ProMat 2017 - supply chain, manufacturing, distribution trade show
McCormick Place
Chicago, IL | April 3-6, 2017

Conference & Networking

Andrew Winston
Sustainability expert and author of Green to Gold

Markus Lorenz
Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises

Dana Carvey
Actor & Emmy Award Winning Comedian Performing at MHI Industry Night at ProMat


Free to all registered attendees.


April 3 | 8:45 – 9:45 AM

Building Supply Chain Sustainability for Competitive Advantage: Lessons learned from leaders in innovative facility design

Andrew Winston Sustainability expert and author of Green to Gold
Tamara BarkerChief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environmental Affairs, UPS
Randolph L. BradleyTechnical Fellow, Supply Chain Management, The Boeing Company
Rick BingleVice President of Supply Chain, REI

Andrew Winston will lead a panel of manufacturing and supply chain sustainability leaders as they discuss how companies both large and small can use environmental strategy to grow, create enduring value and build stronger supply chains. Learn first-hand how leading brands have successfully incorporated environmentally sound practices into their facility design and how it is driving efficiency and cost savings.


April 4 | 8:45 – 9:45 AM

Industry 4.0 – How intelligent machines are transforming supply chains

Markus Lorenz Partner and Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us: machines infused with intelligence. This transformation will transform how manufacturing and supply chains work today. During this keynote, Markus Lorenz will explore the many ways this revolution will impact our industry, the economy and what kinds of new jobs it will create.


April 5 | 8:45 – 9:45 AM

Preview of MHI 2017 Annual Industry Report

George W. Prest CEO, MHI
Scott Sopher Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

This is your opportunity to be the first to have access to this new report on the supply chain trends and technologies that are transforming supply chains. Scott Sopher, the principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP's Supply Chain practice will join George W. Prest, CEO of MHI in presenting the findings and moderating a panel of manufacturing and supply chain leaders on the report's findings.

April 5 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM

The Power of Magic: Know your customer and where they are going

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises

Perhaps best known as a National Basketball Association (NBA) legend, two-time Hall of Famer, and Olympic Gold Medalist, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has enjoyed an equally successful second career in business. He has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity on the court into the business world, propelling his company to the status of #1 Brand in Urban America valued at an estimated $1 billion dollars.

As customers and markets move very quickly, products and solutions must be relevant to where customers are today and where they are going to be tomorrow. In this fireside chat with DC Velocity Group Editorial Director Mitch Mac Donald, the NBA legend and Entrepreneur will reveal the secrets to his business and personal success. Join us as he drives home how his core focus on customer service — by always over delivering on customer expectations — propelled his business investments forward.

Learn first-hand, how he dedicated himself to bringing jobs and high quality products and services to underserved communities. He did this by developing unprecedented partnerships with major corporations as he wrote the corporate blueprint for engagement and success with urban consumers across America.

Choose from 100 expert-led sessions conveying a broad array of supply chain, material handling and logistics topics. Sessions are offered free to all registered show attendees.

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Sustainable Facility Solutions Theater


April 3

Reusable Packaging and Sustainable Facility Trends

Reusable packaging systems continue to expand as a preferred means for transporting goods through supply chains. In addition, leading firms are taking a more sustainable approach in their supply chain facilities and are reaping tangible business results. Learn from the experts how you can take advantage of these trends and implement them in your supply chain operations.

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Reusable Packaging Industry Trends
Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)

2:00 – 3:00 PM
Sustainable Distribution Center Design

When REI made the choice to build the most sustainable distribution center in the world, they also committed to sharing how it was done. The integrated design approach created a unique collaborative approach that stretched the imagination of what was possible. Whether challenging the energy modelling of MHE to scale the solar system or challenging what employee comfort means in a desert environment REI and their partners overcame the obstacles and achieved the design goals. REI is committed to open sourcing of the facility design and will share how a vision became reality.

3:00 – 4:00 PM
Reusable Packaging in DC and Warehouse Operations
Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)


April 4

The Impact of Automation on Supply Chain Sustainability

Advancements in technology and automation are impacting packaging design, supply chain distribution and distribution center material handling. Learn the latest trends in automation in reusable packaging and how automation innovation is making supply chain facilities more sustainable.

10:15 – 11:00 AM
Automation Trends in Reusable Packaging
Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)

11:00 AM– 12:00 PM
Unlocking One-Touch Omni-channel Distribution

REI's vision for their new facility in Arizona extended beyond sustainability and asked “What if technology could enable picking and order assembly in one-touch?” REI then identified partners who were energized by the challenge and pursued the solution. REI will review how this vision became real in Arizona by integrating mature technologies in a new way that resets the notion of omni-channel distribution.

12:00 – 1:00 PM
Reusable Packaging Technology
Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)

2:00 - 3:00 PM
Investing in Solar Energy
Canadian Solar (USA) Inc.

Autonomous Vehicle Solutions Theater


April 3

Drones in the supply chain: What's the big deal about cycle counting?

10:45 – 11:30 AM
PINC Solutions

Companies that carry a significant amount of inventory are continually looking for better ways to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their inventory checking process. Some companies stop operations to carry out a full physical inventory check. Other operations are able to be more targeted, with cycle counts in areas that deal with high-value or high- volume product. Irrespective of your approach, it often means that there is a team of individuals roaming the warehouse manually checking inventory. This can be time consuming, expensive, disruptive, require equipment, and exposes people to safety risks. Industry leading companies are now looking into Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or “drones”, coupled with advanced optical sensor capabilities, to significantly improve the operational effectiveness and efficiency of inventory checks. It can be ordered by the operator to perform automatic inventory checks throughout the warehouse, accurately identifying inventory in put away locations, at the frequency of your choosing. Moving the process of information capture into the air provides on demand checks and avoids the time, expense, and risk of using a people lifts to access difficult to reach locations within the warehouse.

Commercial Drones and the American Regulatory Landscape: Past, Present, and Future

12:45 – 1:30 PM
Small UAV Coalition

The Small UAV Coalition is comprised of the leading manufacturers, software and hardware providers, end users, and service providers of companies in the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. In addition to cultivating groundbreaking collaboration amongst member companies, the Small UAV Coalition has been successful in setting the policy debate surrounding the commercial drone industry in Washington D.C. As the first association focused exclusively on commercial UAS, the Coalition continues to be the leading voice for change in law and policy to permit the operation of small UAVs beyond the line-of-sight, with varying degrees of autonomy, for commercial, civil, and philanthropic purposes. Hear from the Small UAV Coalition's Executive Director on the wide range of existing commercial drone applications and the regulatory framework in place today, as well as the cutting-edge applications and regulatory landscape on the horizon.

How Drone Delivery is Disrupting the Supply Chain

2:00 – 2:45 PM

Flirtey is one of the premier independent drone delivery services, with a mission to create the fastest, most efficient and customer-centric delivery service in the world. In the past year, Flirtey has conducted historical drone deliveries including the first FAA-approved delivery in the U.S. and the first fully autonomous drone delivery to a home in the U.S. Flirtey's landmark achievements have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for display at its Air and Space Museum, which accepted the Flirtey drone to join other iconic American aircraft, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Wright Flyer, on display at the museum. Hear from Flirtey's CEO about this company's vision to disrupt your supply chain with drone delivery.


April 4

Advanced Aircraft Company

12:00 – 12:45 PM
Technology Advancements of Aerial Robotics
Presenter: William J. Fredericks, Founder & CEO, Advanced Aircraft Company

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology is rapidly accelerating and will soon reach an inflection point where it is more cost effective to utilize UAS to accomplish tasks over traditional means. The confluence of: advanced aerodynamic design, hybrid electric propulsion, low cost control systems, miniaturization of sensors and autonomous software is now providing capabilities not previously possible. This presentation will cover a broad overview of new technology in the UAS industry and follow with an interactive discussion regarding how these technologies will meet end user needs. Potential user needs to be discussed include, but not limited to: warehouse inventory management, direct transportation of small packages, tracking of intermodal ISO containers in transfer yards, provided site/facility security to reduce security personal labor costs.

Scanners Taking Flight: The World of Warehouse Sensing is Changing

10:45 – 11:30 AM

It's clear that drones are transforming numerous industries, driving efficiency and enhancing safety. But how do they fit within supply chains? Learn how drones and other mobile sensors can become a core cost-cutting component of your business. Jonathan Evans of Skyward, a leading drone operations management platform, will discuss how drones are much more than delivery vehicles or flying cameras. From facilities inspections to inventory counting, learn how mobile sensors like drones are accelerating change in the supply chain today.

Drones in Logistics

1:30 – 2:15 PM

This talk focuses on the capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the potential applications to logistics. Discussions will include indoor and outdoor drone operation including regulatory considerations, operator training and system maintenance, and lessons from research and industry

Town Hall Discussion: Art of the Possible, UAS in the Supply Chain Industry

2:45 - 3:30 PM
Moderated by: Jonathan Rupprecht, Esq., Rupprecht Law

This is your opportunity to discuss the present and future applications of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology in the supply chain industry. An article written by Kate Bertrand Connolly cited the Walker Sands' 2016 Future of Retail Study showing that 79% of respondents would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to request drone delivery of a package if it could be delivered within an hour. Whether leveraging aerial robots to improve operational efficiency inside a building or making deliveries to homes or parking lots, there are a number of important factors and considerations before flying indoors or outdoors. This panel will explore what can be done today, what can be done tomorrow, and how to plan, budget, and assess ROI before integrating UAS in manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, or retail operations to maximize the potential of technology in todays supply chain.


April 5

How self-driving vehicles impact the first mile and enable lean manufacturing

10:45 - 11:30 AM
OTTO Motors

Manufacturers tend to focus on solving challenges related to the Last Mile, but every last mile has a First Mile. It is often the process of material transport within intralogistics that is overlooked, yet material handling accounts for 30-75% of an item's total production cost. By abiding to lean principles and implementing intelligent technologies that enable data-driven results, the first mile can generate a growth center instead of a cost center. Learn how self-driving vehicles impact the first mile and enable lean manufacturing. OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath, provides self-driving vehicle technology to manufacturers to enable to safe, flexible, and rugged material transport. For more information visit


April 4

Women in the Supply Chain Industry Forum

Powered by MHI
$99 for MHI & MHEDA members – includes lunch and a free ticket to Industry Night (a $50 value)
$119 for non-members– includes lunch and a free ticket to Industry Night (a $50 value)
Room S102BC

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MHI has partnered with MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association) and AWESOME (Achieving Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, Management and Education) to bring an afternoon of discussion, education and networking for women in our industry. Join your peers for this interactive event to address common issues faced by women in the supply chain force today.

12:00 - 12:30 PM

12:30 - 1:15 PM
Networking Luncheon

1:15 - 1:30 PM

1:30 - 2:15 PM
How to Influence your Company and the Industry (Panel)
Panel of industry leaders giving their advice on how to break down walls in your company. Panelists will address issues facing women today and how they can help themselves and clear the path for next generation of women.

2:15 - 2:30 PM

2:30 - 3:30 PM

3:30 - 4:15 PM
Roundtable Discussions Another session giving you time to discuss business and professional challenges with your peers

4:15 - 4:30 PM
Questions / Wrap-up

MHI Young Professionals Networking Event

5:00 - 6:30 PM
Room 102D

Join MHI’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) at our Meet and Greet networking reception in Room S102D of McCormick Place South. Network and connect with other young professionals in the material handling and supply chain industry. The event runs from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Open to current and prospective members of the group, pre-registration is not required. Tickets will be handed out to attendees for 2 free drinks.



April 5 | 4:30-7:00 PM

MHI Industry Night with Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey Actor & Emmy Award Winning Comedian

Join us for live music, food, drinks and entertainment by comedian Dana Carvey. Tickets are sold for $50. Ticket price will include beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. (MHEFI).

Saturday Night Live Alum and Emmy –award winning comedian Dana Carvey is best known for his classic characters The Church Lady, Hans from body building duo Hans and Franz and Garth, the most Excellent Co-Host to Mike Myers in the immensely popular “Wayne's World.” Carvey has also received widespread praise for his uncanny comedic impersonations of such political figures as George Bush, Ross Perot, as well as Johnny Carson, Regis Philbin and Casey Kasem.

Door Prize: Trip of a Lifetime

The door prize for this event will be a luxury package trip of a lifetime vacation for four. Value: $30,000. See official rules.

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