To ensure you don't miss the technology workshops below, follow this link to view the full DSA Fall Conference 2018 workshop lineup.

The Amazon Effect

So much about the future is unclear, but one thing is not: direct selling’s number one competitor for customers is online retailing.  Obvious as this may seem, a more nuanced examination reveals the steady convergence of retail and direct selling to be a more nuanced dynamic requiring attention.  This session will explore this dynamic, as well as the strategies direct sellers are employing to compete in the age of the same day delivery/24×7 availability/eCommerce/online instant gratification.  Join as we build upon a conversation that began on the main stage of last year’s Fall Conference and discuss new strategies to be deployed in 2019.

Tech Innovation

Today’s independent contractors have more choices than ever before, and the allure of gig economy players’ flash-and-dash apps have required direct selling to raise the technology bar: whether you’re an Uber worker or user, you’re just one simple tap away from your next ride or job. For direct selling to compete in this new-normal, innovative technology platforms that empower your sellers and operations to be more nimble and automated must be front and center. This session will feature DSA award-winning tech innovations with significant impacts for their companies in areas including:

• Mobile technology
• Back office and business support
• Customer and sales support

Best Practices to Prevent Shipping Costs from Eroding Your Margins

Over the past decades, UPS & FedEx ground service rates have increased at an astonishing 79%, while air service has increased by a whopping 95.5%. These figures do not include the infamous Dimensional Weight pricing changes of 2011 and 2015…ouch! With many suppliers still trying to adapt their current business strategies to accommodate old General Rate increases, it’s time to equip yourself with the best practices to help mitigate these carriers’ seemingly never-ending price hikes. This session will explore the strategies direct selling companies are employing to increase their shipping speeds—and margins—to compete in today’s “need-it-today” customer expectation world.

The Biggest Challenges Facing IT Leaders Today

Driven mostly by digitization, new technologies and rapidly increasing data volumes, modern IT professionals face a growing set of challenges. Gone are the days of merely keeping the lights on and updating operating systems. Scaling and keeping pace with today’s dynamic market remains a challenge: the speed of tech advancements is running at an exponentially increasing rate making it possible that today’s next-generation technology could be obsolete before it’s even deployed. The most successful CIOs recognize that modern IT departments must deliver business value and drive innovation, and that genuinely strategic IT deployed to carry out a business strategy is the backbone of any successful business. Join this session to explore the biggest challenges facing IT departments today including:

• Using data for your competitive advantage
• Enabling consistent innovation
• Balancing security with accessibility
• Finding appropriate talent
• Merging old and new