The Customized Logistics and Delivery Association (CLDA) is “a non-profit trade association that advances the interests of the customized logistics and delivery industry.” Since 1987, the CLDA has been a thought leader, advocating for members and providing resources and education for first and last mile carriers. They’re a great organization, and that’s why I attended their Final Mile Forum & Expo February 19 and 20 in sunny Miami, Florida.
The CLDA’s mission is to help small companies grow and to help larger companies improve. I believe strongly in attending industry conferences and forums. Not only is continued learning important, but new ideas and perspectives keep us open and ready for the changes that keep coming. Industry conferences are fertile ground for new and creative approaches to the same old industry difficulties.
CLDA’s Final Mile Forum is, in particular, a great opportunity to learn new concepts in a rapidly growing industry and to enhance company performance, not to mention, get to know and network with other supply chain leaders operating in the final mile space.
Three Takeaways From a Great Conference
- The keynote speaker, Dennis Snow, was formerly with the Disney Institute, and I really enjoyed his talk. He shared stories focused on the importance of delighting customers day in and day out. As Snow put it, each day should start and end with the customer. If we can look through our customers’ eyes, we can see the problems they face. When we do this, our chances of creating a great and customized experience for our customers dramatically increases. Providing exceptional experiences should be at the heart of everything we do. It’s how we keep customers coming back to spend money with us instead of our competitors–sometimes at a substantial premium.
- Technology in the final mile space is changing rapidly. Several exhibitors were on hand displaying a variety of cool technologies available today. Routing tools to help achieve more efficient dispatch practices have the potential to reduce mileage and costs and improve service with a more sustainable footprint. The speakers on the technology panel; however, focused on the importance of culture, people, and training. They concurred that without those three elements, the best technology won’t help.
- Other hot topics at the conference focused on insurance and legal matters, including the California AB-5 legislation that affects independent contractors, exorbitant insurance costs, and broker contract education.
Here at Blue Eagle Logistics, we are a leading provider of final mile services in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. We take this distinction seriously, and that means we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our service and improve our value to customers. Attending industry conferences like the CLDA Final Mile Forum is just another way to show our commitment to our customers and to providing the best service available.