Roundtables / MHEDA Talks

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Speed Networking Roundtables – Thursday, August 12th from 2:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Peer-to-Peer Discussions on 2021 Material Handling Trends


  • 2:15 pm – 3:00 pm – Session #1
  • 3:00 pm – 3:15 pm – Break/Move to a Different Table
  • 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm – Session #2

What are the 2021 Material Handling Business Trends? What experiences are your industry peers having with managing these trends? Come network and learn during the convention roundtable discussions. You will have the opportunity to share your perspective and experience on a variety of current industry issues. New in 2021: The networking sessions will be faster, shorter in length and “speedy” so that you have the opportunity to participate in two different roundtables and network with two different groups of people!

MHEDA Talks – Friday, August 13th from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm

MHEDA Talks is a series of mini-sessions designed to help you think about how to better manage your material handling business and team. Each session is 30-minutes in length, and presented consecutively so that you can attend an assortment of programs. Look for more information this summer for a number of MHEDA Talks speakers who will also be presenting webinars on these topics.


  • 11:30 am – 12:00 pm – Session #1 – Sales
  • 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Session #2 – Managing Changes
  • 2:10 pm – 2:40 pm – Session #3 – Marketing
  • 2:50 pm – 3:20 pm – Session #4 – CRM
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Session #5 – Telematics
  • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Session #6 –  Warehouse Fulfillment

Session #1 of 6: The Complexity of Sales Today – Field and Inside Sales

Presented by Ty Swain, CEO and Founder of Growth Dynamics
11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Ty Swain

As a global leader in sales selection and performance, Growth Dynamics will present on how the Pandemic, technology advances and a more “virtual” marketplace have changed how customers buy, what they expect, and HOW today’s sales organizations must adapt and transform to succeed in a highly complex and competitive marketplace. Gain leadership solutions on how to build, develop and lead the “right” sales organization (field and inside sales) for today and the future.

About the Speaker: Ty Swain, CEO and Founder of Growth Dynamics brings over 30 years of sales, operations and sales leadership expertise in diverse industries that include material handling, robotics, automation, and other complex industries. Growth Dynamics is a global leader of solutions for sales selection, performance and transformation, arming today’s leadership with the tools and expertise to recruit, select, develop and build the “right” sales organization that FITS and performs. GDI is also a MHEDA member organization.

Session #2 of 6: Managing the Changes

Presented by Brian Beaulieu, ITR Economics
1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Brian Beaulieu

In this session we will discuss clear, actionable Management Objectives™ that are right for the coming years as we adapt to the ‘new normal.’ One thing will not change, successful businesses will have to constantly adapt to a sea of changing circumstances.

About the Speaker: Brian Beaulieu has been an economist with ITR Economics since 1982 and its CEO since 1987. At ITR, Brian has driven applied research with regard to business-cycle trend analysis and implemented that research at the practical, company level. For the past 39 years, he has been leading workshops and seminars across the US and Canada for thousands of business owners and executives. Brian has coauthored, with Alan Beaulieu, the books “Prosperity in the Age of Decline,” “Make Your Move,” and, for children, “But I Want It!” Brian serves on the Board of Directors of AriensCo, a global leader in snow equipment and lawn and garden equipment with operations through North America and Europe. He is also on the Advisory Board of Bellwether Wealth, a wealth management firm and sole platform for the ITR Equity Optimizer.

Session #3 of 6: Three Revenue Generating Marketing Moves You Must Make

Presented by Brian Bluff, Site Seeker
2:10 pm – 2:40 pm

Brian Bluff

2020 certainly didn’t do any favors for small or large businesses. The removal of in-person meetings as well as trade shows and conferences created a real hardship for many.

As we move deeper into 2021, a revenue-generating marketing strategy should be a key focus to help regain ground and quickly grow revenue. In this session, attendees will explore the three most important revenue-generating marketing tactics that will have a significant impact on sales for your business.


  • Aligning your messaging with the needs of your audience
  • Leveraging powerful digital ad targeting to reach your best prospects
  • Capitalizing on available marketing technologies to create a competitive advantage

About the Speaker: Brian Bluff co-founded Site-Seeker with his brother Eddie in 2003. He loves charts, tables, graphs – not necessarily in that order. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Brian earned his bachelor’s in microelectronic engineering at RIT and spent several years in the United States Navy. He went on to work for some of the country’s most successful companies including Pfizer, M&T Bank, and PAR Technology, where he held several vice president positions. Now in his role as CEO at Site-Seeker, Brian continues to help strategize on client accounts and supports our sales efforts. He also shares the secrets of digital marketing on the national stage.

Session #4 of 6: Unlocking the Power of your CRM

Presented by Lauren Zak, Director of Account Development, Concept Services, LTD.
2:50 pm – 3:20 pm

Lauren Zak

Modern management means solving for the bigger picture. More than ever, every organization is challenged with connecting the dots between their investments and revenue, but the key to a revenue-generating sales process is full visibility into your company’s customer lifecycle. Discover industry-specific tools to increase accountability and better manage your team by unlocking the power of your CRM.


  • Learn best practices to eliminate bottlenecks and drive a streamlined sales process through CRM adoption
  • Gain a clearer understanding of how to effectively measure results and validate investments in your team, partners, and technologies
  • Receive a sales, Marketing, and CRM FAQ sheet

About the Speaker: Lauren Zak started her career at Concept as a Business Development Manager exclusively working with Material Handling clients. She quickly gained a strong grasp and understanding of the market and its challenges, translating into growth for her customers and personal advancement within the organization. Today, Lauren is responsible for building business development strategy both internally for Concept as well as across its portfolio of over 100 partners, spanning several industries. Lauren’s passion for driving sales enablement and revenue growth is evident in the continued success of her partners and Concept alike.

Session #5 of 6: Telematics: Pre, During and Post Implementation

Presented by MHEDA Member Tom Plunkett, President, Telematics Consultants LLC.
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Tom Plunkett

Implementing any telematic system can be a real nightmare, especially for companies who aren’t prepared and have not been given the proper guidance or advice from the beginning of the project. In this session, we will discuss industry challenges.


  • Pre-Implementation; how to prepare and what tasks to complete before implementation day,
  • Implementation Day; how to make you take full advantage of tech’s time on site, not waste time still setting up software;
  • Post-Implementation; the project isn’t complete once the units are installed and on-line, it’s just beginning. This is the most important part, making sure you continue to see value thru OSHA compliance and data analytics.

About the Speaker: Presented by MHEDA Member Tom Plunkett, President, Telematics Consultants LLC. Telematic Consultants LLC is a young and dynamic company specializing in assisting/consulting with dealers and end users before, during and post implementation of telematics systems. TMC’s goal is to help dealers and their customers from the tedious process involved in implementing and maintaining telematics systems. Previous to starting Telematic Consultants LLC, over the past 15 years Tom has continued to refine his skills in the area of sales, strategic planning, marketing and operations as the Strategic Account Executive with ShockWatch/TotalTrax Inc.

Session #6 of 6: Rethinking Warehouse Fulfillment: The Future of Distribution

Presented by Steve Simmerman, Head of Global Alliances, Locus Robotics
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Steve Simmerman

The pandemic has caused a dramatic shift toward online shopping, significantly changing the way retailers handle orders and how fulfillment warehouses pick, ship, and deliver their orders.

The strategic need to be closer to the customer has given rise to pop-up fulfillment, dark stores, and more as retailers compete for online shopping dollars. There is growing pressure to deliver higher volumes faster and lower operation costs, while managing a shrinking labor pool. To meet consumer’s new expectations, the efficiency of your supply chain network is as critical as its resilience. The only viable way to cost-effectively alleviate this problem is through robotic-assisted fulfillment.

This presentation uses examples right from the warehouse floor to show:

  • How fulfilment operations are coping with the unprecedented demands placed on them during a succession of lockdowns across the world
  • How businesses have embraced digital transformation to improve the way they work; optimizing productivity and flexibility with minimal infrastructure changes
  • Why traditional models designed to handle peak periods were becoming increasingly unsustainable – even before the pandemic.

About the Speaker: Steve boasts 25+ years of experience in supply chain software/services, consultative selling, sales management, partner/alliance development & management, strategic marketing and product management – helping clients achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. Steve joined Locus after successfully leading sales and marketing teams for the industry’s premier supply chain execution software and service providers. With an intense focus on long-term, mutually-beneficial relationships, Steve works hand-in-hand with clients, partners and colleagues to evaluate, design, and implement the most effective supply chain solutions, positioning all parties for long-term growth and sustainable success.