Manufacturing Executives and Supply Chain Partners Work in Partnership to Innovate and Reduce Costs at the Prime Advantage Fall Conference

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Recognized among the Best Buyer-Seller Events of 2014 by a leading trade magazine, this semi-annual gathering provides a forum for buyers and sellers to map out optimal cost reduction programs, enhance business relationships, and plan for 2015

Prime Advantage, the leading buying consortium for midsized manufacturers, recently hosted more than 260 senior procurement, operations, executive, and sales management professionals at its 34th Conference in Louisville, KY. The semi-annual event, which took place October 21-23, brought together manufacturers from more than 25 industries, including commercial foodservice, packaging, truck and trailer, material handling, food processing, and construction.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN CONFERENCE
Attendees gathered for one-on-one meetings with suppliers and seminars to share best practices for supply chain management, growth, and profitability. Prime Advantage’s Fall Conference kicked off with economist Dr. Chris Kuehl, the chief economist for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, and managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. Dr. Kuehl discussed major economic factors affecting manufacturing, including the nearshoring trend, and how limited mobility of labor hampers growth. Renowned metals expert Markus Moll of Steel and Metals Market Research discussed the current and future state of metals markets, including growth trends within North America and the primary segments fueling that growth.

C-level executives gathered for the Executive Summit sessions at the Fall Conference. The group shared insights on leadership, talent management, and other challenges. The event featured presentations on Creativity and Personal Mastery by Dr. Srikumar Rao of the Rao Institute, Operational Excellence Through a People Centric Culture by Rhonda Spencer, Chief People Officer at Barry-Wehmiller, and Enabling Innovation in Everyone, by Maggie Nichols, COO of Eureka! Ranch International.

Each conference, Prime Advantage provides a purchasing networking breakfast in which members and endorsed suppliers participate in roundtable discussions. The Fall Conference featured Thomas Benston of Verian Technologies who moderated a panel focusing on implementing world-class procurement technology.

Prime Advantage also honored Kevin Larkey, director of strategic procurement at Crown Tonka/ICS with the 2014 President's Award, as the individual who displays the qualities of leadership, strategy, dedication, creativity, and innovation as a supply chain professional. Prime Advantage Members voted Endries International, a Wolseley Industrial Group company in Brillion, WI, as the Endorsed Supplier of the Year for raw materials and components, and Grainger Industrial Supply, headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, as the Endorsed Supplier of the Year for services and supplies.

“Twice per year, we have the privilege of bringing our members and endorsed suppliers together in an incredibly unique venue to innovate, explore, and enhance the buyer-seller relationships within the manufacturing sector,” said Louise O’Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Prime Advantage. “We march in unison to make an everlasting impact in the world of manufacturing. Becoming a fully integrated and collaborative community, while providing a distinct economic advantage for buyers and sellers, is a delightful experience.”

Prime Advantage concludes each conference by distributing rebates earned by member companies based on negotiated programs with its endorsed suppliers. In the past ten years, Prime Advantage has paid more than $155 million in rebates and discounts to its manufacturing industry members.

The success of Prime Advantage has been continuously recognized in the industry. Prime Advantage was recognized as a finalist of the 2014 Expo EXCITE Awards in the category of Best Buyer-Seller Event, and was winner of the Expo EXCITE Award in 2013 for Best Buyer-Seller Event.

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PETER WILTJER
PWMG, INC.
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