IWLA members came out in full-force during the 2013 Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) Annual Global Conference, Oct. 20-23, in Denver, Colo. IWLA exhibited during the event’s Supply Chain Exchange and many members presented during various track sessions. Here’s a look at the event highlights:
IWLA President & CEO Joel D. Anderson served as a panelist in the Regulatory Challenges in Transportation Track: Transportation the Critical Linkage in the Global Economy. During the session on “Those Pesky Regulations: Ignore at Your Peril,” Anderson gave attendees a rundown of the top regulatory issues facing warehouse-based third-party logistics companies:
- Labor Relations—Even as an industry that creates jobs, warehouses have the burden of labor regulations that hamper growth. Anderson cited a new policy from the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding ambush elections, where unions can organize undercover at a facility for months. Under new rules, the average time employers are given to respond once a group has formed has been cut in half. Also in the labor relations umbrella are micro-unions, or segmented union activity based on job type, which becomes cumbersome to warehouse owners when having to negotiate with multiple unions, not one. Other new rules from the U.S. Occupational Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA) have opened the door for union-representatives to inspect a facility as designated by an employee, only furthering a union’s power to seek ways to overtake a workforce from within the facility.
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently implemented a new policy that places employment background checks as a civil rights violation. This places warehouses, already mindful of the security of the products being stored, in a bad position for violating these rights.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has further blurred the lines of the bailor-bailee relationship of warehouses and manufacturers.
The “20th Annual 3PL CEO Survey Report: North America, Europe, and APAC Region” look at the drivers of change in the third-party logistics industry from the perspective of the industry top 34 CEOs in the North American, European, and Asia-pacific regions. The following are highlights:
- A third of North American CEOs surveyed reported they did not hit their revenue targets in 2012; yet 100 percent were profitable last year.
- Top challenges facing the industry were identified as near-shoring in Mexico (10 out of 15 reported customers had recently moved operations to Mexico or China), regulations compliance, slower economic growth, driver shortages and customers that are highly sensitive to costs and finding creative ways to reduce the cost structures.
- Thirteen out of 15 CEOs reported companies having operations in Mexico, attributing to 9.3 percent of revenues, with most falling under the auto, technology, pharmaceutical and retail manufacturing sectors.
- CEOs reported services focused on the healthcare industry, as one of the largest future growth sectors.
- North American CEOs forecasted an average of 15 percent company growth during the next three years.
Finally, Bob Bianco, president of Menlo Worldwide Logistics, spoke on a panel of leading chief executive officers on the “CEO Panel: Our Future Leaders,” joined by Thomas Sanderson, CEO of Transplace, Marvin Schlanger, CEO of CEVA Logistics and moderator, Thomas Escott, president of Hudson Logistics. Many of the leaders spoke honestly about the complexities of running a third-party logistics company in a global economy and maintaining a company culture that motivates employees to take advantage of new opportunities to improve skillsets. Bianco spoke of Menlo’s corporate review processes that rely on multiple segments of the employee population to provide feedback on each other, and actions-based review that focus improvement of under-performing areas. The panelists also spoke candidly about the challenges they often face as a top executives when having to make tough decisions that could affect the workforce. They all felt the importance of communicating with their employees as the way to keep employees and customers loyal by making their company transparent.