In 2022, even as some companies continued to report record earnings, an aura of uncertainty appeared to settle over the distribution industry. What would the economic climate look like in 2023? At what point would inflation slow down? Are we headed for a recession or just a brief economic downturn? Is there hope on the horizon for fixing supply chain and labor issues? Many questions created much noise. But in 2022, distribution leaders who appeared on MDM webcasts were able to present insightful, street-level analyses of where the industry stands and how distributors can take advantage of an uncertain climate in the new year. Analytics, automation, digital transformation and innovation are among the ways companies can grow and thrive in 2023, webcast guests said (among many other topics).
MDM’s M&A Virtual Summit, to be held Feb. 21-22, has something to offer for any distributor on the dealmaking spectrum. We’ll cover the current state of M&A; how to maximize valuation; integration do’s and don’ts; ESOPs; the culture side of the M&A process; and more. Get details and register here.
Here’s a look back at MDM’s webcasts from 2022:
- Set Better Quotas & Growth Goals with Data (Jan. 6) — MDM Analytics started 2022 off strong with an in-depth look at how distributors could use models to track several metrics: inflation and market shift impacts on sales goals; external benchmarks for market sectors; how to uncover missed opportunity with sweet spot and wallet share analysis; and actionable internal/external plans to strengthen revenue during the year.
- 2022 Annual Distribution Industry Outlook (Jan. 20) — Baird Senior Research Analyst David Manthey and NetSuite VP Ranga Bodla joined MDM CEO Tom Gale to discuss data and insights on how to navigate the conflicting market signals shaping the year. The webcast included MDM’s annual industry forecast, a review of macroeconomic and distribution-specific trends and exclusive Baird-MDM MarketPulse survey insights.
- Analytics and KPIs to Manage Supply Chain Disruptions (Feb. 10) — In this webcast, Gale and Brian Friedle of White Cup Solutions covered critical elements of business intelligence tools — including inventory analytics, revenue management and customer engagement — and discussed the most meaningful key performance indicators that successful distributors were using in 2022.
- Analytics to Action – Drive More Profit in 2022 (March 3) — ProfitOptics Founder Tony Pericle and Gale cohosted an interactive hourlong webcast to explore how analytics can enable teams to be agile and prioritize time to grow revenue and margin. The discussion centered on one important overarching question: How can distributors stabilize operations during market turbulence while harvesting margin buried in our data?
- Winning Strategies for Customer Experience – 2022 Benchmarks (March 24) — The purpose of this webcast was two-fold: First, Gale shared results of MDM’s latest research to benchmark how innovative distributors are transforming customer service and engagement strategies today. Second, a distributor panel discussed what an integrated customer-service strategy looks like, along with the shifting formula of people, process and technology that provides ideal results for customer retention.
- Deploying Digital Thinking for Better Business Outcomes (April 14) — John Wiborg, President & CEO of Stellar Industrial Supply, and Aaron Howard, CEO of Mass Ingenuity, joined MDM to talk about creating high-performing distribution organizations with common-sense digital deployment focused on business outcomes. During the discussion, Gale, Wiborg and Howard dissected how digital transformation includes the steps of process improvement, metrics, customer engagement, talent and leadership.
- How NOT to fail with your CRM (May 5) — Gale and Friedle teamed up again, and this time they focused on how implementing and adopting a CRM presents unique sets of challenges for distributors. The two covered how to overcome the challenges that distributors have with CRMs, how sales reps find value in a CRM and how leaders can drive CRM adoption.
- 2022 Mid-Year Economic Update (June 2) — University of Colorado economist Brian Lewandowski joined MDM to explore mid-year economic updates and forecasts for U.S. market sectors and distribution verticals. During a period of mixed economic signals, Lewandowski, Gale and Bodla analyzed the latest economic trends, emerging growth opportunities and how distributors can capitalize on the current landscape.
- Distribution Platforms & Marketplaces – 2022 Snapshot & Strategies (June 30) — Applico’s Alex Moazed and Nick Johnson joined Gale to examine the state of distribution tech innovation, the evolution of B2B marketplaces and effective strategies for distributors to mitigate risk and capture growth opportunities. In a world of venture capitalists, startups and tech monopolies, distributors are at risk being of left behind. But there are also more opportunities for those willing to innovate, panelists said.
- Your Data Doesn’t Lie – How CRM and Business Intelligence Drive Growth During Uncertainty (Aug. 4) — MDM Executive Editor Mike Hockett headed up this webcast, which focused on how distributors can leverage their CRM and business intelligence tools to find new markets and ways to grow regardless of what the economy has in store. Among other topics, Hockett and Friedle discuss why companies should keep focusing on data as a source of truth.
- Distributors Speak – What We Need from an ERP/Cloud Partner (Aug. 25) — Hockett joined Meredith McCusker, Epicor Sr. Principal Product Manager, to discuss the results of Epicor’s 2022 Distribution Industry Insights Report. More than 200 distributor leaders were asked about their ERP journey, how satisfied they were with their system and what they wanted to see going forward.
- Adapting to Expectations – Differentiate the Buying Experience with eCommerce (Sept. 15) —Ed Kennedy (Product Marketing Lead for Adobe Commerce), Jason Capshaw (Senior Consultant – Digital Strategy for the Dorn Group) and Hockett engaged in a lively, hourlong conversation about how to make the most of a changing distribution eCommerce environment. Among myriad topics, the trio discussed the importance of b2b eCommerce experiences to increase revenue and improve operational efficiency, and how distributors can use product information, pricing and eCommerce to meet customers’ digital expectations.
- Is Your Sales Team Armed with the Right Tech to Win? (Oct. 6) — During the first webcast after MDM’s SHIFT 2022 conference, Gale and Friedle discussed the value of using data-based technology vs. the financial impacts of leaving sales decisions to gut instincts. The two laid out strategies for deciding the most impactful technology and how to use that technology to improve the sales process for top-line growth.
- Where and How to Leverage Automation in 2023 (Oct. 26) — Kelly Squizzero and Will Quinn from Infor joined Midwest Wheel’s Steve McEnany to discuss how automation proved vital for distributors in 2022. The three also shared stories of how distributors can leverage specific automation tools to reduce costs, mitigate risk and increase the quality of customer experience in 2023.
- Six Steps to Accelerate Sales Using Digital Strategies (Nov. 17) — Author Susan Merlo dropped by MDM to explain the six steps from The Digital Distributor Program, which she said can help distributors in their efforts to maximize efficiencies of digital strategies, generate more valuable leads and increase sales cycle trajectory.
- Accelerate Your Productivity Path – 3 Areas of Focus for 2023 (Dec. 7) — In its last webcast of 2022, MDM turned its focus to the new year. With the current economic climate top of mind, the webcast focused on ways distributors can accelerate their path to productivity. Discussion also examined the “total experience” for both buyers and sellers and how upgrading systems can take advantage of recent innovations.
If you enjoyed any of these webcasts from 2022, don’t forget to register for MDM’s Jan. 19 webcast, the 2023 Annual Distribution Industry Outlook.