Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Peek at Session Content for Next Week’s NASPC in Indy

Next week’s conference will be packed with content. To tell the truth, we were a bit worried about the impact of the recession on change and creativity. Well, that was needless. The industry showed itself to be quite resilient. Here are next week’s headlines.

The Crystal Ball focuses on three things. First is the recent recessionary survey, taken by over 2,000 retailers across all NASPC market segments. The big news here is the lack of bad news – our retailers weathered the storm of 2009 quite well and the impact of the bankruptcies was pretty much imperceptible. Second is the state of the industry. Lots of bad news with 2009 sales numbers, but lots of reasons to feel pretty good about 2010. Last is the focus on e-Marketing/ecommerce. Lots happening here that spells huge opportunity for service retention. Ford’s service retention metrics show them to be a leader – we will talk about what they do to make this so.
The Supply Chain presentation shows that inventory reductions were a key area of focus in 2009; productivity gains were quite common, with the most productive companies showing some of the biggest gains; 80% of the companies showed quality improvements, and transportation cost reductions were quite substantial. The bottom line here is that there was a lot of supply chain improvement activity, using many different approaches. This presentation will spend most of its time focused on the how behind the numbers.
The Supply Chain Panel focuses on 4 success stories: Mercedes-Benz’s and Navistar’s stories on inventory reductions, and AGCO’s and Mopar’s success with improved warehouse performance.
The Sales Expectations Roundtable is all about sales growth and an understanding of the drivers of service-parts sales.
Two sessions on ecommerce, e-Marketing, e-Fulfillment … or whatever you want to call it. Participants across all market segments are participating here: the experts’ session participants have already digested 100 pages of case studies. Change in how we go to e-market has been breathtakingly rapid. It is all about capturing intent, connecting with potential customers, and closing the sale. There’s a lot here to share and learn.
The Transportation Roundtable is all about sharing 2009 success stories. The ‘09 recession opened the door to some modifications that were previously considered taboo. From finally focusing on cube utilization, to changing shift hours, or reducing DDS – the industry made some difficult, but smart decisions in ’09 – nearly all of these are replicable across the industry.
The Networks Panel will address some of the most dramatic changes from 2009. Previous redesigns have fueled dramatic improvements at companies such as Ford and VWGoA. This trend continued in 2009, despite (or due to) the economic pressures. The pendulum continues to swing on critical network decisions – emergency vs. full service facilities, in-source vs. outsource processes, cross-border shipments, etc.
The Terms & Conditions Mini-Panel reviews a lot of the change that took place in 2009 – returns, RIM, and performance terms. OEMs are using terms and conditions to encourage dealers to grow and improve service to end-customers. Ts & Cs can be powerful levers to change dealer behaviors and enhance your brand.
Reducing Dealer Excess & Obsolete Inventory Roundtable focuses on the near $1 billion in excess and obsolete (E&O) inventory in dealer parts departments. Dealer E&O inventory can be reduced through a mix of traditional and innovative approaches. You need to leverage the most successful approaches from the industry to systematically reduce dealer excess and obsolete inventory.
Lifecycle Management: End-of-Life Strategies Panel – Companies are using a wide range of strategies to improve end-of-life profitability. Treating EOL parts differently makes a difference.
POS Data Management Roundtable will explore what data OEMs are collecting from dealers and how they are using this information. POS business intelligence is no longer an afterthought, but a strategic necessity. To that end, OEMs must develop capabilities to harness the power of POS information.
Heavy Truck Field Force Management Roundtable preparatory data shows that there is enormous variance in the topics that field forces cover when visiting dealers… what’s a best practice? All this variability suggests there is opportunity for improvement.
Metrics Panel Discussion will show us that there are plenty of opportunities for improvement, large and small. There is no “single best way” to win out there, but if we listen carefully there are some common ingredients to success.
Human Resources Roundtable will focus on the “supply chain” challenges we all face in managing our warehouse workforce. Our people are our “factory” – being smart in managing them will be key to continued efficiency improvement.

See you in Indy!

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