DSC 2014 “Boot Camps” will address key issues

Sept. 19, 2014
Bill Shupe, vice-president of operations at Wood Fruitticher Food Service, has taken a leadership role in organizing two “Boot Camps” for the 2014 Distribution Solutions Conference: one for warehousing and one for transportation.

Bill Shupe, vice-president of operations at Wood Fruitticher Food Service, has taken a leadership role in organizing two “Boot Camps” for the 2014 Distribution Solutions Conference: one for warehousing and one for transportation.
The DSC is scheduled for October 21-23 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis IN.
Shupe will serve as moderator in the Transportation Boot Camp to lead a discussion with panelists from Dot Transportation, Ben E Keith Foods, and Springfield Grocer Company. The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) asked Shupe some questions recently to get his thoughts:
How does the boot camp format work?
The boot camp idea starts with a panel. We ask IFDA members for questions they want answered. We narrow those questions down and put those questions to a panel at the conference. We make sure to have people on the panel from different-size houses so that everybody has input. Toward the end of the boot camp, the audience asks follow-up questions. Last year I noticed even when it was over, we had people coming up and engaging the people on the panel.
What’s the biggest issue facing transportation managers?
A couple things. Obviously it’s going to be drivers—hiring drivers, retaining drivers. The other big issue is the rising cost of doing business with the cost of transportation going up—the cost of fuel, the cost of trucks going up, and costs with all the regulations that have be dealt with. We have to streamline as much as we can to keep from having to pass these costs on to the customer.
Tell us what’s working on the warehouse side—what’s something that’s going well for you?
Oh, scanning, no doubt. We instituted this three years ago and it’s been a real plus for us. It’s reduced errors. For our night selectors, you’re putting a computer in their hands and it means something to them. You’re giving them a piece of technology to do their job better.
What’s the most interesting thing you heard at last year’s conference?
I’ve been doing this job for well over 30 years and would say this: If you go in to this conference thinking you know everything, then you don’t need to be there. Every time I go, I bring back pieces of information that are going to help my company. I also would say that interaction with people there is really valuable. The biggest thing I have picked up at the conference is that I have met people who I can call, without hesitation, to ask them a question, to ask them what they think. That’s a big deal to me.
If your responsibilities include warehouse or transportation operations, join a boot camp conversation at DSC 2014. Click here for full conference info.

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