The fall national conference and meeting calendar is packed with educational offerings, but what about those distribution or logistics professionals who have no travel budget? Happily, they're not doomed to a life devoid of educational opportunities. Many of the major professional associations also have local branches that stage events closer to home, often for no more than the price of a dinner.
A good example: the roundtables run under the auspices of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The roundtables, whose meetings are open to CSCMP members and non-members alike, are local forums that offer educational programs and professional networking opportunities around the country. CSCMP lists more than 100 roundtables on its roster. Most are in North America, but there are also active roundtables in Argentina and Brazil, in eight European nations, in the PacRim and in the Middle East and South Africa.
Most of the roundtables organize several programs throughout the year. For instance, this month, the Seattle roundtable offered a presentation on the Customs & Trade Partnership Against Terrorism; the Baltimore roundtable had Leo Suggs, CEO of Overnite Transportation, on the agenda; and the Central Virginia roundtable offered a seminar on export regulatory compliance and enforcement. Information on individual roundtables can be found through the CSCMP Web site, www.cscmp.org.
Similarly, the Warehousing Education and Research Council has some 15 local units around the nation called WERCouncils. Volunteers in each group schedule presentations by industry experts, facility tours, panel discussions, and educational seminars. A list of events sponsored by the WERCouncils can be found on the WERC Web site at www.werc.org.