system design is moving away from standardization to enable greater flexibility by accepting multiple product inputs

Speakers:
Ken Chrisman, President, Product Care, Sealed Air Corporation
 
Lance Casler, Sr. Manager Global Transportation and America's Logistics, Avaya

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10:30 AM 11:20 AM
Omnichannel Best Practices: Getting Store and DC Operations on the Same Page
As more retailers are going omnichannel to address the “anywhere, anytime, anyhow” expectations of mobile/digital-savvy consumers, there are a lot of moving pieces to address to achieve success. Which tactic should you implement first – and why? What needs to happen from a platform and process standpoint – on the store and the DC side – to make omnichannel a reality? How are these two operational worlds synchronized to deliver a holistic experience no matter what path the consumer chooses? And how is the critical component of inventory visibility achieved?

In this session, learn from a major retailer and a leading omnichannel platform solution provider how these challenges have been met and overcome, delighting customers and delivering results.

Takeaways:

- Mapping out your omnichannel strategy
- Platform options – end-to-end vs. point solutions
- Coordination with partners (3PLs, vendors, etc.)
- Tapping DC operational expertise for store fulfillment
- Fine-tuning inventory for a “single view of the truth”

Moderator:
David Geisinger, Head of Retail Business Strategy, eBay Enterprise
Panelists:
Kevin Klisz, Senior Manager of Omnichannel Fulfillment and Inventory Placement Strategy, Kohl's
 
Walter Wallace, Senior Manager, Ecommerce 3PL, Tory Burch

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10:30 AM 11:20 AM
The Top 5 Mistakes in Parcel Shipping That Are Killing Your Profits, and How to Overcome Them
Join Operations Summit veteran Rob Martinez as he covers the 5 most common parcel shipping mistakes, what they’re costing you and how they can be fixed. Gain fresh insights through a lively discussion that will help your company avoid errors and optimize your shipping strategy. You’ll walk away with a list of action steps that can help you drive efficiencies, improve ROI and change the way you think about parcel shipping.

This session will cover common parcel shipping pitfalls and how to address them, including:

• Over-reliance on a single carrier
• Failure to audit parcel invoices
• Use of improper packaging, especially in light of dimensional changes
• Failure to implement least-cost routing
• Failure to analyze invoice data

Speaker:
Rob Martinez, President & CEO, Shipware LLC

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11:25 AM 12:15 PM
Executive Session: Best Practices in Seasonal Peak Planning and Execution
The song says “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But for many in retail operations, it is a time of challenges and headaches as they handle a significant percentage of their annual delivery throughput packed into a month’s time. In this session, a panel including top retail operations leaders and a carrier executive will bring both perspectives to the table, discussing strategies and approaches that help companies successfully plan for and tackle the extraordinary demands of the annual shopping extravaganza, including the exploding growth of ecommerce orders.

Takeaways:

• Demand forecasting best practices
• Gauging appropriate staffing levels, hiring and training
• Coordinating effectively with suppliers to ensure proper inventory levels
• Establishing a solid transportation plan, including sharing cutoffs and projected volumes with carriers
• Buttoning up the returns process

Moderator:
Matt Konkle, Chief Operating Officer, Speed Commerce
Panelists:
Kim Silva, Operations Team Leader, Fairytale Brownies
 
Deanna Kaufman, Manager, Solutions, FedEx Services
 
Ryan Culver, Director, Domestic Logistics, FULLBEAUTY Brands
 
Brent Sorenson, Vice President of Operations, FULLBEAUTY Brands

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11:25 AM 12:15 PM
Applying Automation and Technology to Increase Fulfillment Efficiency and Throughput
With so many advances in technology for DTC fulfillment operations, there’s a lot to keep on top of. What are the latest capabilities and solutions? And how much automation do you need, based on your business objectives, strategy and budget? In this session, hear an operations industry veteran and DTC merchants discuss practical examples of how technology solutions have been applied in businesses that are $50 million or larger.

Senior operations executives will get a “before” and “after” view of technology implementations, including pictures, plans, summarized investment and benefits derived. Come hear how companies have applied these technologies to DTC and omnichannel operations to reduce costs and increase throughput speed.

Takeaways:

• How to use voice technology on a broader range of applications across distribution center processes – not just picking and shipping
• How to apply automation to improve your outbound operations, including packing, box creation, promotional inserts, manifesting, case sealing, etc.
• Omnichannel solutions to optimize store sales and inventory usage

Moderator:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company
Panelists:
Chris Groseclose, Senior Director, Distribution Operations, Crutchfield Corp.
 
Kevin Thompson, Distribution Systems Manager, Cabela's
 
Bill Helt, Senior Manager of Fulfillment Operations, Colony Brands
 
Scott Collignon, Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations, Cabela's

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11:25 AM 12:15 PM
Omnichannel Best Practices for Manufacturers and Brands
When most people think about omnichannel, they picture large retail chains with hundreds of stores who need to figure out how to successfully leverage those assets as distribution and fulfillment centers. But how does it work for manufacturers and brands? They have their own unique challenges when implementing an omnichannel strategy, including how it affects wholesale and retail partnerships, whether (and when) to go direct to consumer, and where your own physical locations – existing or planned – fit into the mix.

In this session, hear from an operations executive with a major apparel holding company and an ecommerce services provider how all these considerations are met and dealt with to make omnichannel a win-win for brands/manufacturers and their trading partners.

Takeaways:

- Operational best practices for omnichannel within a brand/manufacturer environment
- How to address demand for drop shipping
- Working with 3PLs and other logistics/fulfillment partners

Speakers:
Chris Pacetti, Vice President of Technology/Innovation, Trade Global
 
Christopher Forbes, Ecommerce/3PL manager, PVH

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11:25 AM 12:15 PM
Cross-Border Ecommerce Enablement: Operational Challenges, Growth Opportunities
Cross-border retail sales are growing at a rate of seven times GDP and almost double the rate of domestic online commerce. But pursuing these ripe opportunities presents its own set of unique challenges.

In this session, you will learn about specific tactics that will help you overcome – or even avoid – operational challenges associated with maximizing cross-border ecommerce, while focusing on promising areas of growth. You’ll come away with actionable ideas that will save you plenty of headaches and costs, and set you on the path to cross-border success.

Takeaways:

• A checklist to prepare you for cross-border ecommerce operations
• How to overcome specific challenges inherent in cross-border transactions
• How to address potential systems limitations
• Tools to help you prioritize focus areas for maximizing growth opportunities

Speakers:
Jordan Welch, Chief Marketing Officer, i-Parcel
 
Alice Zhou, Senior Manager, Omnichannel Operations, Global Ecommerce, Levi Strauss & Co.

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12:20 PM 1:55 PM
2015 Excellence in Customer Experience Awards Luncheon
In 2015, we are featuring the new Excellence in Customer Experience award at the Operations Summit. Specifically for D2C operations, this award honors the power of operations as the key driver in today’s growing ecommerce marketplace.

Come and see which ecommerce merchants are the best in managing their contact centers, returns, orders, shipments, packaging and customer service. Winners will be selected using actual stats from orders placed and tracked through Innotrac’s SmartHub® program.

The Excellence in Customer Experience Award winners will be announced live at the luncheon, sponsored by Innotrac.

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2:00 PM 2:50 PM
Wowing Them: Leveraging Ratings, Reviews and Surveys to Improve the Customer Experience
Online word of mouth in the form of ratings and reviews has changed the way people make purchasing decisions. Over 80% of the people surveyed about their buying behavior listed checking reviews as part of the process. The information readily available at customers’ fingertips has created an environment of higher expectations and lower tolerance for companies not meeting those expectations. Join us in this session for a discussion of how to use this information to provide consistently positive customer experiences. We’ll share examples and actionable tips you can use immediately. You’ll learn:

- How to get more positive reviews and ratings.
- The benefits you’ll gain in sales, costs, and “earned” marketing when online word of mouth is working.
- Tips for monitoring and responding to reviews on third-party sites.
- How to use information from surveys to gain insight to expectations.
- What to do when unhappy people spread misinformation about your company.

Moderator:
Daniela Forte, Content Producer, Multichannel Merchant
Panelists:
Susan Drummer, Director of Client Services, American Mint
 
Debra Ellis, Founder, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

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2:00 PM 2:50 PM
OK, So You're NOT Amazon - Now What? How to Meet Rising Customer Demands Without Losing Your Shirt
Especially as customer expectations keep rising, containing costs is becoming a trickier proposition. You can’t afford to continually eat the cost of meeting the growing list of customer demands. So how do you maintain service levels without going into negative margin territory?

This session will present practical guidelines on cutting costs to make direct-to-customer operations and fulfillment profitable.

Moderator:
Gary Porto, Principal, Porto Consulting Services
Panelists:
Peter Reno, GM of Distribution, Dr. Leonard's
 
Dennis Nicoski, Manager, Field Strategy and Contracts, United States Postal Service
 
Nate Skiver, Senior Logistics Manager, Stella & Dot

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2:00 PM 2:50 PM
After the LMS Implementation, Now What? Best Practices for Achieving Ongoing Benefits
Once you’ve completed a successful LMS implementation, the next concern is how to realize continued benefits and savings as the system matures.

This session will focus on how to keep the LMS “fresh” while utilizing additional feedback and motivational techniques to realize ongoing benefits. Two critical functions incorporated in the Gilt LMS post-implementation will be discussed in detail: a real-time performance feedback system, and an incentive bonus system.

Takeaways:

• The benefits of real-time feedback and an incentive bonus system.
• The case for real-time scoreboards vs. posting reports: how it works and productivity improvements
• Advantages and disadvantages of different incentive system structures
• How to use LMS reporting for effective staff planning and budgeting
• Keys to LMS maintenance: a critical path for continued belief and trust in system results and feedback

Speakers:
Russ Covington, Practice Leader, Johnson Stephens Consulting
 
John Schulten, Industrial Engineering Manager, Gilt

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2:00 PM 2:50 PM
How to Marry Your Distribution Needs With Your Carrier's Supply Chain Solutions
Learn the latest distribution and supply chain solutions that take advantage of carriers’ broad range of services offerings. By leveraging these solutions, you will be able to reduce costs, maintain high service levels and offer your customers a wide range of time definite and deferred deliveries. We will identify and review best practices in modal optimization, strategic sourcing, as well as operational changes that will maximize value from your carriers.

Speaker:
Tim Sailor, Principal, Navigo Consulting Group

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2:55 PM 3:40 PM
Exhibit Hall Dessert Reception

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3:45 PM 4:35 PM
Preventing Fraud in an Ecommerce World
Fraudsters are more organized than ever, and have developed more sophisticated ways to steal from direct-to-customer merchants. And as merchants take drastic steps to combat fraud, they do so at the expense of sales and revenue growth.

In this session, you will learn how to build a complete fraud strategy, how to use technology to route fewer orders out for manual review, improve efficiency and accuracy of the manual review process, and detect return fraud.

Moderator:
Tim Parry, Managing Editor, Multichannel Merchant
Panelists:
Jamison Shelton, Owner/Principal, Global Nuance
 
Tim Russo, Fraud Team Leader, Cleverbridge
 
Michelle Hendrix, Director of Customer Experience, Cafe Press

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3:45 PM 4:35 PM
Case Study: Going DIY in the DC - When a Homegrown System Makes Sense and How to Make It Happen
While the “build vs. buy” equation in IT systems is one that cuts across industries and vertical categories, the calculus involved varies depending on where you sit. When it comes to systems used in a DC such as WMS and LMS, and deciding whether to go homegrown or commercial off-the-shelf, what are the key factors you need to consider? What types of functionality are nice-to-have vs. have-to-have? And what kind of in-house resources can you bring to bear?

In this case study from S&S Worldwide, learn how the company approached its operations technology needs during a period of limited budget, worked collaboratively with the IT team, juggled regular work roles and development projects, and successfully built tools that met the needs of a rapidly growing globally-focused company.

Takeaways:

• Walking through the “build vs. buy” decision process
• How to scope out a DIY project
• How to address IT concerns and push-back
• Managing the process from front to back
• Integration with internal and external systems
• Determining metrics and ROI

Speakers:
Mark Desrosiers, Director, Distribution, S&S Worldwide, Inc.
 
David Riccardi, Quality Manager, S&S Worldwide, Inc.

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3:45 PM 4:35 PM
Making Distributed Inventory Happen: Drop Shipping, Vendor-Managed and Other Tactics to Expand SKUs Without Breaking the Bank
Being able to fulfill/meet customers’ product searches 100% of the time from anywhere requires offering expanded product selection (i.e. all colors/sizes) and thus the amount of inventory you show. A most economical way to achieve this is by including vendor-managed inventory.

In this panel discussion, we will explore how retailers are expanding and managing distributed or vendor-managed inventory. Topics covered will include vendor onboarding, integration methods and best practices, product capture and inventory processes, mPOS uses and roles and systems needed to support a distributed inventory strategy.

Takeaways:

- Pitfalls to avoid
- Technology stacks and workflows used
- What to think about in planning
- Learn from real-world examples

Moderator:
Jeremy Hanks, CEO, Drop Ship Commerce
Panelists:
Doug Smith, Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer Operations, Shepler's Western Store
 
Sandy Billings, CIO, Old Time Pottery, Inc.

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Program and speakers subject to change

New! Recognition for Omnichannel Super-Heroes!

In 2015, we are featuring the new Excellence in Customer Experience Award at the Operations Summit. Specifically for omnichannel operations, this award honors the power of operations as the key driver in today’s growing ecommerce marketplace. Winners will be announced at our Awards Luncheon on April 16 as part of the Operations Summit.

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