"The company in which you improve most will be least expensive to you."
Did you know George Washington kept a diary from the age of 16 until the day before he died, with very few breaks? For 51 years, he recorded his thoughts on family, community events, farming, the weather, issues of the day and, of course, the American Revolution and the presidency. In fact, few people in our nation's history have left such a wealth of information about their life as our first president.
The above quote from those treasured documents serves as the theme and inspiration for the RVCF Spring Conference in our nation's capital. While George Washington obviously wasn't pontificating about the retail supply chain, his words are very relevant to those of us in the industry. If you collaborate with those who contribute to and share in your success, and if you spend the necessary time, effort and resources to improve how you operate, you'll be able to control your costs and maximize profits. The more proactive you are, the more successful you'll be.
We're putting the finishing touches on the annual RVCF Spring Conference, being held May 7-10, 2017 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA, just minutes from downtown Washington, DC. We're proud to announce that Ken Bonning, Founding Partner of Orion Advisors Group and former Senior Vice President for Kohl's Department Stores, will deliver the conference keynote.
Mr. Bonning will discuss the new challenges faced by retailers and suppliers as customers expect a seamless experience across an omni-channel environment. He'll talk about how demand for speed and quality can create stress in the trading partner relationship, and how to resolve those issues through collaboration.
As always, dozens of educational sessions and panel discussions will focus on the most pressing issues in the industry. Here are just a few of the highlights from this year's Spring Conference agenda.
For All Attendees:
Staff Retention & Progression
Financial Outlook for Second Half of 2017
Measuring Speed-to-Consumer from Store DC Supplier
EDI Workflow for E-Commerce
Latest in Drop-Ship Best Practices
For Retailers Only:
How to Build and/or Update Your Vendor Compliance Program
Managing Suppliers Fill Rates & Replenishment
Filling Orders from Stores
For Suppliers Only:
Programs around Doing Business with Amazon
Direct-to-Consumer with No 3PL
Order-Processing Round Table
Business Intelligence Tools that Drive the Perfect Order
RVCF will also host a Joint Retailer-Supplier Open Forum and a Joint Retailer-Supplier Onboarding Roundtable Discussion. Onboarding continues to be a hot topic as retailers look to improve onboarding programs so new suppliers understand and are capable of meeting compliance requirements. By bringing both sides together, we hope to identify what is working and what is not so expectations are aligned, compliance issues are reduced, and organizational goals are achieved. Another topic that we'll be discussing in our open forum sessions is our recent Retail Deduction Communication survey. Based on this data, RVCF is creating voluntary industry guidelines for communicating deduction claims.
We hope you'll kick off the conference with a guided tour of our nation's landmarks, monuments and memorials on Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 pm. The tour will include stops at the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean Veterans Memorial, Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, King Memorial, Capital, and World War II Memorial. We also invite you to join us Tuesday evening for a Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Potomac.
Retailers are encouraged to make the appropriate personnel available for one-on-one meetings and breakout sessions with suppliers. All one-on-ones are held in a controlled environment and closely monitored by RVCF staff so you can focus on resolving issues with your supplier partners. The more tables you host, the more meetings you can schedule. If you're interested in holding one-on-one meetings at the Spring Conference, please contact Susan Haupt.
RVCF members are actively seeking solutions that improve efficiency, increase sales and profits, and simplify the sharing of information. To that end, plenty of exhibit booths and sponsorship opportunities are available for service providers. Please contact Susan Haupt or me to learn more about how you can take advantage of these opportunities to educate conference attendees about your products and services.
We still have a few remaining openings for speakers who would like to share their insights and expertise about relevant retail industry topics and trends. Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss the topic you'd like to cover and secure your slot.
More program highlights, breakouts and maybe even a few surprises will be announced as we head down the homestretch to the RVCF Spring Conference, so look for announcements in the coming months. Early bird pricing is available through February 1, so click here for registration information. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC!
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