At MDM, we’re excited to say that our podcasting game was very strong in 2022. Including the fourth-quarter roundup below, MDM recorded 50 podcasts during the year. Our podcast process may feel simple — most of them entail recording Zoom interviews with executives in the distribution realm — but we love to share these conversations with our audience because they often provide exclusive, actionable insights to leaders at companies of all sizes.
This is a recap of the major topics and themes guests covered during MDM podcasts between October and December of this year. Click on the headlines to read more — or listen to each episode in the embedded players included below. Throughout the year, readers may notice topics ranging from lingering pandemic and supply issues all the way to predictions about industry challenges that will persist or arrive in 2023.
Further below, check out links to other 2022 podcast roundups and related content at the bottom of this article.
- During an exclusive interview to kick off the year’s fourth quarter, Tuffy and Harms joined the MDM Podcast to discuss how their elevation and recently announced roles will provide additional stability to the global fasteners manufacturer and distributor.
Oct. 17: Mixed Signals, Full Speed Ahead
- In the midst of the industry’s fall conference schedule, MDM’s Tom Gale and IRCG’s Mike Marks compared notes from conversations at Affiliated Distributors, NetPlus, ISSA, MDM’s own SHIFT event, and the Baird-MDM quarterly MarketPulse survey. During this time, most distributors were reporting double-digit growth with few signs of slowdown.
- Teerlinck offered a glimpse into Crescent’s strategy and operations, as the distribution leader talked about how employee engagement has been keeping the company pointed at its customer-based “north star.”
Oct. 24: Mindsets for Managing a Slowdown
- Beyond well-worn strategies for managing the back side of economic downturns, Gale and Marks looked at unique and deeper factors the current market outlook is triggering for distributors: Inventory exposure and opportunity, scenario planning, resetting sales costs and the underlying longer-term positive trends where near-term opportunity may also exist.
Nov. 2: Blue Volt CEO Jay Platt
- Long before digital transformation became an imperative, Jay Platt, also the former CEO of Platt Electric, was on a mission to improve how his customers, team members and vendors could access information – for training, customer support or building a stronger company culture. In this interview with MDM, Plat showed he’s still trying to stay ahead of the curve.
- When markets soften, surprises tend to be negative. But downturns can also open up opportunities to strengthen key supplier partnerships. In another Quicktake, Gale and Marks talked about key performance indicators for supplier relationships that can be either early warning signs or telltales for competitive opportunity across inventory and cash management, backlogs, support and strategic alignment.
Nov. 9: PTDA CEO Ann Arnott
- MDM Executive Editor Mike Hockett chatted with Arnott, and the two discussed key takeaways from the PTDA’s Annual Summit. Discussion points included the non-traditional methods distributors can leverage to find and keep needed staff in a time when labor is hard to come by.
- In another Quicktake, Marks and Gale looked past the horizon at the larger macrotrends shaping growth opportunities for distributors over the next several years: electrification, infrastructure, energy transition, sustainability and demographic shifts. After all, disruptive market conditions breed opportunity, the two pointed out.
- In an exclusive talk with Gale, Mark discussed BlackHawk’s go-to-market strategy and how it differentiates in the markets it serves. The two also discussed BlackHawk’s continued aggressive growth strategy and the importance of culture and leadership challenges in the industry.
- Dorn Group President James Dorn joined Gale to discuss shoring opportunities and strategic implications for distributors. They also talked about how the industry is moving from digital defining seamless service to a broader supply-chain transformation that mitigates risk for customers by creating better transparency and deeper engagement.
- To kickoff the last month of the year, Gilbert discussed the state of indirect spend at large facilities, including his team’s expertise in the analytics, technology and process improvement for MRO inventories, usage and purchasing behaviors. Gilbert and MDM discussed the current supply chain challenges and opportunities for distributors to help customers “right-size” their inventories.
- Gale and Marks jumped on the mic for another Quicktake, where they discussed how distributors can outperform market conditions and competitors in 2023. What will change the industry? And, if market transitions are where competitive advantage is won, what shifts could we see over the next year?
- Shanahan stopped by to discuss her journey to becoming CEO. She also talked about the electrical distributor’s emphasis on diversity in both its workforce and supplier base, as well as how investment in sustainable energy storage has positioned the company for continued success in the “age of electrification.”
- James Dorn MDM’s Gale discussed thinking beyond rebates, the rise of customer self-serve, the power of segment focus and pain relief and a call to rewrite the operating manual for distributor-supplier relationships and value creation. As they point out, spreading resources too thin in a downcycle is a common trap.
- To end the year, this is a collection of interviews with leaders at Vallen Distribution, Stanley Black & Decker, LineDrive and the Founder/CEO of 12 Ace Hardware stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. MDM Program Director & Producer Spencer Gale captured industry perspectives on what came and went in 2022, as well as where the industry might be moving in 2023.
A Look Back at MDM Podcasts and Related Content in 2022:
- MDM’s Top Stories from 2022’s 1Q: We look back at the blogs, articles and news items that attracted the most attention during the first quarter of 2022.
- Sales Strategies Top of Mind for 2Q Podcast Guests: During the second quarter of 2022, MDM podcast guests covered an array of topics that included sales transformation, transparent communication practices and shifting leadership roles in distribution.
- Transformation Emerges as Key Theme from MDM’s 3Q Podcasts: In the weeks and months leading up to MDM’s SHIFT conference, podcast guests spoke on a variety of topics, with transformative strategies and evolving roles among the most discussed.