Well having spent 20 bitter, cold winters in Chicago shoveling endless mounds of snow, I have to admit that when I got my invitation to ProMat 2009, I was underwhelmed about the offer to “join us in January in Chicago.” However, you can’t fault Chicago for its exciting city life, excellent restaurants, magnificent skyline and ever-patrolling army of snowplows, so I’m game for another frosty experience in the Windy City. And who could miss the Material Handling Industry of America’s annual international exposition? ProMat 2009, Solutions that Make the Supply Chain Work, promises to provide an invigorating look at the hot new trends and innovations in material handling and logistics.
ProMat will showcase more than 800 solution-packed exhibits from top equipment and technology providers in the material handling and logistics industries. It’s your opportunity to not only talk to the pros but see their solutions to industry applications in action. Given the country’s current economic problems, I think we can all benefit from solutions that promise to streamline operations, increase productivity, reduce costs, improve customer service and improve our bottom line.
I’m particularly looking forward to Forrest Sawyer’s moderation of the keynote discussion on building the workforce of the future. We’ve discussed in this space before the workforce challenges that will face our industry in the coming years: retiring boomers, declining worker population, increased workforce diversity, life/work balance and a move toward more technical skill sets. These issues aren’t going to go away and we, as an industry, need to develop strategies for embracing the challenges of the future.
We’ve also talked in this space about the globalization of material handling, logistics and industry in general. With buyers and sellers from more than 90 countries in attendance, ProMat offers an opportunity to start making connections so you’ll be ready to flex your global wings.
Education is always a major focus of the annual MHIA show. This year’s Knowledge Center will bring 100 Educational Seminars to the show floor, all free to attendees, as is the keynote discussion. Seminars will focus on the latest material handling and logistics trends and innovations for manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain operations.
ProMat 2009 will be held from January 12-15, 2009 at McCormick Place South in Chicago, Illinois. Plan to go and learn about emerging trends and leading edge developments in the industry. See solutions in action and talk to their purveyors. Network with other professionals from across the country and around the globe. ProMat 2009 is your chance to learn, explore and rekindle your passion. For complete information and registration, visit the ProMat website.