Last week, we got to take a little break from the Seattle rain and enjoy some beautiful weather at the 2017 IWLA Convention & Expo in Palm Springs.
It was a packed couple of days and we had the chance to meet with a ton of supply chain professionals to talk about the state of the industry. One thing is clear: supply chain operations are changing.
There was a lot of discussions about Amazon’s logistics and how it’s impacting warehouse owners and operators. Many IWLA members are Amazon sellers and as Amazon’s fulfillment services grow, it’ll reach beyond retail and marketplace businesses and get deeper into general warehousing and supply chain management.
It’s a good time to own a warehouse or be a broker. Demand is high and many professionals are in the market to add new facilities.
Our own Dave Galgon, Director of Network Development, spoke on a panel about the Amazon effect and how more collaborative, on-demand warehousing solutions can help retailers compete. Retailers are highly efficient machines, but the supply chain lacks the flexibility necessary to keep up with demand. Big retailers are spending $100M+ on new facilities to support eCommerce, stores, and wholesale. They’re able to manage the complexities behind moving products, but it’s hard to match two- to three-day shipping, let alone one- and same-day that’s becoming more popular. Adding smaller distribution centers at different locations isn’t a feasible investment.
That’s where more agile solutions, like on-demand warehousing, come in. Instead of paying a fixed-fee for more space, businesses can leverage short-term warehousing to accommodate peak seasons and events. Warehouses listed in the FLEXE marketplace can start generating revenue on the excess capacity and empower businesses to compete with industry giants.
We had a great time at the IWLA Convention. We’re already looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, here are some photos from our adventures.