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VOL. 123 | NO. 222 | Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CSCMP National Chair to Speak in Memphis

By Eric Smith

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Council of Supply Chain
Management
Professionals
Memphis Roundtable

Roger Woody, Embarq Logistics
“Strategies from a Unique 3PL”

Nov. 20, Holiday Inn at
the University of Memphis
5:30 p.m. registration; 6 p.m. dinner
$35 for members/students;
$40 for non-members
Visit cscmp.org or e-mail David.Shell@BNSFLogistics.com

With more than two decades of experience in the logistics industry, Roger Woody brings a veteran’s savvy to his role as chairman of the board for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

Woody, who works in supply chain strategy for Embarq Logistics, was installed at a convention in Denver last month as chair of the Lombard, Ill.-based trade association, which has 10,000 members in 97 chapters spread across 26 nations.

He’ll share strategies of that organization, as well as some successful practices of his Overland Park, Kan.-based third-party logistics (3PL) company, at a roundtable event Nov. 20 at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis. Registration is at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 6 p.m.

The event, sponsored by the local chapter of the CSCMP, is titled “Strategies from a Unique 3PL.” That’s a nod to Embarq, a company that provides supply chain services for its sister company, Embarq Corp., and also for network service providers, manufacturers and contractors throughout North America. Woody said that makes Embarq Logistics different than most 3PLs.

“It puts us in a very unique position. We primarily support one company but also do business with what could be considered their competitors in some way, shape or form,” he said. “What I say about Embarq Logistics may not be immediately meaningful to anyone who attends, but an idea that we share or a discussion that we have around this topic may be very important. That’s what these roundtables do: provide a forum so that new ideas or different ideas or discussions around these ideas can take place.”

Life skills training

Some of the ideas taking place at roundtables like this can help 3PLs survive – and perhaps even thrive – in a challenging economy. The CSCMP roundtables show professionals how to best manage their companies’ supply chains, an increasingly important component in the global economy.

“Companies are beginning to recognize that a really efficient and effective supply chain is more than just controlling costs,” Woody said. “It can really affect the top line of a company – having the right product in the right place available for sale is critical, and more so today than ever as we look at the economy.”

Woody said 3PLs have an opportunity in these slumping economic times to prove their worth to clients because their services help a customer save money, something that every business is looking to do no matter what kind of market prevails.

“As the economy goes south, so to speak, a lot of companies are very critical of what they do as a core activity or core focus,” Woody said. “If there are things that others (3PLs) can do for them at a reasonable cost, those companies have the expertise and the resources to do them better or more efficiently because it is their core focus. I think companies will look to outsource even more perhaps in a suffering economy.

“If 3PLs are able to communicate effectively what their capabilities are, then I think during an economic slump it can be a good time for 3PLs.”

Critical mass

Robert Milner III of ADC Integrated Systems Inc. serves as vice president of programs for the Memphis CSCMP roundtable committee. He said the chance to hear Woody speak on these matters would be beneficial for anyone who handles the movement of goods or information.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about new trends and strategies in the supply chain,” Milner said. “Roger is a seasoned supply chain expert and is well known in the CSCMP and logistics community.”

The logistics community is important to the Memphis economy. The city has a higher percentage of logistics workers – about 17 percent – than any other metropolitan area in the country. One of the topics Woody hopes to address is infrastructure, something that’s especially important to this region.

That means looking at highways, railways, river ways and airways – how they are managed and how they connect commerce within the U.S. and help American companies compete in the global marketplace.

“If we look out the next 15 or 20 years, I think the real challenge for those of us in the U.S. in this field will be, how do we bring a focus around the need for infrastructure, not only the repairing and maintaining of what we already have, but building new infrastructure to support our business economy,” he said. “It is even more critical now more than ever.”

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