Keynote: Challenging perceptions of an industry in transition

Panelists and moderator discuss how to start preparing today for the industry of tomorrow.

By ·

Wednesday’s keynote was all about perceptions. Are mentors necessarily older and more experienced? Is a collection of expensive luggage more valuable than a backpack? Was there ever a recession in the last five years?

Titled “The Future of Material Handling, Logistics and Supply Chain,” the keynote began with a presentation from Edie Weiner, president of futurist consulting firm Weiner, Edrich, Brown. She challenged the audience to take business advice directly from 15-year-olds, consider employing those older than 60 and younger than 25, and be prepared for “exponential, exponential change.”

“I did not repeat that word by accident,” said Weiner. “Change is not the whole story. It’s the speed of that change.”

Weiner warned of what she calls “educated incapacity,” the tendency for professionals to remember when they might do better to forget. When new events test old frameworks, it is often best to embrace the new, said Weiner. In addition to 3D printing, nanotechnology, cyber security and augmented reality, Weiner said the future would include an emphasis on learning instead of education.

“There was never a recession, there isn’t any double-dip, and there’s no recovery,” said Weiner. “What happened was a fundamental global economic transformation.” As with the agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions, the duration of time between these disruptive events decreases exponentially.

Weiner was then joined by a panel consisting of George Prest, CEO of MHI; Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of CSCMP, Michael Mikitka, CEO of WERC, and Liz Richards, VP of MHEDA. The panel discussed ongoing shifts in “the industry hidden in plain sight,” including the integration of soft and hard metrics, the Internet of things, and the proximity of food production to population centers.

ProMat 2013 is scheduled to be held January 21-24, 2013 in Chicago’s McCormick Place South. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry. Modern’s complete ProMat 2013 coverage.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Contributing Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Education · MHI · ProMat · ProMat 2013 · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Hydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling
Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
Download Today!
From the October 2016 Issue
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order fulfillment process and increased throughput with near 100% accuracy.
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive
Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Pallets: Supporting Product, Processes and the Enterprise
The smallest leak in performance or cost can bring a lean, nimble and speedy supply chain to a halt. During this 30-minute webcast we'll examine how Modern's readers use pallets to keep the wheels turning as they maneuver a road filled with sharp edges and potholes.
Register Today!
Modern Materials Handling’s 2017 Casebook Collection
The 2017 Casebook features over 35 case studies that put the spotlight on successful innovation...
Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...

Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...
American Eagle Outfitters’ omni-channel journey
The fashion retailer has used warehouse execution software and automation to create a true...