Rocket Fuel

Main Conference

Dozens of Classroom Sessions and Roundtable Discussions Covering Every Aspect of Direct-to-Customer Operations & Fulfillment April 24 and 25.

The 2013 Operations Summit program is here. Below is just a partial list of the sessions we will have at the Summit. We are busy recruiting expert speakers and securing tours to make your experience a great one. Please check back often for updates to our program.

Wednesday – April 24

8:30 AM

Warehouse Management Systems – Capabilities and Selections
Whether your organization is using paper-based processes, a simple stock locator system, or an out-of-support legacy application to support your operation, understand the capabilities of best-of-breed Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). What are the core components of a WMS? What advanced features are available? How can you select the best fit WMS vendor for your business? This supply chain technology expert will share his methodology, industry best practices, and valuable lessons learned if you are planning a move towards a new WMS.

Speaker:
David Meyers, Principal, Tompkins International
 

10 Ways to Impact the Profitability of Your Contact Center
The key to increasing profitability is pretty simple — either reduce costs or increase revenues. In this session, you’ll hear about ways to do both — from a people, process, and technology perspective. Hear about staffing strategies that ensure you have the proper headcount in place while maximizing the use of your personnel. Learn about hiring and staffing strategies to minimize costly turnover and maximize your staff’s performance. You’ll see examples of how to impact workload by fine-tuning and streamlining the contact handling process. And finally, take a look at some tips and techniques for getting more out of the technology you probably already have in place. You’ll leave the session with a checklist of money-saving ideas, as well as some strategies for how to make the most of your revenue-generating contacts.

Leaders:
Penny Reynolds, Co-Founder, The Call Center School
Michelle VanOrman, Customer Service Manager, The Vermont Country Store
RF In the Warehouse
There seems to be no end to the warehouse productivity improvements that RF brings – think real-time inventory, fewer errors, less labor – all of which add up to greater customer satisfaction, better employee morale and automated processes. We’ll identify the points in your warehouse processes that will benefit from RF, we’ll cover the improvements that you can make, and we’ll share actual results from a customer who has realized these incredible benefits. Learn how to improve your receiving, picking/order fulfillment, and inventory processes. If you want greater efficiency and throughput, greater storage capacity and allocation flexibility, lower head counts, faster training, greater data accuracy, faster inventory counts, and reduced travel time in the warehouse, this session is for you.

Speakers:
Chris Brenner, Vice President, PetSolutions
George Farnell, Marketing Director, MACH Software

How Gilt Implemented a Successful Labor Management System
Implementing a successful labor management system takes more than good industrial engineering and labor management system software. In this case study, learn the keys to how Gilt gained immediate productivity improvement, operating savings, and quick associate acceptance, while implementing the SUCCEEDsm Labor Management System during 2012, in the Louisville, Kentucky ecommerce Distribution Center. These keys include:

  • Determining whether and how a Labor Management System will benefit your operation
  • Understanding that change management is the first step that must be completed to ensure success
  • How Gilt evaluated and selected Labor Management System software for ecommerce fulfillment
  • What is the best way to achieve associate and management buy-in early in the process?
  • How should you communicate productivity feedback to associates and management?
  • What are the real results that Gilt realized in terms of improved productivity and operating savings in the first year?

From the keys listed above and lessons learned from the leaders of this effort, this session will give practical insight and is a must for those seriously considering implementing an LMS for their ecommerce fulfillment operations.

Speakers:
Chris Halkyard, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Gilt
Steve Johnson, Principal, Johnson Stephens Consulting Inc. 

10:15 AM

 FEATURED SESSION
 Top Operations 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.

Moderator:
Bill Kuipers, Partner at Spaide, Kuipers & Co.

Panelists:
Thomas Epting, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, UncommonGoods
Cindy Turcot, Chief Operating Officer, Gardener’s Supply Co.
Dana Barrette, Director of Distribution, Logistics & Facilities for Specialty Commerce Corporation
James Reid, VP Distribution, QVC
11:15 AM

Executive Forum: Companies Under $20 Million In Sales
How do you stay competitive and respond to continual operational challenges? Here’s a great way to exchange ideas and get answers to your questions with your executive “peers.” This is not a speech but an exchange between panelists from the industry and the audience on the challenges they see in their companies and the solutions that they have put in place to combat those issues. We have developed a list of “starter” questions and topics to help the discussions along. There are two sessions offered, based on your company’s sales volume. Come and share with your peers on what’s working for you, and find out more about the potential solutions that you are considering:

  • Same-day shipping threat from Amazon.com and others
  • Achieving a balance with marketing on free shipping strategies
  • Building a multi-DC fulfillment model to reduce shipping costs and provide high level of service
  • Reducing LTL/TL, UPS, and FedEx freight costs
  • Reviewing the best expense saving ideas in the industry
  • Better utilization of your ERP, OMS and WMS
  • Working to increase productivity in your operations
  • Best practices that you can implement to improve your supply chain
  • Operating efficiently in multiple selling channels (direct, wholesale, brick & mortar stores)
  • Is 3rd Party Fulfillment (3PF) right for your business?

Leaders:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company
Amy J. Cooper, Founder and CEO, Fulfillment Works, LLC

Looking at the Whole Picture of Fraud Management in Multichannel Retail for Catalog and Ecommerce
Fraud is a fact of life in retail operations, particularly in card-not-present commerce for catalog, ecommerce and multichannel merchants. Its impact in your retail operations can be systemic: loss of goods to fraudsters, refunds on legitimate transactions, chargebacks and representments, technology implications as well as reputational damage. Taking a holistic view means managing the impacts of fraud starting with a focus on your end-to-end payments strategy. From basic tools to filter possible fraudulent transactions, to sophisticated approaches that help you manage fraud-related chargebacks to technology solutions that mitigate loss, learn how you should be thinking about fraud and payment security to avoid the possible damages done to your retail operations.
Speaker:
Bill Cohn, Principal, Product Manager, Litle & Co.

Insights and Prioritization of Omnichannel Store Initiatives
Today’s omnichannel consumers are dictating the future of retail. Only the retailers and brands that focus on distributed order management to drive the best consumer experience will thrive. Bill Toney, Head of Marketing and Business Development for VendorNet, will discuss how building the best consumer-facing network of channels, incorporating ship from store, associate ordering and in-store pick up, enables long term growth; and how to prioritize these omnichannel initiatives to drive business impact.

Speaker:
Bill Toney, Head of Marketing and Business Development, VendorNet

Creating Your Best Omnichannel Returns Process
Customers and prospects consider your returns policies and processes an important factor in their buying decision and brand loyalty. Yet, most merchants agree that their returns processes are far from perfect, especially in an “omnichannel” world. Here’s your chance to go back to your organization with a road map that will make your returns handling a reason for customers to do business with you. Be a hero, attend this session and learn how to:

  • Improve returns operational efficiency
  • Save dollars in your processes
  • Create an incremental revenue stream
  • Reduce contact center involvement
  • Create improved customer experience and retention
  • Create cross-channel marketing opportunities
  • Boost asset recovery savings

This session will cover and discuss returns best practices.

Speakers:
Patrick Allard, Director of Sales, Newgistics
Jason Acevedo, Director of Ecommerce Operations, Limited Stores

1:35 PM

What’s New in Packaging Options
Packaging options used to be pretty straightforward. Now, there are plenty of ways to save money, be “green,” please your customers, create sturdier packaging, consider bags/envelopes versus boxes, pack smaller to avoid new dimensions in UPS and USPS contracts, and use different shipping vendor solutions. We’ll talk about boxes, envelopes, fill, packaging equipment, sealing, special touches, etc.

Leaders: 
Ken Myers, Director, Packaging & Automation, Tension Packaging & Automation 
Stephen Martin, VP of Operations, Stategic Fulfillment Group 

The DSW.com Fulfillment Operation – How Well Do Those New Shoes Fit? 
Every new fulfillment center operation presents its own unique opportunities and challenges. Learn from the experiences of DSW.com’s start-up and their perspective five years later. Topics will range from how DSW fast tracked to start-up in less than six months to what they did to try to make the operation simple, economical, and scalable:

  • Listen to how they streamlined the start-up by single sourcing key services including parcel delivery, 3PL operations, MHE equipment, packaging supplies and others.
  • Layer in the trials of servicing a very rapidly growing and changing business with very high service level targets and you’ve got a challenging combination.
  • Take away some useful lessons from what worked for DSW and what pitfalls they avoided – and didn’t.

From big wins to serious misses, this is a candid look at the start-up and first five years of the DSW.com fulfillment operation from the perspective of those who created and lived every minute of it.

Speaker:
Scott Van Den Berg, Director, Engineering and eCommerce Operations, DSW, Inc.

Are Regional Carriers Or the US Postal Service Cost Effective Options for Your Parcel Business?
Is your company spending too much using national parcel carriers for air express and ground deliveries? There are options! Attend this session and learn how parcel consolidators, regional parcel carriers and the US Postal Service can lower freight costs and avoid common accessorial charges like residential delivery, delivery area surcharges, Saturday delivery and even fuel surcharges.
The right combination of services can reduce shipping costs 20% or more. But what about service performance differences, what’s the right mix, and how do you address the potential loss of volume discounts at UPS and FedEx? Get answers from one of the leading parcel authorities in the US. An Operations Summit exclusive, this ALL NEW presentation is geared for all shippers whether B2B, B2C, high volume or small.

Speaker:
Rob Martinez, President & CEO, Shipware

Optimizing Your Order Management System 
Whether you are improving your legacy OMS or are in the process of implementing the latest OMS package for your organization, there are many challenges that we all face throughout the process. This session will utilize the expertise from our panel to present and discuss real life examples of OMS “opportunities for improvement” from identifying the issue, scoping the organizational impact, developing the solution, and monitoring the future performance. Some of the most common OMS problems we will be focusing on will include data management and integrity, systems integration, communication, and functional reporting requirements. You will leave this session with the tools and strategies to work with your vendor partner or in-house team to improve the performance of your OMS platform.

Speakers:
Doug Smith, Vice President of Operations, Shepler’s
Frank Hanshaw, Chief Technical Officer, Circle Commerce
Mike Elder, President, Mike Elder Consulting Inc.

 3:20 PM

What’s Hot in Multichannel Ops: What To Know And What To Do About It.
Here’s a quick look at the latest issues & trends emerging in ecommerce and multichannel operations, and what you need to do about them. This format will not just talk about what’s going on, but offer best practices and strategies to stay ahead. Topics will cover the contact center, distribution, shipping, systems issues, global fulfillment, cross-channel strategies, doing more with less, and what’s not hot but should be. In-depth review of 24/7 Best Practices (we’ll get as far as we can!). Bill’s real life, practical perspective will help you stay in touch and stay sharp. Specific topics include:

  • Service expectations
  • Managing the contemporary contact center
  • Dialed-up distribution  strategies
  • Order Management requirements & system strategies
  • Incorporating ecommerce fulfillment into retail operations
  • Service levels
  • Supply Chain partnerships
  • International fulfillment
  • Doing more with less
  • What’s not hot but should be
  • Trends that shouldn’t be

Speaker:
Bill Kuipers, Partner, Spaide, Kuipers & Co.

Applying the Top 10 Best Practices and Technology in Fulfillment to Improve Your Warehouse Capacity, Storage and Order Throughput
What are the 10 most crucial best practices and pieces of technology you should consider implementing to increase productivity and reduce costs in your distribution center? Curt Barry shows how to assess your operations and identify where the greatest gains can be achieved when applying best practices and technology. Learn what industry best practices other multichannel companies have implemented in their facility layout, material handling equipment solutions, and product flow to reduce “product touches” and speed up order throughput. Understand what industry best practices and technology will improve the inventory location control, slotting, replenishment and picking. Learn which material handling solutions bring the greatest ROI to manual distribution centers, and how bar code systems fit into the spectrum of material handling solutions. Come away from this session with top 10 best practices and technologies to consider for improving your operations.

Speaker:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company

Increasing Average Order Value
Why leave opportunity on the table? In this session, you’ll hear road-tested techniques for generating incremental sales while your customer is in purchasing mode, so you’ll have virtually no additional operations or marketing cost. Learn what both customers and reps resent and try to avoid about upselling, and how to change those perceptions and experiences with thoughtful planning and training. We’ll cover the participation you’ll need across the organization, from IT to merchandising, as well as proven tips for thoughtful planning to structure offers, train, coach and compensate reps and measure results. Learn from an industry veteran how to boost average order values in your organization.

Speaker:
Liz Kislik, President, Liz Kislik Associates

Parcel Shipping Optimization Best Practices
Learn how to build a program that supports your business strategy, anticipates industry changes, and creates a competitive advantage. We’ll cover parcel program design, contract optimization, audit & pay and analytics. We’ll talk about the main considerations – your business segments, supply chain and mode considerations, parcel data, network and service analysis in order to design the a parcel program for your current and future needs. And of course, we’ll educate you on contract optimization giving you an in-depth knowledge of the procurement process. We’ll cover customized structure, terms, rates and programs, and deliver valuable insight to carriers and pricing trends. Do you know how to correctly analyze, budget & plan? Do you have the tools that you need? Do you know your key metrics and information? A must for customer satisfaction, efficient process and keeping costs down.

Speakers:
Todd Benge, Managing Partner,BirdDog Solutions, Inc
Glenn Gooding, Partner, Professional Services, BirdDog Solutions Inc. 

Thursday – April 25

8:30 AM

The Great Picture Show: Real World Examples of What Works in the Distribution Center and Why 
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 & Co.

Creating the Ideal Customer Experience through Fulfillment
When thinking about the process of order fulfillment, savvy retailers must focus beyond the basics of shipping a box to their consumer. Getting the right product to the right person at the right time is always critical – but there is more to consider. Your warehouse is the last step in preparing a package before it lands in the hands of your customer, it should be a key place to differentiate your brand. Rather than looking at order fulfillment as a mundane process, you should think of it as another opportunity to capitalize on brand awareness beyond the sales transaction. By carefully focusing on customer experience at the point of fulfillment, the final delivery of your product can stand out from your competitors.
Instead of viewing order fulfillment as just an operational necessity, make it a significant part of your overall customer loyalty strategy. In this session, we’ll talk about ways retailers can work with their fulfillment operations team to create a memorable customer experience that will keep buyers coming back for more!

Speakers:
Matt Konkle, President, Fifth Gear
Lessons Learned: Managing Your Systems Implementation
IT management studies over the past 20 years have shown that 50% of all major systems are not installed on-time and within budget. Hear from an experienced panel how they managed their OMS, ERP and WMS implementations. How much did their view change about the project from the selection process. Importance of detail project planning and updates, and frequent status reporting to all stakeholders. Controlling the modification process and costs. Ideas for testing and implementation that work. What would they do differently? How they prepared the organization for the “culture change.”

Moderator:
Curt Barry, President of F. Curtis Barry & Company

Panelists:
Rick Amour, COO, www.ThatPetPlace.com
Kim Fielden, Program Director, Netrada

 The State of Operations 2013

Big challenges face B2B and B2C merchants as they try to keep up with the always-connected customer. As a result, around-the-clock direct-to customer activity has made fulfillment and contact centers even busier. As behind-the-scenes activity increases, merchants are doing their best to keep their processes flowing. Based on Multichannel Merchant’s MCM Outlook 2013 report and executive summaries on Fulfillment and Shipping and Delivery, this session will cover a wide array of topics from same-day delivery to warehouse productivity to contact center metrics.

Speaker:
Tim Parry, Senior Content Manager, Multichannel Merchant

10:15 AM

Opportunities Shipping Power Panel
This all-star panel will cover shipping and delivery winning strategies for customer acquisition, retention and cost savings. We’ll discuss the customer’s desire for choices: speed, price, tracking options. We’ll talk trends, residential shipping issues, shipping policies, automation, price increases, returns, membership programs like Amazon Prime and Shoprunner, and parcel contract negotiation. If you are wondering about how your company should handle or react to “free shipping,” dimensional changes, rising fuel surcharges, annual parcel rate hikes, same day shipping, regional carrier options, “last mile” services and other hot topic, you can get your answers here. The session is sure to save you money, give you new ideas, and make your customers happy.

Leaders:
Rob Martinez, President & CEO, Shipware
Marc McCrery,  Brand Manager, Specialty Shipping, USPS
Nate Skiver, Senior Manager, Transportation, Abercrombie & Fitch
Angie Stocklin, COO, One Click Ventures

Best Practices in Inventory Management in Today’s Omnichannel World
How complex is your supply chain? It used to be simple: supplier to warehouse to customer. Now they are many options: supplier to warehouse, warehouse to customer, supplier “drop ship” to customer, supplier to store, store to customer, etc. We have international suppliers, domestic suppliers, multiple warehouse locations, etc. Regardless of your model, you must maintain the basics in terms of planning, measuring performance/profitability, communications/relationships (both internal and external) and managing inventory levels and profitable avenues of potential liquidation to be successful. We will breakdown some of these methods and share industry best practices to help guide you through these multichannel waters.

Speakers:
George Mollo, Founder, GJM Associates
Jerome Foskey, Director-IT, GLI Pool Products

Managing To the Unexpected In Peak
Learn ways to manage the unexpected in peak seasons. We will discuss some of these key points during this exciting session:

  • The introduction of a new shift of operations: best ways to bring on a new wave of employees while still maintaining quality
  • Ramping up the number of employees: partnering with temporary labor firms and fast track training
  • Planning pick fronts: planning for flash sales items correctly can have a tremendous impact on your overall throughput.
  • Fast moving inventory: Know your ABC movers and get the right SKUs in the right location
  • Incremental pick fronts: Setting up dual pick lines to minimize congestion is a key to success

Attendees will also learn how to reconfigure and optimize space by increasing square-footage. Learn how to work with 3PL partners for flexible floor space and seasonal expansion of space. Plan for peak outbound orders: planning out temporary pick carts, pack stations and conveyance can really help the congestion and throughput. We will cover ideas for peak for small, mid- and large merchants.

Speakers:
Mike Honious, Executive Vice-President of Operations, OHL
Scott Casciato, VP of Service, ModCloth

Business Intelligence:  What’s Really Going On In Online Order Fulfillment And Why You Should Care
Everyone loves to talk trends and buzzwords, but what’s really going on with the ecommerce order fulfillment? What does the actual data show? And why does it matter? From the moment a consumer clicks “Submit” we’ll share data that evaluates everything from shipping and return policies at order time to receiving a package to returns, all from a consumer’s perspective. In this session we will share what we’ve learned in studying over 200 top retailers across 81 critical and customer facing data points in the order fulfillment process, including: package materials and condition; branding on boxes, packing materials, emails and pack slips; order confirmation and delivery timing and the returns process.
Want to know how you stack up? Attend this session to see the latest in online order fulfillment trends.

Speaker:
Melissa O’Keefe, Sr. Director of eCommerce and Marketing, Innotrac

 11:15 AM

Executive Forum: Larger Companies Over $20 Million In Sales
How do you stay competitive and respond to continual operational challenges? Here’s a great way to exchange ideas and get answers to your questions with your executive “peers.”  This is not a speech but an exchange between panelists from the industry and the audience on the challenges they see in their companies and the solutions that they have put in place to combat those issues. We have developed a list of “starter” questions and topics to help the discussions along. There are two sessions offered, based on your company’s sales volume. Come and share with your peers on what’s working for you, and find out more about the potential solutions that you are considering:

  • Same-day shipping threat from Amazon.com and others
  • Achieving a balance with marketing on free shipping strategies
  • Building a multi-DC fulfillment model to reduce shipping costs and provide high      level of service
  • Reducing LTL/TL, UPS, and FedEx freight costs
  • Reviewing the best expense saving ideas in the industry
  • Better utilization of your ERP, OMS and WMS
  • Working to increase productivity in your operations
  • Best practices that you can implement to improve your supply chain
  • Operating efficiently in multiple selling channels (direct, wholesale, brick &      mortar stores)
  • Is 3rd Party Fulfillment (3PF) right for your business?

Leaders:
Curt Barry, President, F. Curtis Barry & Company
Chris Groseclose, Sr. Director-Distribution Operations, Crutchfield
Mike Tate, EVP, National Wholesale, Inc.
Brian Hanson, Director of Distribution, Figi’s

How Vera Bradley Planned & Created A Flexible, Scalable Approach for Facility Expansion
In 2007, Vera Bradley and FORTE designed and built a highly automated, 200,000 sq. ft. distribution center and integrated a warehouse management system with material handling automation. This distribution center handled direct-to-store shipments. To accommodate the addition of ecommerce, they recently completed a 190,000 square foot facility expansion. This additional space made room for additional reserve storage, automated picking, and additional shipping capacity. The innovative new put-to-light order sort/pack area for ecommerce greatly improved packing capacity, efficiency and productivity. Additional shipping sort lanes for fluid loading and pack and hold, a secondary sorter for LTL shipments with surrounding pallet build area and a separate ecommerce shipping sorter were included in the expansion. A new mezzanine structure over the ecommerce expansion is the new home for the value-added service processing area with intelligent conveyance for cases and totes.
Vera Bradley and FORTE will discuss the planning, execution, challenges and triumphs in this massive multi-year undertaking. Come and learn how to expand, automate, increase capacity and efficiency in your facility.

Speakers:
Bob Babel, Vice President, Executive Consultant, FORTE
Dave Gealy, Senior Director of Distribution, Vera Bradley

Cost Cutting Ideas that Work
Yes, there are new ideas for cutting costs. Our panel of experts will take you through these plus tried and true methods. Speakers and attendees will be able to share their experiences, ideas and questions in this session. You’ll walk away with great ideas to bring more to your company’s bottom-line. This session should pay for your trip to the conference, and much more!

Moderator:
Debra Ellis, Founder, Wilson & Ellis Consulting
Speaker:
Kylie Harvey, eCommerce specialist, Jockey International

Best Practices in the Search & Selection of a 3PL Partner
For online retailers, a major factor in profitability relies heavily on your warehouse’s ability to stay ahead of your operational needs. Transitioning from one warehouse to another requires a holistic assessment of your business and its idiosyncrasies in order to prepare for the potential chaos that could ensue without proper planning. In this session you’ll hear from Rick Hall, former vice president of IT and fulfillment for a leading uniform/workwear retailer, along with Matt Konkle from fulfillment provider Fifth Gear. Rick will share his recent experience moving from in-house fulfillment to a third-party facility.  Learn how to be realistic and practical in your search for a new logistics partner, as well as the challenges that both the retailer and the 3PL may face.

Speakers:
Matt Konkle, President, Fifth Gear

Rick Hall, VP Client Success, Fifth Gear

 1:35 PM

Business as Unusual- Crisis Management Insights
This session will talk about the five common failures businesses experience in a disaster or crisis and focus on the concept that “every crisis is a human crisis.” We’ll take you through the Business Continuity methodology of Predict – Plan – Perform whether responding to a departmental distraction, a facility disruption or even a regional disaster. You’ll learn why disaster denial is not acceptable, due diligence and luck is not a strategic plan. Over the last few years, a number of merchants have been caught unprepared for natural and unnatural disasters. His session will protect your business.

Speaker:
Dave Flora, Principal, Firestorm
Panelist:
Phil Minix, Executive Vice-President, Rod’s Western Palace

How to Survive and Thrive in the Era of Free Shipping
Today’s online customers expect free shipping – but aside from lower margins, how does this affect retailers? In this session, retailers can learn how their companies can actually thrive while still providing exceptional customer service, competitive shipping rates and fast delivery.

  • Free shipping program stats and trends
  • 8 types of free shipping offers
  • What’s working with free shipping and what’s not
  • Innovative ways to combat the free shipping dilemma
  • Shipping costs and its impact on shopping cart abandonment
  • Is same-day Delivery the new customer expectation after free shipping

Speakers:
Manish Chowdhary, Founder & CEO, GoECart
Ray Miller, Founder & CEO, MyWeddingReceptionIdeas.com

 Tactics for Teamwork
Every company needs to build effective teams and a culture of communication and collaboration – just to get its work done effectively – especially in our industry’s rapidly changing environment. Solid teamwork is even more crucial in the rigors of today’s economic demands for performance, problem solving, and identifying efficiencies. Whether your team is operations only or operations plus marketing, you need to confront the challenges that derail work teams, including why teamwork is harder than actual work, the need to get relevant issues and data on the table, and other tips for handling conflict. This session will give you new ways to approach your own teamwork challenges, whether you’re responsible for leading your work group, or if you are a team member.

Speakers:
Liz Kislik, President, Liz Kislik Associates
Anne Embrey, Vice President of Continuous Improvement, Replacements, Ltd.

Key Components to Developing a Successful Drop Shipping Program
This will be a highly interactive session focusing on developing a drop ship program utilizing best practices.  We’ll discuss the positive effects to your organization including lower costs, improved product availability, and better partnering with your vendors.  Additionally,  we will look at the technology, communication, and management requirements necessary to implement a program that enhances the customer experience while helping to speed new product opportunities to your channel.  Lastly, we will look at some lessons learned from previous implementations and the warning signs to look for during the project.

Speakers:
Doug Smith, Vice President Operations, Shepler’s
Mike Elder, President, Mike Elder Consulting Inc.

 2:35 PM

Going Global? Learn Where to Focus Your Efforts, How to Be Successful
Who isn’t going global? If you are looking to sell internationally or an international company looking to sell into the U.S., this session is designed to help you understand what are the biggest opportunities and challenges you should be aware of while designing and implementing your global strategy. Our panelists will also discuss:

  • Identifying various ways to cost effectively distribute into these new international markets
  • How to implement shipping options which can provide low cost, but high service levels that offer your customers choices in shipping and delivery

They’ll share what works—and what hasn’t worked for them. Learn from their real global experiences.

Moderator:
Tim Parry, Senior Content Manager, Multichannel Merchant

Speakers:
Ben Dreyer, Operations & IT Director, Boden
Kevin Shooter, Director of Operations, Boden
Tim Sailor, Principal, Navigo Consulting Group

 50 Ideas to Improve Operational Efficiencies
This rapid-fire session offers dozens of great ideas to take back to your organization. We’ll focus on easy-to-execute-when-you-go-home ideas. What you learn in this session often pays for your entire trip!

Panelists:
Bill Monk, Director of Distribution, GNC
Rodney Tajgiszer, Director of Operations, Universal Screen Arts
Lou Fratturo, Executive Director of Operations, Thirty-One Gifts
Anne Embrey, Vice President of Continuous Improvement, Replacements, Ltd.

Proven Tips to Manage Your Supply Chain 
Inbound freight management impacts gross margin, purchasing staff productivity, inventory control, receipt processing and fulfillment operations. Direct-to-consumer retailers spend an average of 2% – 4% of gross sales on vendor inbound freight ranking it among the top eight operational expenses. This session will provide you with proven ideas to reduce inbound freight costs and manage your supply chain. Attend this session and learn how to:

  • Take charge of vendor small parcel shipments
  • Avoid vendor “prepay and add” freight
  • Require vendors to follow your routing guide
  • Monitor and enforce vendor compliance with routing guide
  • Join a buying consortium to reduce costs
  • Negotiate FAK class exceptions to further reduce costs
  • Mitigate LTL general rate increases
  • Use the right tools to manage your inbound supply chain

Walk out this session with specific solutions you can implement to improve your bottom line.

Speaker:
Jeff Kline, President, LTL Expert

 We will be adding more sessions almost daily. Please check back often for updates to our program

Roundtable Discussions
Our popular roundtable series offers attendees an opportunity to meet face-to-face and share ideas on a variety of issues facing the operations and fulfillment industry. Each day of the conference, attendees will be able to choose from dozens of roundtable discussions moderated by an industry expert. Here is a list of just some of the roundtable topics.

  • Planning Your New Facility
  • Best Practices for the Small and  Mid-Sized Contact Center
  • Best Practices for Cost Effective Returns
  • Picking and Packing Strategies
  • Hiring Seasonal Workforce
  • Operations KPIs for the Mid-to-Large Sized Companies
  • Disaster Recovery Planning
  • Delivery as a Differentiator
  • Expanding the Life of Your Current Facility
  • USPS Best Practices and Tips for ecommerce Shippers
  • Sensitive and Perishable Products
  • Is Same Day Delivery Becoming a Reality
  • International Shipping Tips
  • Pushing Your Legacy System
  • Green Packing
  • Fraud Fighting
  • Managing Operating Costs
  • Best Practices for Slow Moving Inventory
  • Inbound Freight
  • Systems Integration for Mid-to-Large Companies
  • Managing the Customer Experience Across Multiple Channels
  • Making the Most of Free Shipping
  • Selecting an Order Management System for Smaller Operations
  • Key Metrics for that Contact Center
  • Creating Live Chat that Your Customers will Love
  • Regional Shipping
  • Selling to Canada or Canadian Delivery Q&A
  • Coaching Your Supervisors
  • Challenges & Cost Effective Solutions for Residential Parcel Shipping
  • Transportation Trends: Exploring Same Day Delivery Services for Your Online Business
  • Sourcing and Importing Product from Asia
  • Strategies to Reduce Problematic Inventory and How to Maximize its Value

We will be adding more roundtables almost daily so check back often for more updates.

 

 

 

 

Awards

New! Recognition for DTC Super-Heroes & Merchants!

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. Want to enter? The Call for Entries will open shortly. Winners will be announced live at the Operations Summit.

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