In good times and bad, there are some things that never change. We're not referring to depressing inevitabilities like death and taxes, but to more welcome certainties—like a never-fail recipe, a foolproof business strategy, or a conference that consistently hits it out of the park. In the supply chain management profession, one of those conferences is the Annual Global Conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
At DC VELOCITY, we look on the Annual Global Conference as an editorial version of an all-you-can-eat buffet. Year after year, we leave the three-day event so "stuffed" with ideas that we feel much the way people do after an old-time Thanksgiving dinner.
That's not to say justifying the expense is always easy. Like you, we're working hard to make the best use of our resources in difficult economic times. In fact, we briefly considered saving precious travel dollars by sending fewer editors to this year's event. But we decided that would be false economy. Our core mission is to provide you with useful, high-value information that can help you improve your logistics operations. And from that standpoint, sending staff members to the CSCMP conference may be the best editorial investment we make all year. In the end, DC VELOCITY did what we have always done: send seven editors to the conference, which was held in September in Chicago.
To ensure that we make the most of the opportunity (and our investment), we follow the same plan of attack each year. Our planning gets under way well before the conference actually takes place. We pore over the advance conference materials to identify the educational sessions, keynote presentations, and other programs that are strong candidates for story development in the weeks and months ahead. Each editor arrives at the conference with a work schedule that stretches from dawn until well after the sun has set.
Roughly a week after the conference, the editorial team gathers for a debriefing. We consider each of the sessions, speeches, meetings, and events we covered in light of their informational value. We also step back and assess whether we did indeed get the maximum return on our editorial investment. Every year—without exception, and regardless of economic conditions—the answer has been a resounding yes.
This year, for example, in roughly three (admittedly very long) business days, our editorial team shot almost 30 video news segments for our new DCV-TV Web site, moderated half a dozen educational sessions, covered numerous other sessions and speeches, generated nearly two dozen articles and videos for our "Post-conference Report" e-newsletter, met with suppliers of logistics products and services in the conference's Learning Exchange, and attended breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings. It's no wonder we left Chicago with enough grist for the editorial mill to ensure we'll have stories to share with you for months to come.
As for the kinds of stories we came away with, the topics are many and varied. But the following are examples of some of the stories you can expect to see in 2010: how to properly insure your company's freight; best practices in the use of global trade management software; and how one consumer goods manufacturer is using its supply chain to fulfill a promise to Wall Street to improve cash flow. Others include new approaches to assessing the value derived from relationships with 3PLs; how one computer manufacturer re-engineered its reverse logistics program; and why some companies are moving parts of their operations from China to Central and Eastern Europe.
The list doesn't end there, but we'd better stop now. Otherwise, there'd be no room left for dessert!