Driving Change at the SMC3 Annual Winter Meeting

Transportation executives share insights into corporate change, global supply chain trends at industry forum

Transportation executives share insights into corporate change, global supply chain trends at industry forum

Peachtree City, GA — February 2, 2005 — Transportation executives explored industry success stories and statistics to set a foundation for their competitive strategies during SMC3's 50th Annual Winter Meeting, which took place January 25-26 in Atlanta.

The meeting, Shifting the Balance: Predicting the Impact of Industry Change, focused on how the industry might evolve in the near term and looked ahead at changes that could be experienced in the next three to five years.

One of the presenters, William Zollars, chairman, president and CEO of Yellow Roadway Corp., described how he and executive management created and implemented a new vision for Yellow — a journey that began in1997 when he became president of Yellow Transportation Inc.

Detailing the company's actions through the December 2003 acquisition of Roadway Corp., Zollars explained point-by-point how Yellow positioned its people, processes and technology to become the nation's No. 3 ground-based transportation company.

This is one of those opportunities that you get probably once in a business career to really change the competitive landscape in the marketplace, and I really believe that bringing together these two great brands allowed us to do that, Zollars said. These companies were both doing very well on their own, but this is truly a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Zollars also spoke about trends he thought would be fundamental to the industry in 2005 and beyond, such as consolidation, capacity, infrastructure challenges and the battle for talent. Consolidation is going to continue. Customers are going to continue to ratchet up requirements, and people are going to have a harder and harder time getting over the bar, Zollars said.

Following Zollars' presentation, Satish Jindel, principal consultant, SJ Consulting Group Inc., explored distribution patterns, less-than-truckload (LTL) market trends and the implications of change within global carriers' business plans. Stressing the importance of marketing and technology in his strategies for LTL carriers in the consolidation era, Jindel emphasized technology as a major contributor to change in the ground business.

Three presenters focused on global supply chain trends affecting the transportation industry. Susan Alt, president and CEO, Volvo Logistics North America Inc., spoke about her company's core values and the intricacies of the carrier-shipper relationship. John Mascaritolo, director of global logistics, corporate global procurement, NCR Corp., discussed sourcing trends in global supply chain management and the effect outsourcing has had on NCR's bottom line. John Vande Vate, executive director of the Executive Masters International Logistics Program at Georgia Institute of Technology, explored the impact of globalization on the transportation infrastructure and innovative approaches to supply chain management and design.

The meeting concluded with the anticipated geopolitical update sessions. Nationally-recognized transportation attorney John Bagileo, principal, The Law Office of John R. Bagileo; renowned economic forecaster Donald Ratajczak; and energy expert Michael J. Economides, professor, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston, spoke about political factors, legislation, economic trends and energy costs that will affect operations within the transportation industry.

SMC3's two annual meetings are designed to provide transportation industry professionals with up-to-date industry information and trend forecasts. With a customer base covering all aspects of freight movement, the company strives to make its educational meetings and seminars the most comprehensive and valuable opportunities available.

I was delighted with the number of transportation industry leaders who were in attendance to explore the evolution of the industry and how to stay competitive during consolidation and change, Jack Middleton, SMC3 president and CEO, said.