OP MANUF ED PIC 1By Dan Campbell

Being good at something requires a particular set of skills. When someone is recognized as a stand-out professionally and promoted into a supervisory role, the skills they need to be successful change a great deal. Many aren’t equipped with those skills and require training in general areas of management. For example, proven aptitude in one role doesn’t mean someone has an instinctive ability to manage peers or navigate conflict.

These are competencies that can be taught, but new supervisors often aren’t trained for the job they are stepping into. By training supervisors in management best practices, companies reduce the cost of lost time and productivity and lessen the negative drain on employee morale when leaders are not set up for success.

As wholesalers, retailers, and distributors are aware, we are now in a global economy. The United States is engaged in trade efforts with many countries each year, and much of this global distribution involves chemicals of all types and classifications. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the global chemical business is valued at about $2 trillion annually.

Because these chemicals are used for all types of purposes, they impact the lives of billions of people around the globe. Most chemicals are designed to prove helpful and to address a specific need, but used improperly – often because the user does not understand instructions and safety precautions – they can be very hazardous.

Supply chain, distribution and manufacturing professionals from around the world will converge on the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta April 4 through 7 for the MODEX 2016 expo. Wholesale and Distribution International recently had the chance to ask George W. Prest, CEO of MHI, the show’s organizer, what attendees can expect from this year’s event. 

Wholesale and Distribution International: Why is MODEX 2016 a must-attend event for supply chain, distribution and manufacturing professionals?

Prest: MODEX 2016 is North America’s largest supply chain expo. Supply chain professionals from more than 110 countries will come (to the expo) to get ideas and find what’s new as they make their capital expenditure investment decisions.

Supply chain is complex. Like most enterprises, yours is probably moving material across time zones, jurisdictions, suppliers and vendors. You must meet time and cost commitments, or are trying to get to JIT. You’re dealing with bullwhip effects, where a minor blunder in Jakarta creates serious delays in Khartoum and furious end users in St. Louis.

Bullwhip effects are a part of “closely coupled” systems without “cushioning:” when one element is out of place, the others follow suit in unpredictable, out-of-scale ways. Complexity as the result of a hidden waste is often the cause, and must be rooted out. We need simplicity, not only in chain design, but also in information and inventory management, and perhaps even pricing.  

The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) was formed in 2004 to provide its members with the tools they need to increase sales, decrease expenses and increase their profitability. “The biggest way we do this for our members is through our annual convention,” ISA President and CEO Jeff Hughes says.  “The convention puts them in front of as many clients and potential business partners as possible, many of whom are high-level decision makers. It’s just a phenomenal, one-of-a-kind opportunity for people in our industry.”   

The ISA’s 2016 convention, planned April 16 to 18 in Rosemont, Ill., just outside of Chicago, will give many of the organization’s 900 members plenty of opportunities to gain the knowledge they need to remain competitive in a changing and dynamic marketplace. 

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