Despite recent continued growth for many industrial distributors and manufacturers, factors such as economic uncertainty and concerns over labor issues linger as we wade into the second half of 2023. And that’s precisely why many of our MDM Podcast guests proved to be so vital to our audience during the year’s first six months.
Myriad industry leaders and experts sat down with MDM CEO Tom Gale, Executive Mike Hockett and other MDM staffers to outline how companies are performing right now — and how they can continue to improve and thrive in 2023 and the coming years.
Topics during the first half of the year included:
- Communication best practices during mergers and acquisitions.
- How companies are handling supply chain issues.
- Misconceptions about skilled trades.
- What industry association leaders are hearing from their members.
- Women’s representation in distribution, and many more topics.
Below, check out a list of descriptions and episode links for all our MDM Podcast installments from the first half of 2023. Also, check out our collection of MDM QuickTake podcasts from the first half at our podcasts archive page.
And don’t forget to tune in Thursday, July 13, for the 2023 Mid-Year Economic Update Webcast. MDM’s Tom Gal, Baird’s David Manthey and NetSuite’s Ranga Bodla will analyze economic conditions and the demand outlook for the rest of this year and beyond.
- In our first MDM Podcast of the year, Tom Gale chatted with author and Day1Ready Founder Jennifer Fondrevay on who must be involved in the M&A communication process and when, along with other intangibles.
Jan. 25: NAW CEO Eric Hoplin
- Ahead of NAW’s Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Executive Summit in Washington D.C., CEO Eric Hoplin stopped by to discuss how distributors are handling the labor market, economic headwinds, supply chain conditions and more.
- As a primer to MDM’s Feb. 22-23 Virtual M&A Summit, we chatted with MSC Industrial Supply President & CEO Erik Gershwind and Business & Commercial Development leader Jim Drohan about the company’s M&A strategy, which has moved aggressively in the past 2 years.
Feb. 8: ISA President Brendan Breen
- We chatted with ISA President Brendan Breen to preview ISA23 in April, how the association has evolved to focus on year-round engagement and what he’s hearing from members about business conditions.
- Mike Hockett chatted with Terry Albrecht, who has been led Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Packer Fastener since co-founding the company when he was 22. They discuss how the distributor’s culture and unconventional hiring and retention practices have worked wonders.
March 29: Toolfetch.com Co-Founder Andrew Brown
- In the distribution sector, there’s arguably no bigger champion for the skilled trades than Andrew Brown, who founded eCommerce-based industrial distributor Toolfetch in 2002. This episode dispels misconceptions about the skilled trades, why Brown is so passionate about supporting them and how they tie in with distribution.
- We chatted with The Master Group President Neil McDougall about the Quebec, Canada-based HVACR distributor’s recent growth and greater North American expansion roadmap, as well as how product demand and the labor situation compares between Canada and the U.S.
April 12: ERIKS North America CEO Jeff Crane
- CEO Jeff Crane joined to discuss a year of change for ERIKS North America, which divested from ERIKS NV in early 2022. We discussed the company’s new-look leadership team, a recent acquisition and how the company is looking to grow as standalone entity.
- Katie Poehling Seymour might be the busiest executive in distribution. But she made time to stop by and discuss her path to leading family-owned First Supply, the progress on women’s representation in distribution and why “this is distribution’s moment.”
April 26: Voices of ISA23
- Mike Hockett interviewed a handful of industry executives on the expo floor of ISA23 in Phoenix, where a focus on networking events was the talk of the show. The resulting series of brief interviews also touched what those are hearing on the product demand front, supply chain and labor situation.
May 10: NAHAD Members
- Mike Hockett interviews a handful of industry executives at NAHAD’s recent 2023 Convention in the Bahamas. Amid the tropical weather and island vibes, attendees were happy to discuss the the state of industry demand and give updates on the labor and supply chain situation.
- Mike Hockett asked Consight Marketing Group’s Alan Hale about what grinds his gears in distribution marketing, and it’s a lot. Their discussion covers how marketing is a point of channel conflict, and how the situation can be improved. They also explore social media do’s and don’ts, as well as the vital role of customer insights.
- MRO parts distributor Kimball Midwest isn’t slowing down upon achieving 100 years in business. President Patrick McCurdy III stops by to discuss the company’s training and development efforts, digital initiatives and business performance so far in 2023.
June 14: MDM’s 2023 Top Distributors Lists
- We condensed the guest interviews and analysis from our Top Distributors webcast into a compilation podcast about the economic and industry factors that dictated who appeared where on our 17 different rankings lists. Guest voices include Grainger’s Paige Robbins, BlackHawk Industrial’s John Mark, Kimball Midwest’s Patrick McCurdy III, Channel Marketing Group’s David Gordon, Webb Analytics’ Craig Webb and MDM’s Tom Gale.
- Electrical distribution veteran executive Scott Schuenke discussed Sonepar North America’s growth in his 16 years with the company, which culminate with his retirement this month as VP of Strategic Development. He touches on how the company has evolved and continuously innovated during his tenure.
- Distribution consultant and serial entrepreneur Brent Grover joins MDM’s Tom Gale to discuss customer immersion as a best practice for developing breakthrough products and services. He also gives us a look into a very different distribution business model led by a Millennial and run by Gen Z managers and shares his take on distribution’s M&A landscape.