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PRWs focus on customer needs at IARW-WFLO annual convention.

When more than 600 leaders of the public refrigerated warehouse (PRW) industry from around the world gathered in late April for the 2005 Annual Convention and Trade Show of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), it wasn't just for their own personal development.

They were there for their customers--the food processors who rely on PRWs to distribute their products to customers everywhere.

This year's convention theme was "Building Great Companies," featuring focused, hard-hitting business sessions spanning four days.

By keeping up with the latest technology and best practices in the PRW industry, executives ensured that food processors who use their facilities can take advantage of the safest and most efficient food handling systems available.

The convention took place April 30-May 5, 2005, at the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada, where four days of learning focused on business-oriented sessions.

"This meeting is the world's most important gathering of PRW officials," says IARW-WFLO President & CEO J. William Hudson. "What they learn in three days of focused meetings and discussions about scientific advances, new technology, and quality control cannot be duplicated anywhere else. We're proud that IARW members continually make this commitment to learning to provide the best service possible to their customers."

Some of the important topics covered at the convention included:

* Quality customer service

* Supply chain efficiency

* International trade issues

* Food safety and security

* Humidity control

"By studying best practices in these and other areas, IARW members are best equipped to ensure the proper care, custody, and control of food products throughout the supply chain," Hudson adds.

These areas are critical in today's PRW industry, where advances in technology create new options for providing customers with even better and more efficient services.

Some of the world's leading food scientists spoke at the convention, and the knowledge that PRW company executives gained from these experts continue to ensure that IARW member warehouses provide the best possible care of food products.

PRW companies are also continually examining their operations to ensure they are structured in the best way possible to meet customer needs.

For example, many third party warehousing providers have transitioned successfully into full-fledged logistics companies offering innovative extension services to customers. The IARW Convention featured a presentation, "Innovations in Warehousing: Moving from a Warehousing to Logistics," which highlighted case studies of successful operations in this area.

The rising cost of energy is another important area as PRWs look to hold down expenses to provide attractively priced services to customers. In an "Energy Solutions Forum," Mike Webster, president of Icetec, IARW's energy savings partner, led a discussion of energy experts who helped attendees better understand the energy options that are open to PRWs and the questions they need to ask to control energy costs.

The IARW Convention was also an important forum for conducting business. The IARW Trade Show is always one of the most popular features of the convention. With nearly 100 exhibitors, the exhibit floor featured a venue for sales and networking opportunities with many key PRW industry officials. The trade show was totally sold out for the fifth year in a row. Attendees shopped for products in a variety of categories from racking and doors to clothing and refrigeration, and mixed with IARW colleagues for ideas that will reduce costs, improve customer service, and increase sales.

For the second year in a row, the convention also included the annual conference of the International Refrigerated Transportation Association.

"The depth and breadth of the learning at this convention is a big reason why so many food companies only trust their products to members of IARW and WFLO when they contract with PRWs," Hudson explains. "We're proud of the reputation our members have earned and each year we use the convention as a way to stay current on the latest best practices and new technology."

IARW and WFLO provide extensive education, training opportunities, and resources to their member companies, helping to ensure that they are able to provide the best possible services to the food industry and their customers.

Members of these organizations can be identified by the use of IARW and WFLO logos in their company promotions.

For a copy of the popular International Directory of Refrigerated Warehouses & Distribution Centers published by IARW, call 703-3734300. For more information about IARW, visit www.iarw.org.
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Title Annotation:public refrigerated warehouse, International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, World Food Logistics Organization
Comment:PRWs focus on customer needs at IARW-WFLO annual convention.(public refrigerated warehouse, International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, World Food Logistics Organization )
Publication:Frozen Food Digest
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:725
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