As an industry, distribution hasn't done a very good job of telling an exciting story about itself, says Jeff Crane, president and CEO of ERIKS North America. "And because it has been so fragmented, historically it's been difficult to tell that story in a compelling way," Crane says in the latest 7 Minutes With … executive interview.
"Attracting the next generation of leadership has been and is going to continue to be a challenge for the industry," Crane says. But there is a compelling story to be told.
First, most people outside the industry simply aren't aware of how big a role it plays in the U.S. economy, Crane says. Educating young people on wholesale distribution is a critical part of recruiting.
The second reason Crane highlights is the chance to experience a broader world. "It can take you to all corners of North America and beyond," he says.
But that also requires young people to think about what they want from this type of career. "Because we are serving customers in all areas of the country, the continent and the world, it requires young people to think broadly about relocation and where they want to work," Crane says. "But that's part of the excitement."
Creating a compelling story focused on the vibrancy and expansive opportunities can help build excitement in young people looking for a career, he says.
Hear more from Crane in the latest MDM 7 Minutes With … executive interview.
ERIKS North America, No. 19 on MDM's 2015 list of top industrial distributors, will also be featured in the upcoming Trends Special Issue, available June 25.