Another Successful Latitude User Conference for the Books!

So, what made this year’s LUC really terrific?

The Face-to-Face.  We kicked off the Latitude User Conference with personalized one-on-one consulting sessions because they’re incredibly popular. Why? Because each session is designed to discuss what’s important to you, at your pace. The topic on a lot of minds this year? Precartonization.

Breakout Sessions. Whether it’s reducing receiving bottlenecks or footsteps in your warehouse, our session leaders focused on delivering actionable tactics that you can put into practice to drive better success the minute you returned to your operations. “I learned more in 2 days than I have in a year.” I can’t remember who said it, but I liked it . . .

The Venue. It was unanimous. Cedarbrook was unexpectedly amazing. The venue is a Northwest oasis, hidden away on 18 lush acres – but just minutes from SeaTac Airport. A win-win for sure. The bonus had to be the Heirloom Tomato Festival. Who knew you could do so much with tomatoes?

Networking With Like Users. We hope you made some new friends because we did. There were some great suggestions about publishing the list of attendees (along with their company bios and ERP systems) on the conference website for 2019. Ummm, genius!

The Entertainment. Hey, we like to have fun just as much as the next guy – especially after a full day of learning. Nate Jester’s up close magic on Sunday and stage show on Monday was nothing short of mind-blowing. Attendees are still talking about his act!

Lastly, we’d like to thank each attendee for making this conference one to remember. A special thanks to our keynote speakers, Bill Eckstrom and Randy Aronis, both are thought leaders in sales coaching, growth and team performance.

 

Top 5 Reasons to Register!

Come with questions. Leave with answers.

REASON #1: Going, going, gone!

Borrow money from a pessimist if you have to. He won’t expect it back. You only have through July 21 to take advantage of discounted registration rates.

REASON #2: Like-minded people will be there.

Actually, the criteria for other like-minded people is different for everyone. But, as a Latitude product user, whether your learning style is hands-on, one-on-one consulting, through user-led panels or product demos – the folks at PathGuide have you covered.

REASON #3: Location, location, location.

Never mind that our state flower is mildew, this year’s venue screams Pacific Northwest. Cedarbrook Lodge is conveniently 5 minutes from the airport and sits on 11 lush acres, all privately surrounded by beautifully restored wetlands.

REASON #4: A smorgasbord of stimulants.

We can name 3 without even thinking about it: keynote, coffee and magician. Because you deserve better than ordinary.

REASON #5: Record-breaking attendance.

Last year’s attendance numbers were the highest we’ve seen. Go on, register today and be the difference that contributes to the overall vibe of this fantastic event!

Early Bird Rates Won't Last Forever

Register Today and Save!

Make Plans to Attend PathGuide’s 2017 Latitude User Conference!

Register now to guarantee yourself a room and discounted rate. Book your hotel reservations by calling 206-429-4197 or clicking here. Our group booking code is PATH.

Whether it’s hands-on training, user-led panels, one-on-one consulting, or a demonstration, don’t miss the chance to further your Latitude WMS education and knowledge. This is a great opportunity to meet up with Latitude product peers who’ve taken the same journey on the quest towards warehouse excellence.

Here’s what a few of last year’s attendees had to say:

“I found the conference to be both educational and fun. We were able to walk away with 6-8 possible improvement opportunities that came as a result of the sessions, one-on-one consulting time and from other users. Just one of those ideas can justify the time and expense of the conference.”

“It was a very fulfilling and insightful experience, and offered a great opportunity for team-building while learning about parts of Latitude that I hadn’t known about before.”

“I highly recommend attending the PathGuide conference. We were able to separate ourselves from the day to day, and take a step back and look at our processes objectively and come up with ideas for improvements. We were also able to plan and obtain great ideas for the future growth of our company.”

Questions? Contact Rebecca Tonks at 425-438-2899 or by e-mailing her at rtonks@pathguide.com.

 

Registration Opens Today for PathGuide’s Latitude User Conference!

A Conference That Truly Pays Professional Development Dividends

Today marks the opening of early bird registration for PathGuide’s Latitude User Conference. Join us at the Cedarbrook Lodge in Seattle this September 10-12.

This fun, yet education-focused event, offers any conference attendee full access to PathGuide engineers and Latitude power users. We specifically design each LUC around brand new users, warehouse managers and staff, C-level executives, IT professionals, and prospective clients.

So, why will attendees (regardless of their level of user experience) be impressed by our agenda? Because a good chunk of the content ideas come from Latitude product users. PathGuide understands that a conference agenda and its content can be the deciding factor when it comes to clicking the registration button or passing on the invite altogether.

The ever-popular one-on-one training sessions, educational panels and networking opportunities with other product peers is what really sets PathGuide’s Latitude User Conference apart. And, you can count on the breakout training sessions and hands-on training to cover the latest insights as we illustrate the things on PathGuide’s horizon.

Finally, this year’s General Session Keynote Address is sure to impress. Bill Eckstrom’s “Getting Comfortable With Discomfort” will open your eyes to how dangerous it can be to remain in the state of comfort. You’ll be amazed at the outcomes that discomfort can have on your life, and the lives of others. Come learn why Bill’s personal and professional development ideas are essential to growth.

Early registration discounts are available now through July 21, 2017, but don’t wait. Reserve your spot soon. Remember, bring more – save more!

More information about the 2017 Latitude User Conference can be found here.

Tompkins Industries, Inc.

Customer Spotlight: Tompkins Canada

Looking at You, Tompkins Canada

Customer Spotlight

We have the pleasure of introducing Tompkins Canada, part of the Tompkins Industries family of distributors for hydraulic adapters and fluid power products. Established in 1967, Tompkins Industries has built a strong reputation and loyal customer base thanks to its commitment to exceptional quality and outstanding customer service. In the five decades since it first opened its doors, Tompkins has expanded to 11 locations in the US, with one location in Mississauga, Ontario.

Tompkins offers several services that set it apart from the pack. Not least of these is its same-day shipping guarantee from any of its distribution centers. In addition, Tompkins promises competitive pricing and one of the largest in-stock inventories in the industry, with over 8,000 combinations of hydraulic adapters.

Tompkins knows that when a production line grinds to a halt due to a hydraulic adapter or fitting failure, getting replacement parts as soon as possible can directly reduce downtime. That’s why customers have grown to depend on Tompkins’ fast shipping and 98% fill rate on standard catalog items.

Latitude WMS

“PathGuide’s WMS allows us to grow our business and increase our bottom line without adding bodies in the warehouse,” said Sean McGuinness, general manager of Tompkins Canada. “We are confident that this partnership with PathGuide will help us further support and provide our customers with exceptional service through continuous improvements of warehouse efficiencies.”

Tompkins is just one of PathGuide’s Canadian customers, a roster that includes companies such Chalifour Canada, E.B. Horsman & Son, Red-L Distributors Ltd., and Thomas Skinner & Son Ltd. Latitude has helped these companies improve accuracy, speed and efficiency, provide better customer service, lower labor costs and ultimately increase their revenues. For Tompkins, this ensures that the company can stick to its mission of providing customers with quality parts and service that is second to none.

More Information

For more information about Tompkins and its Mississauga location, visit the company’s website. More information about Latitude WMS can be found here.

Supply Chains Staying the Course in 2017

The overall outlook for supply chains in 2017 is quite rosy, but let’s identify some specific areas where the industry could or should be headed this year.

Staying the Course

First and foremost, I suspect that we won’t see any significant technological breakthroughs or paradigm shifts in 2017 that will disrupt current best practices in the supply chain. Instead, I’m certain that we’ll see a steady stream of developments that continue to improve existing efficiencies or reduce costs, in addition to a widespread push for vendors to demonstrate added value.

Consumer demands continue to drive technology adoption

E-commerce and the omni-channel experience will continue to capture buyer mindshare over more traditional brick-and-mortar retail models, which are suffering from over-capacity. We can expect long-term customer loyalty to be driven by the so-called unified experience or continuity of experience. Vendors able to consistently deliver perfect shipments will be able to capitalize on this trend. For companies in supply chain logistics, this will require ever-tighter carrier relationships and technologies, which will eventually include the emergence of autonomous commercial freight deliveries. These companies are also likely to deploy GPS-enabled tools that provide up-to-the-minute information about freight location, en route conditions (like temperature), and arrival time estimates.

3PL vendors benefit

These trends may help 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) providers gain significant market share, but may also force some industry consolidation. One differentiating factor will be analytics, and how data can be used to capture pick, pack and ship costs. There is a cost associated with managing warehousing and logistics internally versus outsourcing, so the ability of a company to evaluate the overhead for storing and retrieving inventory efficiently and accurately will remain key in delivering shipments profitably.

Hype, with a grain of salt

While autonomous vehicles and drones are certainly breakthrough technologies, numerous barriers need to be overcome before these become mainstream. These include regulations around safety (or perceived danger) and privacy, as they attempt to coexist with traditional modes of transportation. It is my view that the use of drones for shipping will be confined to very short-range hovers or stops based on battery limitations, FAA altitude restrictions, drone pilot certification and autonomous flight technologies, and clearances limited to line-of-sight flying.

Whatever 2017 brings, it is shaping up to be a busy, productive year in the world of logistics and supply chains. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

About the author

Eric Allais, President and CEO of Washington-based PathGuide Technologies, Inc., has over 30 years of experience in marketing, product management and sector analysis in the automated data collection industry, including warehouse management practices in wholesale distribution.

Customer Spotlight: Red-L Distributors

Customer Spotlight

Red-L Distributors has built its business by providing customers with quality products, great product selection, added value, and personal service. Based near Edmonton in Alberta, the company has been supplying Canada’s oilfield, agricultural, transportation, construction, mining, and forestry industries since 1961. Today the company offers a diversified range of products from hydraulic, industrial, and high pressure hoses and fittings to lubricants, bowie pumps, and diesel engine oil, all from its 12 locations in Alberta and British Columbia.

Why Latitude?

Red-L first implemented PathGuide’s Latitude WMS in 2007 for its advanced features and compatibility with their ERP system. As it rolled out Latitude WMS, the company was able to transform its warehouse into a cleaner, safer and much more efficient workplace by reorganizing its operations and taking full advantage of the enhanced layout and workflow. Following this successful deployment, in 2011 Red-L began using Latitude’s Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) functionality to help its clients efficiently maintain stock levels and independently manage replenishment orders. Red-L had found traditional forms of vendor-managed inventory replenishment problematic because they were generally slow and prone to human error, resulting in increased travel time for Red-L’s sales team and lengthy replenishment cycles.

VMI orders are processed by Latitude and imported directly into Red-L’s ERP. The process is not only very efficient, it also saves a significant amount of time and reduces the likelihood of input errors. This has given Red-L a competitive advantage, and greatly reduced the burden on Red-L’s clients. In fact, 40 of Red-L’s clients now use VMI to handle product replenishment, averaging an 80 percent improvement in turnaround times.

More Information

To learn more about Red-L, visit their website at: http://www.redl.com/. More information about Latitude WMS can be found here: http://www.pathguide.com/Solutions.aspx.

People on the Move at PathGuide

We’ve had some staffing changes among our management team that we thought you’d like to hear more about. So without further ado, allow us to introduce three staff members who have recently taken on a more prominent role within PathGuide. They are John Tully, who is our new software development manager; Marc Matthews, recently promoted to customer service and QA manager; and Jay Heim, who is now our implementation & training manager.

To give you an idea of their responsibilities, here is an overview of what each person will be in charge of:

John Tully – Software Development Manager

John is a new hire at PathGuide, but already has a solid background in the software development language deployed in Latitude WMS. Before joining PathGuide, he served in the Marine Corps, and later established expertise in managing software development teams much larger than PathGuide’s existing engineering team. John will work closely with PathGuide’s R&D team in order to support customer growth and Latitude version migration. In addition, John will act as liaison with the customer service and implementation departments to ensure rapid response to issues and opportunities requiring engineering expertise.

Fun fact:  John likes fishing, archery, reading and fixing things that are broken, such as lawn mowers, kids’ toys and bikes.

Marc Matthews – Customer Service and QA Manager

Marc has been with PathGuide since 2007. He started in customer support and quickly gained a reputation as the go-to guy for tough questions from customers. Later, Marc moved into engineering with a big role in the testing and certification process for major carriers, including UPS and FedEx. While there, he developed an automated test harness for Latitude to better ensure product quality as enhancements and version releases are rolled out to customers. Marc was also instrumental in establishing a ‘case ownership’ approach that led to support engineers seeing a case through from initiation to close, while also giving customers a single point of contact to manage questions and issues for better continuity. Customers using this single point of contact include E.B. Horsman, Appliance Parts Depot, Ellsworth, and Mechanix Wear.

Fun fact:  Weekends generally mean fishing, camping, computer gaming, or target shooting for Marc.

Jay Heim – Implementation & Training Manager

Jay joined PathGuide in March 2015, and steps into the role previously held by George Lindholm. Jay has a proven track record of successful Latitude WMS implementations with customers such as Plumbers Supply, Tompkins Canada and Kelly’s Supply. Jay is dedicated to continuous improvement in all areas of training and implementation to ensure that PathGuide is meeting and exceeding customer expectations. Jay brings excellent project management skills to coordinate the moving parts of an install, from kick-off to hand-off to Customer Support.

Fun fact:  Outside work, Jay likes camping, flying drones and paintball. You can find him paintballing almost every nice weekend between March and September.