A few weeks ago we attended the IWLA’s September Conferences in Ohio along with Tim Tebow. Ok he may have been there for another conference, but we still had plenty of excitement of our own!
As a new member of the IWLA, it was great to interact with a network of peers who are advancing the warehousing and logistics space. We mingled with 170+ attendees at the IWLA’s annual Technology & Operations Solutions for Warehousing and the Safety & Risk conferences.
To introduce ourselves to the association, we brought our industry-leading, order management, and warehouse management software capabilities… with a spin. We raffled off a ping pong table to one lucky warehouse team. Ping pong is a big part of our company culture at VeraCore, so we wanted to share some of the fun (and competition!) with conference attendees.
In addition to spreading our love of ping pong, another highlight of the event was hearing our customer Sean Mueller from Symbia Logistics speak on the emerging competitive landscape in the 3PL industry.
As the 3PL industry tries to move more into the e-commerce space, there are new forms of technology needed to serve clients, thus creating a new landscape with an overwhelming amount of options.
Sean broke down the landscape into a quadrant that outlined 4 main areas; traditional public 3PLs, traditional private 3PLs, tech-first 3PLs with assets (i.e., warehouse space) and tech-first 3PLs without assets (see below for a visual).
Once the landscape was defined, it was interesting to see how certain players will need to position themselves for growth over the next 5 years as e-commerce continues to influence the 3PL industry. For example, will the tech-first 3PLs expand on their understanding of the fulfillment/logistics side of things (not just the tech side of things) to sustain growth and remain successful? And how will traditional 3PLs incorporate more technology to keep up with past-paced e-commerce customers? Will a hybrid emerge? And who will prevail?
As we reflected on these questions, we also had time to attend a few other sessions:
- Labor & Automation – Improve productivity & efficiencies
- Fulfillment and Warehouse Layout
- Parcel Delivery
- The Emerging Competitive Landscape
Many of the conference attendees we spoke with are long-time members of the IWLA and work in different facets of the industry such as 3rd party logistics providers, transportation, specialized warehousing, distribution, and consulting.
The IWLA educational conferences are part of an annual program that provides continuing education for members; topics are centered around the warehouse logistics industry and include new technologies, regulations, and best practices.
The IWLA’s September conferences provided insightful content and perspective into the current state of logistics as we head into peak season. We’re looking forward to connecting with more members of the logistics industry next spring as we continue to attend more conferences and trade shows.
Brian Parrillo is Vice President of Sales at VeraCore.
He has over 19 years of experience in the fulfillment industry and has helped hundreds of 3PLs reduce operating costs, improve customer experience, and optimize their overall business processes.