The retail industry is evolving at a faster pace than many people ever imagined. Customer expectations are higher. E-commerce is exploding. Although many stores are closing, many retailers are innovating and thriving. What's working? What's not? What's the best path forward?
As always, the answers can't be found in a bubble. You have to get in front of peers and trading partners, get the issues out in the open, and roll up your sleeves. That's what RVCF events are all about – collaboration.
The New Realities of Retail is the theme of the 2017 RVCF Fall Conference, with a special emphasis on a multi-directional supply chain. The conference is being held November 5-8, 2017 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ. Here's a sampling of what you can expect from this year's event.
Dale Carnegie Training on Selling Change
In this day and age, there simply aren't enough formal training and educational offerings for corporate staffs. With tight budgets and limited manpower, most companies are focused on keeping the lights on and meeting the goals of the current month. Ongoing education, while critical to growth, gets pushed to the backburner.
Because the retail landscape is quickly changing and training is more important than ever, RVCF has decided to forego the traditional conference keynote in favor of a 100-minute Dale Carnegie training session, titled Learn How to Present to Sell Change and Communicate with Diplomacy and Tact.
One of the most difficult but critical tasks in business is to sell change. Unlike traditional one-way presentations of information, selling change is a two-way street. It's a collaborative process that requires the open sharing of ideas, opinions, knowledge and experience. You need to be flexible enough to allow the process to progress naturally instead of dominating the discussion if you expect people to buy into the change you're selling.
Led by Dale Carnegie's Ken Beyersdorf, this session will examine the role of the facilitator in getting ideas and opinions on the table. You'll learn a framework that enables you to maintain control of the discussion while inviting input from all participants and dealing with difficult situations diplomatically. Through careful preparation, you can make this type of presentation work, recognizing that it's not just a numbers game. It's about real people. Respect and cooperation are required to sell change.
Real Time Supply Chain Visibility
Shockingly, nearly eight in ten businesses rely on e-mails, phone calls and even faxes to locate their products in the supply chain. Half require up to three days to produce a full picture of their inventory. In the age of e-commerce, customers won't stand for it. Retailers and suppliers need to have their products available when and where the customers want them. Failure to meet this demand increases the risk of lost sales, excess inventory, markdowns, and lost profits.
At the RVCF Fall Conference, GT Nexus Founder Kurt Cavano will lead the session What's New in Global Factory Communication Portals. Kurt will explain how advanced technology provides the supply chain visibility and instant access to data that retailers and suppliers need to ensure the right product is at the right place at the right time and at the right price.
Of course, we live in a global marketplace, which contributes to the challenge of meeting customer demands in the age of e-commerce. Ron Marotta, Vice President of Yusen Logistics, will moderate a panel discussion with retail logistics executives discussing the international flow of goods.
Retailer Breakouts, One-on-Ones, Amazon and More
Collaboration is more than a buzzword for RVCF. It's the reason we exist. That's why our Fall Conference offers more opportunities for face-to-face interactions with trading partners and solution providers than any other retail industry conference. Formal and informal networking is constant during sessions, between sessions, at luncheons and receptions, and on the golf course.
A dozen retailers have already committed to hosting retailer-specific breakout sessions, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. About two dozen retailers have already committed to one-on-one meetings, which enable retailers and suppliers to sit down in a controlled environment, better understand each other's needs, solve real problems, and build stronger relationships. We carefully plan hundreds of one-on-ones at every RVCF conference so retailers and suppliers can meet with multiple trading partners at a single event as opposed to flying all over the country throughout the year.
Members continue to request information about working with Amazon, and we're responding again with two sessions focused on managing Amazon from the supplier's perspective. We'll present the results of the 2017 ASN Accuracy Study and multiple sessions on drop ship best practices. We'll also have sessions on e-commerce (EDI, scorecarding, etc.), supplier relationship management, sales and operations planning and more.
It's no secret that the retail industry is in the middle of a historic period of change. This change has produced problems that need solving – immediately. The RVCF Fall Conference is a prime opportunity to address issues specific to your organization, learn from peers and training partners, and contribute the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Inaction is not an option. Let's do this. For more information about the 2017 RVCF Fall Conference and to register, click here.
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