IWLA members gathered in Niagara Falls, N.Y., last week for the 2015 IWLA Economics of Warehousing & 3PL Sales Course. Attendees experienced interactive learning with warehouse engineers, operations professionals, sales experts, and their peers. Here are some highlights.
Led by the course planning committee chairmen, Troy Cochran, QWLP, ODW Logistics; Bob Byrnes, Kenco Logistic Services; and Brian Keegan, Aim Solutions, the first day took a deep dive analysis into pricing theory and accounting.
Bob Moran, CWLP, Flagship Logistics Group; Forest Pearce, CWLP, Kiser Harriss Chemical Distribution Centers; and Hugh Tait, Amware Logistics Services, Inc., tag-teamed discussions and case studies tackling assessing costs and pricing; the most common warehousing accounting methods; and formulas for maintaining margins. They also discussed honey combing, warehouse design, and labor considerations.
Many members traveled north of the border for a reception and sightseeing from the Canadian side of the falls. IWLA thanks McKenna Logistics for its generous sponsorship of this extended networking activity.
Panelists for the “How to Approach Your Market” session gave eye-opening insight into how the sales process differs from small to large companies. Panelists included Arthur Barrett, Barrett Distribution Centers; Bobbie Kelley, Kenco Logistics Services; Carl Fowler, Menlo Worldwide; Bryan Keller, Keller Warehousing & Distribution; Alan Amling, UPS Supply Chain Solutions; Steve Hale, Awana; and facilitator Lisa Von Massow, Sandler Training/Endurance Partners Inc.
Through the discussion, attendees realized that smaller warehouses often had less formalized sales structures. These warehouses often focused on the quality of RFP responses, not the quantity. Panelist revealed a strong emphasis on word–f-mouth marketing and focusing on a niche. This allows for targeting that a customer base from a regional area. Midsized showed more flexibility, as they need to be ready to adjust space and or enter a new space quickly. The panelists found leasing warehouse space as an asset to increasing flexibility. Larger warehouses have the infrastructure to respond quickly to RFPs: They have teams in place for sales and business development strategy.