Beverage Industry is gearing up to welcome the attendees of the 13th annual BevOps Fleet Summit to fabulous Las Vegas. An event for beverage warehousing and distribution professionals, the BevOps Fleet Summit will take place March 19-21 at the M Resort Spa & Casino in Henderson, Nev. The three-day conference will address the business challenges and industry trends of today’s beverage marketplace and how operators can prepare for what’s next.

Those who attend the BevOps Fleet Summit are able to obtain a competitive advantage by learning directly from industry leaders about current trends and challenges; making connections and expanding their industry network; get hands-on experience at special live events; enjoy relaxed networking events; and discover the newest products and services applicable to the industry.

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For some, the conference will kick-off with a golf tournament at 11:30 a.m. on March 19. For those not attending the golfing event, the conference will begin with a welcome reception slated from 6 to 8 p.m.

At 8 a.m. on March 20, the exhibit portion of the event will open, allowing attendees to see the latest solutions that support beverage warehouse and distribution operations. The education portion of the conference is set to begin at 9 a.m. with a keynote address from Cory Rellas, chief executive officer of online alcohol-delivery provider Drizly. Rellas will discuss the impact that eCommerce is having on beverage distribution and how partnering with beer, wine and spirits wholesalers is enhancing operations across the supply chain.

That morning also will feature a general session panel titled “Going Big: Harnessing Big Data in Fleet & Warehouse Operations.” The panel will welcome Dan Betz, executive vice president of operations for Andrews Distributing; Lester Jones, chief economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association; and Kris Hacker, vice president of analytics and business development for Columbia Distributing. The trio will discuss how beverage operations have become inundated with data from the road, trading partners and their own facilities and what it all means when trying to optimize and manage beverage operations.

The afternoon will begin with separate fleet and operations tracks. For the fleet portion, topics will address hot-button topics such as “CDL Training, Recruitment & Retention,” “On Autopilot: The Potential Impact of Autonomous Vehicles,” “All-Electric: The Future of Sustainable Fleets?,” and “Containing Costs Amidst Rising Freight & Fuel Prices.”

For the operations tracks on March 20, the sessions will feature “Cyber-security for Today’s Beverage Facilities,” “End to End Automation for a Smarter Warehouse,” “Recruiting & Retaining for Today’s Automated Warehouse,” and “Strategies to Reduce Risks & Costs When Upgrading & Expanding.”

The next day of the conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with a keynote address from Ron Kane, chief supply chain officer for Pabst Brewing Co. Kane will detail the complexities of the evolving U.S. distribution landscape from the perspective of the country’s fifth-largest beer company.

Kane’s address will be immediately followed by a general session panel titled “Safety Training & Management on the Road and in the Warehouse.” The panel will welcome Gary Yurt, president and chief safety adviser for Industrial Safety & Training Services; Brian Lundberg, operations manager for Atlas Distributing; and Eric Joseph, vice president of operations for Del Papa Distributing. The group will discuss best practices and policies that beverage warehouses and fleets can apply for a safer working environment across the organization.

The morning will continue with the final breakout sessions for the distribution and operations tracks. For distribution, the day will include “What’s on the Regulatory Horizon” and “A World-Class Vehicle Maintenance Plan.” Concurrently, the operations session will feature the topics “From Receiving Docks to Store Shelf – What Works, What Doesn’t Work?” and “When Mother Nature Intervenes: Protecting Your Supply Chain in the Wake of Natural Disasters.”

After the breakout sessions end, buses will load attendees for the Ride & Drive/Equipment Demo at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which will take place from 1 to 4 p.m.

The conclusion of the conference will culminate with a facility tour with Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits. The 340,000-square-foot facility houses more than 17,000 SKUs and features the latest in cutting-edge conveyor, wave control, routing, inventory tracking and digital security technologies. Having packed and shipped more than 9 million cases in 2018 and with current plans for expansion — an additional 110,000 square feet — this is an ideal tour for those looking to discover what is needed to keep beverage distribution successful going into the new decade. BI