The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

The Future of Distribution Looks Bright

The latest group of MDM Future Leader Award winners are setting the stage for the next generation of distribution with their focus on technology-based initiatives.
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Ask college students what is drawing them into distribution and an answer you will hear often is the opportunity to put new technologies and digital innovations into practice. As one industrial engineering student at Georgia Tech put it during a panel discussion at last month’s virtual Power Transmission Distributors Association conference, “I’m interested in operations and viewing problems from a data science and coding perspective. And, investing in new emerging technologies like machine learning.”

Her fellow Georgia Tech students had similar reasons as part of their decisions to pursue distribution and what they’re looking for once they leave college and join a company. They even see it as a differentiator between Gen Zers just entering the workforce and the millennials they are following. “We’ve been growing up with this new technology. Whether it’s artificial intelligence or machine learning, we’re educating ourselves on it in college. We’re not people who have already been in the industry, and then are having to wrap our minds around that later on,” said another PTDA panel participant.

Setting the Stage

It sounds like there’s exciting things to come from Gen Z as they trickle into the distribution workforce. Meanwhile, millennials already in the business are setting the stage for the next generation’s success, as you will see in the profiles of our latest group of MDM Future Leaders throughout this issue of MDM Premium.

A common theme among the stories of our 10 winners is their desire to make sure technological applications are understood internally while fulfilling real-life customer needs externally.

Here is brief rundown of some of their key accomplishments:

Christina Nielsen, government sales & operations director at Lawson Products, is amplifying a public-market sales education effort across the company’s 900-person sales team.

Bryant Argall, field operations program manager at Core & Main, personally travelled to nearly all of the company’s 275 branches to train employees on new software.

Matt Miller, commercial operations manager at IEWC, is a leader on the company’s commercial excellence team.

Emma Moretzsohn, executive vice president, J&L Building Materials, initiated the adoption of a new company ERP system.

Mike Powers, director of e-commerce and digital marketing at Alaska Rubber Group, is spearheading digital training.

Adam Becker, VP of operations at Palmer Johnson Power Systems, is a key driver of company modernization, including a new CRM.

Adam Woodrey, executive director of marketing and communications at ARC Abrasives, is driving the company’s updated outbound marketing and lead generation efforts.

Dane Anderson, VP of operations and business administration, Forney Industries, is overhauling the company’s warehouses.

Dan Kurzyp, senior demand planner, ADI Global, is leading cross-functional business improvement efforts.

John Delligatti, director of digital strategy, SDI, Inc., reinvented the company’s sales process.

Congratulations to our winners!

Read their full profiles in the latest issue of MDM Premium, available now

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