– Creating a funding source that supports material handling and logistics initiatives in research, education, innovation and development

– Building a vision and roadmap for next generation supply chains and material handling and logistics strategies that support them

– Developing the workforce for the future of distribution, warehousing and manufacturing

– Expanding industry and academia collaboration especially in research and technology transfer

– Creating better interoperability between material handling and supply chain hardware/software


Material Handling Industry of America

The Summit was a meeting of more than 30 industry professionals from four groups (academics, end users, industry consultants, and industry solution providers). During the three-day event, participants discussed the current trends and challenges facing material handling and logistics, discussed the impact of those trends and challenges, and developed a prioritised list of initiatives to address those trends and challenges. The Summit was sponsored by Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) and the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE).

The focus was on face-to-face participation by individuals over three days of facilitated group working sessions. A group of editors representing DC Velocity, Industrial Equipment News, Material Handling Management, and Modern Materials Handling moderated the breakout sessions.

“This was the first time that MHIA and CICMHE, or any other group for that matter, brought together people from these four constituencies of material handling and logistics,” said Mike Ogle, organiser of the event as vice president of educational and technical services at MHIA. He added: “We really didn’t know upfront what was going to come out of this event. But we’re very pleased with the quality of the discussions and the direction that the initiatives have provided.”

But “this is only a start,” said event host Ben Montreuil of the Universite Laval in his closing remarks. “We will be using the outcome to set priorities at CICMHE for the foreseeable future.”

Plans are already underway to turn the event’s 14 themes and 52 initiatives into action items that will help guide the industry into the future, said John Nofsinger, CEO of MHIA. “The agenda set in Whitefish allows us to respond to real world challenges. And that is exactly what we will be working on going forward.”

Material Handling Industry of America MHIA