This year's ProMat marks the beginning of a new year and a new beginning for its sponsor. What was the Material Handling Industry of America is now branded as MHI—The Industry That Makes the Supply Chain Work.
"The decision to become MHI was made to better serve the changing needs of our members and our industry," says George W. Prest, CEO of MHI.
"People in our industry, both members and end users, have an expanded role beyond material handling to the overall supply chain. As these roles changed, we saw the need to evolve our association to reflect what's happening in today's supply chain. The new MHI will be more relevant to professionals in manufacturing and the supply chain as well as offer solutions and content to meet their needs."
That broader emphasis on solutions for the supply chain was previewed at last year's Modex show and continues at ProMat 2013, as visitors will see in the displays of more than 800 exhibitors and in the show-floor seminar program.
Examples of supply-chain-oriented education sessions include:
- The Future of Distribution Management (holistically addressing every aspect of the supply chain);
- Align Your Fulfillment Operations with Your Changing Channel Mix (focusing on "omni-channel" shopping);
- 21st Century Employee Engagement—the Next Generation of Labor Management (how new technologies and methods are enabling companies to forecast and to measure and reward employees collaboratively);
- North American E-Commerce Supply Chain Strategies (how retail organizations have grown their e-Commerce logistics infrastructure);
- How Sears Home Services Improved End-To-End Supply Chain Visibility (while enhancing customer service and reducing costs);
- Port and Maritime Logistics Trends (analysis of forecasted growth in ports and whether that growth can be handled through American ports; also, the Panama Canal effect on world trade routes);
- Optimize Your Distribution Network to Improve Service Levels While Reducing Costs (determining the distribution network that will best reduce operating costs, improve overall service levels and address the economic concerns of various stakeholders).
Before you attend any of these deep-dives into supply chain management, sit in on Steve Forbes' Tuesday morning keynote presentation, "Navigating the New Political Climate for Business Growth and Success." As chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, and a two-time candidate for the Republican Party's presidential nomination, he'll shed some light on the impact of politics on the economy and on business growth in the year ahead. (See our exclusive interview with him.)
The learning made possible by these meetings will help you target your booth visits. That's also the intent of the product previews. Although not a comprehensive compilation, it will introduce you to some of the possibilities reflected in the notes you took while networking.