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3D printing & skills workshop spark discussion and debate at SHD Logistics Autumn Conference

3D printing & skills workshop spark discussion and debate at SHD Logistics Autumn Conference

On Thursday the 15th of October, the second conference from SHD Logistics took place at ZSL London Zoo, delivering a diverse programme alongside networking and debate.

The event, attended by over 100 delegates and described as “exceptionally superb” by business consultant Dan Derry, began with Andrew Griffiths - managing director of Prologis UK - providing the keynote address.

Andrew’s market overview, described logistics property as, “a cyclical business – like many other sectors – it goes through cycles of boom and bust… According to Gerald Eve, the availability of Grade A space in prime markets by the end of Q2 this year, reached a historic low of 2.1%.”

The headline sponsor address from Bernard Molloy - global industrial logistics director at Unipart Logistics – discussed productivity in business and the Unipart Way.

3D printing: Re-thinking for logistics and supply chains
Catherine Weetman, director of Re-Think Solutions, talked delegates through the impact of 3D Printing on the logistics industry. The audience listened intently as our speaker described a trial by Royal Mail which involved offering consumers custom designs and ready to print objects via 3D printing stations. Catherine also depicted plans by shipping company Maersk, to hold 3D printers on tanker vessels which would allow the crew to print out spare parts on demand.

James Osborn, strategy manager at Sainsbury's Supermarkets, talked about his approach to automation. James told delegates that it’s time to “adjust the lens.” He advised his audience that “people are always more flexible than machines” and to “empower and trust suppliers to advise you.” His final point was: “If you decide because of price you’ve missed the point.”

The future skills workshop included a presentation on the Career Ready programme by Ian Nichol, National STEM development manager at Career Ready UK, alongside 16 year old Adam Albones . The teenager, whose brave presentation impressed the audience, now aims to pursue a career in logistics because of the internship opportunity he received via the programme. Delegates worked in groups, facilitated by young people from West Derby School, to produce a 60-second elevator pitch to attract a school leaver into their sector. This vibrant 45 minute interactive session led to some inspiring suggestions from audience members.

Charlie Howard, managing director UK at Logicor, discussed a market which is evolving at an unprecedented rate. He explained how a “lack of supply” is forcing occupiers to take long term (15+ year) leases.

During the live interview with former Deputy Prime Minister Lord John Prescott and Dr. Peter Waterman, Pop Idol judge and member of The Northern Freight & Logistics Study Private Sector Reference Group – on the topic of future skills – we were reminded that: “Rick Astley and Simon Cowell were once apprentices.” Peter also made the point that employing apprentices makes businesses money.

Exhibitors on the day included our headline sponsor, Unipart Logistics and our brochure sponsor Knapp UK. SSI Schaefer, World Chain Stores and Voiteq also exhbited at the event.

The next SHD Logistics Conference will take place in March 2016. Register your interest in attending here.


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