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Day 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 7th

Supply Chain Issues

11:00 AM - NOON


Session Track Sponsor

Supply Chain Issues: Where Do We Go From Here?

By now, manufacturers have started to recover from the massive supply chain issues they’ve faced over the past two years. Parts shortages, decreased allocations, higher container costs, longer lead times and labor scarcity have been challenging to say the least. To adapt, many manufacturers have eliminated any semblance of just-in-time strategy in favor of the just-in-case strategy (e.g., stockpiling inventory). However, that’s not sustainable, and there’s a reason so many companies have shifted away from it over the past few decades. This presentation will outline what manufacturers can expect over the next year and beyond and include strategies and tactics to mitigate supply chain risk without jeopardizing cash flow.

Wipfli - Joe Girard Headshot.jpg

Joe Girard, Sr. Business Developer | WIPFLI

   With 25+ years of experience in the manufacturing industry, Joe leverages his skills and experience to lead, advise and consult with clients. In addition to supporting practice growth for WIPFLI, he has a passion for and is fiercely focused on helping manufacturers become more strategic and operationally efficient to support their growth initiatives. Joe has been an advisor and consultant to various trade associations and is a frequent speaker and author. Learn more here.

CONNEX Missouri

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

CONNEX™ MISSOURI: Powerful Supply Chain Connectivity Tool For Manufacturers

CONNEX Marketplace is an online platform that connects all U.S. manufacturers and suppliers into a single, accurate, searchable supply-chain database.  CONNEX intelligently connects American manufacturers and suppliers to large primes, OEM’s and government buyers based on deep data such as equipment, certifications, SBA designations, processes, capabilities, and more.  Whether you’re a buyer or seller, CONNEX Marketplace is your solution to find and be found!

What’s In It For You?

  • Suppliers can easily discover large manufacturers needs and respond to their RFI/RFQ/RFP’s for new contract opportunities.

  • Buyers can quickly find the perfect qualified supplier based on deep filter criteria such as: equipment, certifications, SBA designations, capabilities, processes, and more.

  • Visualize supply chain risks and alternate supplier suggestions.

  • Verify suppliers and manufacturers via U.S. Gov blacklists.

  • And More!

It’s a powerful platform with two levels of access. CONNEX™ Missouri puts you deep into the Missouri supply chain network of manufacturers and suppliers, and it’s free for life for Missouri Manufacturers. CONNEX™ Marketplace covers the entire U.S.; access is available at a nominal fee.

Bonus to the presentation- For those attending, as a bonus to introducing this amazing Supply Chain Database, we will share results from our neighboring states manufacturing surveys just completed.  Come hear what manufacturing executives say how their state’s business climate is heading. We will present key findings from the survey about business leadership, current challenges for growth, productivity, technology and workforce.  Come hear what they are saying about revenues, profitability, and capital expenditures for 2023.  Hear how this may relate to concerns regarding the size of the manufacturer.


Stacey Marler, COO | Missouri Enterprise

   Stacey Marler is the Chief Operating Officer for Missouri Enterprise, where he leads efforts to deliver solutions and strategies in advancing Missouri manufacturing companies with technology and innovation at the forefront. He has 15+ years of manufacturing, design, high-speed machining, and inspection experience in various industries, including small engines, electrical transformers, aerospace, and chemical processing.


Dusty Cruise, CEO | Missouri Enterprise

   Dusty has a proven manufacturing professional background with over 47 years of experience in a broad spectrum of manufacturing endeavors with International Harvester, Springfield Remanufacturing, Marathon Electric, and Whirlpool before joining Missouri Enterprise. Since 2010 he has served as President and CEO of Missouri’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Missouri Enterprise).  He has been with Missouri Enterprise for 25 years.  His past positions included responsibilities with authority as a Quality & Engineering Manager, Sales & Marketing Director, Operations Manager, Manufacturing Engineer, Production Supervisor, Senior Process Engineer, Tool & Process Engineer, Engineering Draftsman and Quality Control Inspector in multiple types of manufacturing environments. 
   Dusty has firsthand, practical knowledge of manufacturing. He understands how the impact of material, labor and overhead affect the bottom line and can lead strategies to integrate improvements in these areas with the rest of the operation to achieve bottom line growth.
   He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management, Comprehensive, from Missouri State University and has served as a Missouri Quality Award Examiner.


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Getting the Most Out of Your LTL

2022 was the most unique and undetermined year that supply chain experts have ever witnessed.  Maybe for the for seeable future?  During this track session we will be taking a deeper dive into a mode that manufacturers should be getting the most out of – Less-Than-Truckload.  We'll review the KPI’s within 3 major topics and the importance of taking control of your LTL.  Attendees will walk away with elements they can implement into their logistics strategy immediately.

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Nate Connell, Logistics Consultant | Show Me Global Logistics

   Nate Connell is a Logistics Consultant with Show Me Global Logistics, where he works with clients to solve logistics problems, resulting in more predictability and increase efficiency in this challenging work environment.  He has over 5 years of experience in the Supply Chain industry.  During this time, Nate has researched and resolved barriers to successful system functionality, improving support and issue resolution; led technology road mapping, conducting research, development and installation according to deployment specifications; overseen implementation lifecycle processes based on organizational needs, regulatory requirements and customer demand; and managed client onboardings of a 500+ employee Managed Transportation organization.

   In his free time, Nate enjoys reading, trying new coffee shops, or playing a match of tennis.

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