Rocket Fuel

Pre-Conference, April 14

The pre-conference workshops are in-depth programs that take an A-Z approach on specific subjects. After attending a pre-conference program, you’ll be ready to go back to your organization and take action. They take place on April 14 and are optional, at an additional cost of $225. Boxed lunch will be provided to all attendees.

We also have a tour of the eBay Enterprise Fulfillment Center slated before the workshops, and we encourage you to join us there. Tour details can be viewed here.

Workshops run from 11:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and include lunch and one additional break during the day.

Brand New Workshop for 2015!

Pre-Conference Workshop 4 – 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 always on, 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 “five 9s” inventory accuracy across channels
  • Utilizing store space and layout

Workshop leaders:

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Kevin Gardiner, Director, Store Operations and Strategy, Macy’s


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Brandi Slaughter, Senior Solution Marketing Manager, Omnichannel, Demandware


Pre-Conference Workshop 2: 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 & Co.


Pre-Conference Workshop 3: 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 and CEO, Shipware, LLC

Brand New Workshop for 2015!

Pre-Conference Workshop 4 - 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, always-on consumer 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 Leader:



New! 2 Awards for DTC Super-Heroes & Merchants!

We are featuring two awards, one recognizing the Best Places to Work and one for Excellence in Customer Experience. Specifically for direct-to-customer operations, the Operations & Fulfillment Awards honor the power of operations as the key driver in today’s growing ecommerce marketplace. Want to enter? The 2015 Operations & Fulfillment Awards Call for Entries will open shortly. Winners will be announced live at the Operations Summit.

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