FACT: We are heading into a projected period of growth in manufacturing and distribution. We’re also facing a talent crunch, with a declining unemployment rate in general, if you’ve heard recent economic forecasts — all according to Dr. Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics, a global economic forecasting firm. In the future, efficiency and automation are going to be the difference if you are to succeed and “roar” into the 2020s or barely get by.
The idea for offering an educational track at our annual conference was hatched as I started diving into a big project here at SalesPad: predicting the future of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions in order to determine our product roadmap and where we need to go next. Some may call it an impossible task, but I do like a challenge... and data. Lots of data!
In my research, I came across many terms and definitions that linked to more terms and definitions and more terms and definitions… you get the point. I learned that before I can look to the future of ERP, I needed to understand its current state and all of the terms that are being created to describe the existing and future solutions. This brought me to a better understanding of why a solid operational ERP strategy is so important to our customers — and why it’s not just applicable to SalesPad’s customers. This knowledge is applicable to everyone in the wholesale distribution, warehousing, manufacturing and even multi-location retail industries. And yes; it also makes it easier for us to pitch solutions once we’re all talking about and understanding the same terms and objectives (so, this isn’t a purely altruistic offer).
Thus, the Operational ERP Spotlight track was born and added to the line-up for our PANELS 2018 conference. Ultimately, we’re offering this educational opportunity so that your business can enjoy the approaching growth in manufacturing and distribution right alongside us!
Plus, there are so many reasons to always be learning. I think education is your most powerful weapon when you’re trying to change something. But don’t just take my word for it. Here are five reasons to attend PANELS’ Operational ERP Spotlight track Aug. 6-7.
1. To gain relevant, actionable insights for your industry.
“Education without application is just entertainment.”
— Tim Sanders, bestselling author, speaker, and former Yahoo! executive.
At SalesPad, we’ve created software that applies and automates what we’ve learned and what we’re trying to teach at PANELS — efficiency and better processes. The combination of a learning environment full of big, new ideas plus the ability to network with people who are actually applying their knowledge could result in new innovations that drive your business to that next level.
Whether you send your systems analyst, your warehouse manager, your office manager, your president or CEO, there will be people with similar titles, from companies like yours, brainstorming new and better ways of managing their supply chain. We’ve also created an environment at PANELS that will foster better approaches to hybrid O-ERP models (which are comprised of some ERP functionality in the cloud while keeping some on premise). The education at PANELS is insightful yet practical, such as practices to simply get more orders out of the warehouse on time.
2. To get ahead of the curve in technology and business trends.
"Action comes about if and only if we find a discrepancy between what we are experiencing and what we want to experience."
— Philip J. Runkel, author, professor, and consultant.
Attention product-centric companies, if you believe the data presented by leading industry analysts, you’re behind the curve when it comes to embracing new technologies. These technologies could actually help you change your experience and your business.
If you find yourself frustrated with your speed of sales, number of orders unfulfilled or simply worrying about how you’re going to do more with fewer people in the future, PANELS will help you see different paths to what you want to experience in the new world of O-ERP — that is, the impending future of better warehousing, manufacturing, and supply chain.
3. To learn about hot industry topics from actual people, not corporations.
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, former Supreme Court Associate Justice and Chief Justice.
Are you curious about different ways to handle your HR and financials? Ever wonder how other companies made their inventory work for them? Are you considering EDI? Have you been considering an omnichannel approach? These topics and more will be presented by experts who know the pains of product-centric companies like yours!
4. To be inspired by experts and futurists.
“Education is not the filling of a pot but the lighting of a fire.”
— W.B. Yeats, Irish poet.
PANELS is not your typical classroom experience! Sheryl Connelly, Futurist at Ford Motor Company, will kick off PANELS as our keynote speaker. Connelly has been the futurist for Ford for more than a decade and identifies global consumer trends that could impact the entire company — from design to product development to corporate strategy.
We won’t just fill your brain with ideas — we’ll ignite the internal drive of all of our attendees by providing access to experts that will help you “think like a futurist.”
In addition to carefully selected educational content, attendees will interact with current SalesPad clients and brilliant GP partners to gain specific, practical insights that will inspire you to implement changes in the way you do business.
5. To get an experience, not just information.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
You can learn just about anything online these days. Sign up, attend the webinar, download the guide or book… but did you really learn anything? You should go to a conference for the experience and to be involved so that you truly hold on to new ideas and put them into practice in your mind. At PANELS, you won’t just sit passively — we promise to get you involved in one way or another. And don’t forget about our famous after-parties. In case you missed it, get a glimpse of PANELS 2017 for a few examples of the kind of experience we’re talking about.
Take the next step
We want to revolutionize the way you think about operations. Truth be told, digital business is already driving changes across your organization, and some sources suggest that SaaS or cloud-based ERP is the future.
Join us at PANELS to hear how we’re enabling businesses to implement on-premise O-ERP, giving industry insights, and providing information and services that give businesses security and peace of mind. We’ve got our eye on the future and the education that every product-centric company should consider.