IFDA Recap: Small Things Make a Big Difference


Great Dane’s Vice President of Dealer Sales Rob Ulsh attended the 2018 IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference. Here are his thoughts and takeaways from the event.

Small things really do matter in life and in business. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never succeed at doing the big things. This notion really hit home at the 2018 IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference. Leaders throughout the industry gathered for two days in San Antonio to network and discuss the future of goods mobility. Educational sessions, exploring innovative booth exhibits and hearing from renowned speakers were all some of the little things that made a huge impact on the success of this event. Retired four-star admiral, 37-year veteran of the United States Navy and best-selling author, Admiral William H. McRaven topped off this fantastic show.

Admiral McRaven delivered an inspiring keynote address during Monday’s general session in which he shared his message titled “10 Life Lessons from Basic SEAL Training”. I won’t expound on all of them; however, the first two really stuck with me, and I found them surprisingly relatable to our current business environment.

  1. Always make your bed. Knocking out the first task of the day can give you the motivation you need to accomplish tasks all day long. Although making your bed may seem small, it makes a big impact on your entire day. In our IFDA booth exhibit, Great Dane displayed many of our “hidden” innovations, such as ThermoGuard liners featuring Microban antimicrobial protection, solar panels and electric refrigeration. While these features are not displayed front and center, they are making a big impact behind the scenes, providing cleaner and more efficient refrigerated transportation.
  2. Every paddle must go in the same direction. As displayed at IFDA, it’s crucial that we are all moving in the same direction. Unity within the industry will become increasingly important as we continue to develop and implement new technology to move the industry forward. At Great Dane, we understand that unity plays a large role internally as well as with our customers and industry partners. According to Admiral McCraven, “You can’t change the world alone – you will need some help.” We’re thankful for great partnerships like the ones we have with Microban, eNow and Plasma Stream who are vital to our growth.

Overall, IFDA 2018 was a great experience. I always enjoy the opportunity to come together with customers and other industry leaders. By continuing to design innovative solutions that enhance safety and efficiency, I believe our small steps will undoubtedly lead to a bigger, better future for goods mobility.