• Powell Slaughter

Epperson keynotes Logistics Symposium: ‘Just in time’ now ‘just in moments’

Industry analyst to focus on importance of speed to industry and consumers

logistics symposium logoHIGH POINT – Industry analyst Jerry Epperson will give the keynote address at the 2016 Logistics Symposium hosted by Furniture/Today and the American Home Furnishings Alliance.

Epperson, managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson in Richmond, Va., will open the event’s main session on June 8 at High Point University’s Phillips Hall. He will provide an overview of the nature of the furniture industry not so many years ago and compare that to today’s environment and the importance of speed to market – make that speed to consumer.

“Now, logistics determine whether you’re profitable or not,” Epperson said. “We’ve always had the front end of the store and the back end of the business. Now we have a ‘third’ end, which is logistics.”

Epperson believes many in the industry still don’t truly understand the impact of the Internet and mass-market retailers such as Wal-Mart on consumer expectations when it comes to furniture.

“This has created a whole new competitive environment, and it’s all based on logistics,” Epperson said. “I remember when ‘just-in-time’ (manufacturing) was hot. Now it’s ‘just-in-seconds.’”

Powell SlaughterPowell Slaughter | Senior Editor

I'm Powell Slaughter, senior editor at Furniture/Today. I returned to the publication in January 2015 after nine years of writing about furniture retail strategies and best practices at a monthly magazine focusing on home furnishings retail operations. Prior to that, I spent 10 years with F/T covering wood furniture, the last five of those as case goods editor. While I cover occasional, home entertainment and home office here, a major responsibility is expanding our attention to the logistics side of the industry. I hope my articles will encourage a dialogue with retailers, vendors, third-party logistics specialists and carriers. I’d love to hear your ideas, concerns and suggestions for smoother flow of material and goods.

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