A Technology-Driven Future is Coming, Whether You’re Ready or Not - Modern Distribution Management

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A Technology-Driven Future is Coming, Whether You’re Ready or Not

The future we’re headed toward has no sympathy for resource constraints, resistance to change or incompatible legacy systems.
Big data and artificial intelligence concept. Machine learning and cyber mind domination concept in form of men face outline outline with circuit board and binary data flow on blue background.

This week, we launch MDM’s Future of Distribution virtual event. I say ‘launch’ because although it’s happening live on Tuesday, April 13, one of the beneficial things to come out of the last year is the pivot from producing be-there-or-you’ll-miss-it events to making rich, educational content available on demand. So, if April 13 is full of other obligations for you, you’ve got 90 days thereafter to take advantage of our speakers’ expertise. (That said, I do encourage you to participate live for the opportunity to ask your questions and interact with our speakers in real time!)

If you’ve been following our content in recent weeks, you already know we’ve got an exceptional lineup of speakers ready to address some make-or-break issues you will face in the near future — employees’ mindset about heading back into the office — and longer-term objectives — Gen Z’s employer expectations — to name a couple of topics.

Visit mdm.com/future-of-distribution-summit to view the full agenda and sign up for yourself.

Room for growth

And with the future in mind, we’ve already started looking toward our next event. MDM’s Digital Distributor Summit, taking place Tuesday, June 29, will follow the same virtual live and on-demand format. In preparation, we asked respondents to our most recent quarterly MDM/Baird survey (available in the upcoming April 25 issue of Premium) about how they are using artificial and/or machine learning in their business. Of more than 300 qualitative responses, the vast majority said they are not using AI or ML. 

Typical responses included:

• “It isn’t needed in our business.”

• “I don’t know where or how to start evaluating this.”

• “The benefits are unclear.”

• “Not enough time to utilize properly.”

However, it’s a couple of the atypical responses that I’d like to draw your attention to:

• “Hard for people to change but we know we need to change or DIE.”

• “The latest tech is a must in order to survive.”

Framing it in terms of life and death may be a bit dramatic, but those atypical responders have a point. Gartner Research in 2018 predicted that by this year 80% of emerging technologies would have AI foundations. And that was before the pandemic created a sudden need for digital acceleration the likes of which had not been seen before. According to a September 2020 KPMG report, 66% of U.S. CEOs say the pandemic accelerated the creation of a new workforce model with human workers augmented by automation and artificial intelligence by a matter of months or years.

The technology-driven future we’re headed toward does not care about resource constraints, resistance to change or incompatible legacy systems. It’s coming. And MDM is here to get you there. Stay tuned for more details about the Digital Distributor Summit.

If there’s a topic you’d like to hear addressed at the event, please reach out to me: elizabeth@mdm.com. 

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