Wide-Ranging Transportation Content, Extensive Networking Time Highlight SMC³ Supply Chain Conference

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Jump Start 2020 planned for January 27.

During SMC³’s Connections 2019 supply chain and logistics conference, attendees from shipper, carrier, 3PL and technology verticals benefitted from more than 22 hours of educational panels and speeches from some of the top executives in the industry. The conference, which took place from June 24-26 at the Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, included presentations from Raymond Martinez, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Randy Guillot, chair of the American Trucking Associations; and Darren Hawkins, president and CEO at YRC Worldwide; and many more.

SMC³’s next conference, Jump Start 2020, will take place at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel January 27-29. More details will be available soon at http://www.smc3jumpstart.com.    

As the honorary chair of Connections 2019, Lee Bradley-Larkin, senior manager of transportation at Best Buy, told attendees on the opening day of Connections 2019 to embrace the current changes in the supply chain. Technology is evolving and will continue to evolve, she said, and Best Buy and other retailers are hoping to partner with thoughtful, capable companies to form symbiotic relationships and push the supply chain forward.

“It’s amazing what the supply chain has done and changed over the last few years,” she said. “But we’re going to continue to evolve. Our chief supply chain officer has told us that if we’re not breaking something, we’re not trying hard enough. He told us to be bold, be courageous, be daring.”

The conference also featured discussions of key challenges facing the transportation world from leaders who confront these issues every day. Jim Burnley, a former secretary of the Department of Transportation, laid things out quite bluntly during a panel on regulations, telling the audience that the common refrain of “Washington is broken” has an element of truth.

“It’s about as dysfunctional today as it has ever been,” he said. “On a sustained basis we are not getting much done, especially on the legislative side.” Deregulation is one area of significant activity, he noted. “But legislatively, we are pretty much, as you read and hear, at gridlock.”

Throughout the conference, attendees were provided more than 15 hours of dedicated networking time to develop new contacts, close deals with clients or simply relax during the 2019 SMC³ Golf Classic or a gala evening concert featuring Marc Martel’s Ultimate Queen Celebration.

Throughout the conference, most panelists struck a hopeful chord, including during a lunch gathering of women in the transportation industry. During the talk, Women in Trucking president and CEO Ellen Voie divvied out a parcel of good advice for women looking to move up in supply chain companies. She told the crowd to stop saying “I’m sorry,” learn to take a compliment – “just say thank you” – and to raise your hand when you have something to contribute.

“You have to speak up,” she said. “Point out when you’ve done something well; a lot of times, people might not be aware.”

About SMC³
SMC³ is the leading provider of data, technology and education as an integrated solution to the freight transportation community. Best known for its CzarLite, Bid$ense and RateWare XL solutions, the company serves thousands of shippers, carriers, logistics service providers and freight-payment companies with logistics technology solutions spanning the entire shipment lifecycle. SMC³ also partners with leading transportation software developers for complete interoperability.

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Beth Malik
SMC3
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