In just three weeks, eDelivery Expo, EDX16, will be getting under way. Stands will be buzzing, press releases will be stacked in the press office, and attendees will be visiting exhibitors and sitting in on some of the excellent sessions we’ve got lined up.
We’ve got some truly world-class retail names attending and taking part this year, including: Alibaba, A Suit that Fits, Fruugo, John Lewis, New Look, Ocado, Panasonic, and Sainsbury’s, to name just a few.
I’ll be there on both days, and I’m hoping to get to meet as many eDelivery readers as I can manage.
With all of this in mind, this week I decided to turn the whole eDelivery newsletter over to EDX – to recap on the success of last year’s event, and remind you of what to look forward to at the NEC on 27 & 28 April.
Last year was the first time we ran EDX, and it was co-located within InternetRetailing Expo (IRX) which saw a 20% increase in visitor numbers last year. Having the two expos side-by-side, yet distinct from one another, is a great reflection of how our sector functions; a fundamental part of ecommerce retail, yet with its own defined objectives and challenges.
The theme for Day One of EDX16 will be Multichannel Fulfilment, and poses the question does your delivery service meet your customers’ expectations? The opening keynote on Day One will be from Walter Blackwood, formerly logistics director at Mothercare and currently an independent consultant. Walter has one of the most distinguished track records in the sector, and we’ll be running an interview with him very soon.
Day Two of EDX16 will be themed Operations in Multichannel, and the first session of the day will be a keynote from John Munnelly, head of operations at John Lewis Magna Park. John spoke at last year’s EDX and his was one of the most well-attended sessions we ran.
We’re particularly proud of having speakers who offer a variety of perspectives on retail operations and logistics. One such speaker is Janet Godsell, professor of operations and supply chain strategy at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), which is part of the University of Warwick. Professor Godsell is an engaging and experienced speaker, far from the stereotype of a dry academic, and has some interesting views on the key challenges facing the retail sector.
In addition to the sessions running throughout both days, there will – of course – also be lots to see from the exhibitors. For example, packaging and paper specialist Antalis will be running live demonstrations of an Emba TrayTec packaging machine. Some of the live demos at last year’s EDX were a real hit, attracting plenty of attention and getting people talking.
If I had to highlight one thing that EDX demonstrates to me, it’s that retail operations and logistics is no longer a behind-the-scenes back-room function of retail. Not that long ago, the chief consideration of delivery was ensuring shoppers got their purchases – it was functional, transactional, and little more than that. Those days are gone, and they’re not coming back. That’s great news for those in retail and delivery who appreciate the importance of the last mile in winning customers’ loyalty.
I think that’s one of the keys to understanding the importance of shows like EDX and IRX, and why their co-location is fundamental to unlocking the future of retail. You’ll find registration information on the EDX website. Be sure to give us a shout on Twitter to let us know you’re coming.
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