Earlier this week, I attended the University of Innovative Distribution (UID) in Indianapolis, IN, as program chairman. It has been a true pleasure and source of pride to serve this year as the UID chair. This highly informative four-day conference is a concentrated educational program focused on the unique needs of the wholesale distribution industry. This year marks the 25th anniversary of UID serving the distribution supply chain in providing quality training and networking opportunities to industry professionals.
Known worldwide for excellence in education, UID is sponsored by 40 of the leading distribution trade associations (including NACD), in cooperation with the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University. Working together, these groups take great pride in providing a superior learning experience.
I am happy to announce that UID set an attendance record with 616 registered attendees from 351 companies representing seven countries including Canada, Italy, South Africa, Mexico, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States.
Ashley Nasca, NACD’s education coordinator, and I sat in on classes that focused on sales, leadership, warehousing and inventory, and much more! We also were able to network with many of the NACD members in attendance, including those from Superior Oil Company, Webb Chemical Services Corporation, Quadra Chemicals, Sea-Land Chemical Company, and the Cary Company.
In fact, John Nekic, Assistant Plant Manager for Webb Chemical Services Corp., told me, “UID 2019 has been a great experience. It’s unlike other traditional format conferences in that the classes are very engaging and can be as content-specific as you need. I was able to connect with professionals in other industries and the collaboration has been excellent. I am excited about the opportunities from UID that we can further explore at Webb!”
In addition to the value of the program and the new opportunities John mentioned, at the conclusion of UID, all attendees receive an official Letter of Completion issued by Purdue University awarding 30 hours or three Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for satisfactory completion of this four-day UID program. These CEUs may be applied toward a Professional Certificate in Innovative Distribution from Purdue. As an innovative distribution professional, the Purdue University Certificate recognizes achievements and commitment to continuing education. The certificate is awarded upon completion of 90 hours or nine CEUs of approved course work, meaning attending this impactful program just three times will secure a certificate and open new doors for your workforce.
UID is held every March and is of great value to all NACD members. I highly encourage NACD member companies to send one or more of their employees to UID next year. It is money well-spent on giving your employees a better skillset to do their jobs effectively. And this program will lead to connections that will help your workers grow in their careers and potentially bring new business to your organization. It was a pleasure being part of such an important event, and I hope I’ll see you there next year! If you have any questions about how to attend in 2020, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Ashley at NACD.