MHI held its Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX on October 2-5. The supply chain conference is a thought-provoking event for professionals to learn about issues today and innovations for the future.
Millwood’s Director of Corporate Communications, Jenna Byler, represented Millwood at the event. She came away with valuable industry-related insights and professional connections.
The conference included twelve speaking sessions under three tracks: supply chain disruption, leadership and future workforce. Speakers delved into these topics thoroughly to provide education, clarity and tangible takeaways.
Topics ranged from workforce challenges to details on the Metaverse and more. Rapid technological advancement and innovation were common threads throughout many sessions, as well as best practices for negotiation, recruitment and other business-oriented concerns.
“The keynote presenters always create challenging ideas to advance the audience’s thinking, and the only way to advance in a career is to continue accepting a challenge or change,” Jenna said.
Several keynote speakers were featured, including Destin Sandlin, host of Smarter Every Day on YouTube; Ginny Clarke, former director of executive recruiting at Google; Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics and chairman of the futurist institute; and Seth Mattison, founder and CEO of FutureSight Labs.
“To be on the cutting edge, we have to be thinking ahead of everyone else. You may have a new idea but it’s likely that someone has already thought of it,” Jenna said. “You can either be first or you can be the best. When we can’t be first, we have to continue to challenge ourselves at becoming the best.”
Accepting change on an industry level and business level is a challenge in itself, but the topics also invite attendees to consider the challenges they face in their own professional lives.
“Every one of these sessions leads to a place of needing to rethink something about your situation or your life or your position,” Jenna said.
As an industry event, professional connections are also an important part of the conference. During her first day there, Jenna attended networking events hosted by MHI Mpro and the MHI Young Professionals Network. Being able to build connections across the supply chain industry and beyond is invaluable, and only further enhanced by the return of in-person events.
“Attending these types of conferences is not only good for the organization you’re representing but also offers opportunity to network with individuals outside of your position but still within the industry,” Jenna said. “I got to discuss ideas looking through a manufacturing or distribution lens but with data scientists, engineers, sales individuals and other positions unlike my own.”
For anyone considering attending an MHI conference or any professional industry event for the first time, especially young professionals, Jenna advises focusing on confidence and understanding what you have to bring to the table.
“The old adage fake it ‘til you make it couldn’t ring more true as a first-time conference attendee,” she said. “Similar to traveling to a city for the first time, don’t look like a tourist. Be confident in yourself and your posture during networking sessions and be curious during keynote addresses.”
Millwood is a proud member of MHI, and we are grateful for the opportunity to attend their annual conferences, trade shows and spring meetings. Supply chain disruptions over the course of the past few years exposed underlying issues that technology is now advancing to address, and staying on top of these updates is essential for supply chain businesses.