Annual Conference Sessions to Deliver Inspiration

michael mikitka

With the theme “Inspiring Action,” WERC’s premier event features sessions about actions that inspire, and that inspire attendees to act.


deliver inspiration

After the endless changes and challenges experienced throughout the supply chain over the past few years—and warehousing, distribution and logistics professionals’ constant pivoting to respond—WERC extends an invitation to attend our 2024 Annual Conference. It’s a great opportunity to take a deep breath and step away from the day-to-day. With the theme “Inspiring Action,” this event offers attendees time to refocus and find their balance while exploring new ideas, tools and techniques. Participants will connect with front-line innovators and thought leaders to discover actions that inspire, and ideas that inspire attendees to act.

Held June 2-5 in Dallas, the WERC 2024 Annual Conference will be both relaxed and collaborative, explained Conference Chair Jeremy Banta, assistant professor and supply chain program management coordinator at Columbus State Community College.

“It’s a great chance for supply chain leaders to gain fresh perspectives and insights on the challenges they face every day,” he said. “From labor and inventory challenges to the pressure to digitally transform, they’re all on the agenda. Both presenters and participants come to the Annual Conference to network, gain insights and ideas, and discuss solutions for the industry’s most pressing issues.”

The Conference Committee is particularly excited about the venue, Banta continued.

“The Hilton Anatole Resort and Spa is famous for its fun and relaxing amenities—including an outdoor pool complex with a lazy river,” he said. “We specifically chose this location to encourage attendees to relax and enjoy a change of scenery as part of the process of reframing their day-to-day challenges and connecting with others to identify fresh solutions. Plus, it’s a great spot for networking.”

Banta and Conference Vice Chair Kristi Montgomery, vice president of innovation and research at Kenco Group, noted that this year’s event features keynote presentations, facility tours, networking events and peer-reviewed, solution-focused educational sessions. The duo led a Conference Committee comprised of WERC member volunteers who reviewed each proposed session topic for its relevance and timeliness to the industry.

“There are many things that make Annual Conference extremely valuable to attendees,” added Montgomery. “What I personally find extremely compelling is the vetting procedure for the educational sessions. The topics are submitted by industry professionals and selected by people who live and breathe supply chain daily. That review process ensures attendees get insights into the topics that are directly applicable to their own operational situations.”

The following are a few examples of the types of high-quality content WERC Annual Conference attendees can expect in Dallas.

Thought Leader Sessions Share Insights from Insiders

Industry experts will be presenting topics that demystify buzzwords and translate trends into actionable measures. One such session, “Forecasting with Machine Learning (in Plain English),” will separate the hype surrounding ML—thanks to ChatGPT—from its practical, commercially beneficial application in forecasting to drive real business results. The presentation will demonstrate how ML can be used for forecasting, with guidelines for achieving more precise predictions and metrics to measure that accuracy.

Additionally, with labor issues always top-of-mind across the supply chain field, a separate Thought Leader session will explore “What Younger Workers Look for in a Job.” This presentation will share the latest sentiment research on workers aged 18-34 who don’t possess college degrees. Findings will detail what members of this demographic find important in a job, how they view working life in general, and what they look for in job postings. The information presented will help take some of the guesswork out of recruitment and retention tactics and strategies.

Peer-to-Peer Discussions Offer Opportunity to Learn from Fellow Attendees

Among the best attended sessions at every Annual Conference are the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) discussions. Moderated by a facilitator, participants themselves share insights and experiences about a specific topic.

Achieving the optimal balance among labor availability, improved performance and budget constraints is a perennially popular P2P topic, observed Steve Hopper, founder and principal of Inviscid Consulting. He’ll be facilitating the P2P, “Improving Productivity Without Major Capital Investments.”

Click here to read the full article.