May 17, 2020

Top 10 Trucking Industry Events this Autumn

US supply chain
Supply Chain Management
5 min
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is drawing to a close
Whether youre a carrier or a freight broker, its crucial to be informed of the latest developments in the industry.As National Truck Driver Appreciation...

Whether you’re a carrier or a freight broker, it’s crucial to be informed of the latest developments in the industry.

As National Truck Driver Appreciation Week draws to a close, now is the perfect time to plan which important industry events you’ll be attending. We’ve rounded up the best trucking industry events, happening though the end of 2014, to help you stay on top of your business:

10.  The National Industrial Transportation League Conference and TransComp Exposition | November 15-19, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

America’s oldest, and largest, freight transportation association, The National Industrial Transportation League has been providing value to members since 1907.

The annual NITL Conference and Expo is a can’t-miss event, for carriers and freight brokers who are interested in networking, learning about the latest in shipping and freight, and representing their interests to lawmakers. This year’s Keynote Speaker will be Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO Logistics, speaking about the future of the shipping and freight industry.

9. North American Natural Gas Vehicle Conference and Expo | November 11-14, Kansas City, MO

Sponsored by Natural Gas Vehicles for America, the North American Natural Gas Vehicle Conference and Expo will cover the latest developments in the world of natural-gas-powered vehicles, which are gaining popularity in the search for alternatives to gasoline.

If you depend on natural-gas-powered vehicles to ship your freight, or you’re curious about the advantages of natural gas over gasoline, this conference is a must.

8. National Tank Truck Carriers Tank Truck Week | November 10-12, Houston, TX

For anyone who relies on tank trucks for their business, this is the premier industry event of the year.

You’ll have a chance to network, discuss the unique challenges of hauling liquid freight, and hear from industry leaders about new innovations in the business. Attendees can also attend seminars about tank truck maintenance, corrosion concerns, and tank truck safety.

7. Used Truck Association Annual Convention | November 5-7, Scottsdale, AZ

The Used Truck Assocation’s Annual Convention, in sunny Scottsdale, is a great opportunity to network, and even expand your fleet.

Meet leaders in the business, make connections, and get industry updates at this convention. Along with workshops and guest speakers, the UTA Annual Convention will feature social activities and a vendor expo.

6. The 7th Annual Integer Emissions Summit and Diesel Exhaust Fluid Forum | October 28-30, Chicago, IL

At this conference, develop your strategy for increased fuel efficiency, and learn how to comply with regulations while maximizing your business’s potential.

The Integer Emissions Summit and DEF Forum is an opportunity for discussion and debate about how industry leaders and regulatory committees can work together for a cleaner future. In particular, the Diesel Exhaust Fluid Forum is the foremost discussion forum for industry leaders whose businesses depend on diesel fuel.

This is an ideal event for anyone in the industry who wants a front-row seat as emissions standards and regulations are adapted to our changing world.

5. ATA Safety Management Council Safety and Human Resources National Conference and Exhibition | October 28-30, Orlando, FL

At every stage of the shipping process, safety is a top concern. This year’s Safety and Human Resources National Conference and Expo, organised by the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Management Council, will address safety issues for truckers and other shipping professionals.

According to the ATA’s website, this conference “will focus on practical application, real-life re-enactments and peer-to-peer discussion”, covering every facet of industry safety.

This conference will be especially interesting for truckers, HR professionals in the trucking industry, and anyone for whom trucker safety is a top priority.

4. Telogis Conference | October 27-29, Dana Point, CA

Telogis bills itself as “The connected vehicle software platform of choice”. This conference is for anyone who relies on Telogis, or any other location services software to organise their fleet.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn about how the services Telogis offers to help your freight ship smoothly, including platforms that help you keep track of route efficiency and driver behaviour.

3. 2014 Surface Transportation Summit | October 15, Toronto, ON

Just over the border in Toronto, the Annual Surface Transportation Summit will cover all aspects of the shipping and freight industry, from energy efficiency, to regulations, to future growth opportunities.

This conference will offer networking time, plus informational sessions about upcoming trends in the business, freight pricing solutions, and innovations in transportation technology.

2. Sixth International DME Conference | October 7-9, San Diego, CA

Learn more about this fascinating new fuel at the International DME Conference. DME stands for dimethyl ether, a gas that can be liquefied and transported. DME can be derived from renewable resources, as well as fossil fuels, and has many potential applications, including as an automotive fuel.

Be on the forefront of new energy technology, and learn about DME’s exciting future at this conference.

1. ATA Management Conference and Exhibition | October 4-7, San Diego, CA

It’s not too late to head to sunny San Diego for the ATA’s Annual Management Conference and Exhibition. Designed specifically for management professionals in the trucking and freight industries, this conference offers unparalleled networking opportunities, and some exciting perks.

This year’s conference asks trucking management professionals: “How will energy production impact your fleet in the coming years?” The discussion is sure to offer illuminating tips for maximising profitability, and adapting and innovating your business into the future.


Huelo Dunn is a regular contributor for the JW Surety Bonds blog. She follows closely the dynamics of the trucking industry and she is an expert in the field of surety bonds and licensing.

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Jun 11, 2021

NTT DATA Services, Remodelling Supply Chains for Resilience

6 min
Joey Dean, Managing Director of healthcare consulting at NTT DATA Services, shares remodelling strategies for more resilient supply chains

Joey Dean, the man with the coolest name ever and Managing Director in the healthcare consulting practice for NTT DATA and is focused on delivering workplace transformation and enabling the future workforce for healthcare providers. Dean also leads client innovation programs to enhance service delivery and business outcomes for clients.

The pandemic has shifted priorities and created opportunities to do things differently, and companies are now looking to build more resilient supply chains, none needed more urgently than those within the healthcare system. Dean shares with us how he feels they can get there.

A Multi-Vendor Sourcing Approach

“Healthcare systems cannot afford delays in the supply chain when there are lives at stake. Healthcare procurement teams are looking at multi-vendor sourcing strategies, stockpiling more inventory, and ways to use data and AI to have a predictive view into the future and drive greater efficiency.

“The priority should be to shore up procurement channels and re-evaluate inventory management norms, i.e. stockpiling for assurance. Health systems should take the opportunity to renegotiate with their current vendors and broaden the supplier channel. Through those efforts, work with suppliers that have greater geographic diversity and transparency around manufacturing data, process, and continuity plans,” says Dean.

But here ensues the never-ending battle of domestic vs global supply chains. As I see it, domestic sourcing limits the high-risk exposure related to offshore sourcing— Canada’s issue with importing the vaccine is a good example of that. So, of course, I had to ask, for lifesaving products, is building domestic capabilities an option that is being considered?

“Domestic supply chains are sparse or have a high dependence on overseas centres for parts and raw materials. There are measures being discussed from a legislative perspective to drive more domestic sourcing, and there will need to be a concerted effort by Western countries through a mix of investments and financial incentives,” Dean explains.

Wielding Big Tech for Better Outcomes

So, that’s a long way off. In the meantime, leveraging technology is another way to mitigate the risks that lie within global supply chains while decreasing costs and improving quality. Dean expands on the potential of blockchain and AI in the industry

“Blockchain is particularly interesting in creating more transparency and visibility across all supply chain activities. Organisations can create a decentralised record of all transactions to track assets from production to delivery or use by end-user. This increased supply chain transparency provides more visibility to both buyers and suppliers to resolve disputes and build more trusting relationships. Another benefit is that the validation of data is more efficient to prioritise time on the delivery of goods and services to reduce cost and improve quality. 

“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) is another area where there’s incredible value in processing massive amounts of data to aggregate and normalise the data to produce proactive recommendations on actions to improve the speed and cost-efficiency of the supply chain.”

Evolving Procurement Models 

From asking more of suppliers to beefing up stocks, Dean believes procurement models should be remodelled to favour resilience, mitigate risk and ensure the needs of the customer are kept in view. 

“The bottom line is that healthcare systems are expecting more from their suppliers. While transactional approaches focused solely on price and transactions have been the norm, collaborative relationships, where the buyer and supplier establish mutual objectives and outcomes, drives a trusting and transparent relationship. Healthcare systems are also looking to multi-vendor strategies to mitigate risk, so it is imperative for suppliers to stand out and embrace evolving procurement models.

“Healthcare systems are looking at partners that can establish domestic centres for supplies to mitigate the risks of having ‘all of their eggs’ in overseas locations. Suppliers should look to perform a strategic evaluation review that includes a distribution network analysis and distribution footprint review to understand cost, service, flexibility, and risks. Included in that strategy should be a “voice of the customer” assessment to understand current pain points and needs of customers.”

“Healthcare supply chain leaders are re-evaluating the Just In Time (JIT) model with supplies delivered on a regular basis. The approach does not require an investment in infrastructure but leaves organisations open to risk of disruption. Having domestic centres and warehousing from suppliers gives healthcare systems the ability to have inventory on hand without having to invest in their own infrastructure. Also, in the spirit of transparency, having predictive views into inventory levels can help enable better decision making from both sides.”

But, again, I had to ask, what about the risks and associated costs that come with higher inventory levels, such as expired product if there isn’t fast enough turnover, tying up cash flow, warehousing and inventory management costs?

“In the current supply chain environment, it is advisable for buyers to carry an in-house inventory on a just-in-time basis, while suppliers take a just-in-case approach, preserving capacity for surges, retaining safety stock, and building rapid replenishment channels for restock. But the risk of expired product is very real. This could be curbed with better data intelligence and improved technology that could forecast surges and predictively automate future supply needs. In this way, ordering would be more data-driven and rationalised to align with anticipated surges. Further adoption of data and intelligence and will be crucial for modernised buying in the new normal.

The Challenges

These are tough tasks, so I asked Dean to speak to some of the challenges. Luckily, he’s a patient guy with a lot to say.

On managing stakeholders and ensuring alignment on priorities and objectives, Dean says, “In order for managing stakeholders to stay aligned on priorities, they’ll need more transparency and collaborative win-win business relationships in which both healthcare systems and medical device manufacturers are equally committed to each other’s success. On the healthcare side, they need to understand where parts and products are manufactured to perform more predictive data and analytics for forecasting and planning efforts. And the manufacturers should offer more data transparency which will result in better planning and forecasting to navigate the ebbs and flows and enable better decision-making by healthcare systems.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information being requested, the effort to increase visibility is typically met with a lot of reluctance and push back. Dean essentially puts the onus back on suppliers to get with the times. “Traditionally, the relationships between buyers and suppliers are transactional, based only on the transaction between the two parties: what is the supplier providing, at what cost, and for what length of time. The relationship begins and ends there. The tide is shifting, and buyers expect more from their suppliers, especially given what the pandemic exposed around the fragility of the supply chain. The suppliers that get ahead of this will not only reap the benefits of improved relationships, but they will be able to take action on insights derived from greater visibility to manage risks more effectively.”

He offers a final tip. “A first step in enabling a supply chain data exchange is to make sure partners and buyers are aware of the conditions throughout the supply chain based on real-time data to enable predictive views into delays and disruptions. With well understand data sets, both parties can respond more effectively and work together when disruptions occur.”

As for where supply chain is heading, Dean says, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to see a shift toward Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to optimise the supply chain. The pandemic, as it has done in many other industries, will accelerate the move to digital, with the benefits of improving efficiency, visibility, and error rate. AI can consume enormous amounts of data to drive real-time pattern detection and mitigate risk from global disruptive events.”


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