When more than 400 warehousing professionals, supplier partners, and speakers gathered March 19-21 for the IWLA Convention & Expo, they discovered Leadership that Inspires. Here are the highlights.
Sunday’s Global Affair Reception allowed North American IWLA members to welcome nearly two dozen guests from the International Federation of Warehousing & Logistics Associations. India, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, and China were represented.
Harry Kraemer Clinical Professor of Strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and former CEO of Baxter, opened the educational sessions Monday as the keynote speaker. His candid remarks about the fundamental qualities of a true leader resonated with IWLA members — leaders at their own companies. He discussed how listening to other perspectives, knowing when to admit you are wrong, and simplifying problems are key. Talented leaders have intuition and motivating qualities that inspire others around them to achieve new heights.
Attendees also heard from Scott McWilliams, executive vice president of Strategic Development of GEODIS during a fireside chat. Many IWLA members have known McWilliams for years but have never heard some of the inside stories during his rise at OHL and his work through the company’s dozens of transitional phases.
The IWLA Warehouse Advocacy Fund-sponsored Economic Impact Study results were presented on the second day. This study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, revealed the economic impact of warehousing. These results are essential for IWLA to show lawmakers how harmful certain laws and regulations are to the warehouse logistics industry and beyond.
Afternoon education sessions tapped into the IWLA network to bring in many experts from a variety of disciplines within the industry. From warehouse and transportation law, labor and employment updates, the impact of real estate on a 3PL business, Amazon effect panel, hot buttons panel and trade policies in the age of Trump, attendees had many relevant takeaways. One new session served as the launching pad for a new member benefit: IWLA Fulfillment Council. Attendees heard from a panel of experts discussing the latest technology and business strategies related to 3PL fulfillment services and also discussed future topics of council discussion.
At the end of each day, IWLA members had a great time networking and a little fun during the evening receptions. Many members surprised the crowd with talented karaoke skills during the evening Rat Pack reception on Monday (sponsored by Zethcon) and enjoyed blue margaritas and danced side-by-side during the Starry Night in the Desert Chairman’s Reception and Dinner (sponsored by Impact Logistics). Thank you for making the 2017 IWLA Convention a special event.