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PTDA Industry Summit Focuses on Workforce Transformation

Like most organizations during the last eight months of the coronavirus crisis, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) was forced to move its in-person events to virtual.
PTDA logo

Rather than meeting in Atlanta for the annual Industry Summit, PTDA conducted a Virtual Industry Summit — and the result was a successful gathering of PT distribution professionals who were able to share best practices and learn how they can continue thriving, according to Ann Arnott, CEO and executive vice president.

“Our goal in producing the PTDA Virtual Industry Summit was to replicate the in-person event as closely as we could without resorting to the ‘webinar after webinar after webinar’ program we’ve all experienced,” she says. “Based on the feedback from 275-plus participants, we exceeded their expectations. Of those registered, nearly 95% participated in the functions we normally have when we meet: live networking (via videoconferencing), one-on-one meetings between channel partners and information and knowledge-sharing specific to the power transmission/motion control industry.”

Panel Discussion: Building Your Workforce 

Moderated by PTDA Foundation Board Trustee Hafeez Hameer, Dichtomatik Americas, this panel discussion featured four students and one staff member from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech University. They shared with audience members what today’s distribution students are looking for in an employer. The bottom line: Companies need to engage with their future employees and understand what drives them — money, yes, but also work flexibility and a clear path on making an impact.

PTDA Community Conversation: Sales Transformation

Jim Jeffiers, Applied Industrial Technologies, and Michael Cinquemani, Master Power Transmission, facilitated a session on why the current distribution sales model needs to change. They discussed how a company can transform its business and, in the process, create more effective solutions for customers as well as grow the bottom line.

PTDA Community Conversation: Customer Engagement

How are companies engaging their customers in the time of COVID-19? Mike McLain, Allied Bearing & Supply, and Andrew Brown, Whittet-Higgins Co., facilitated a discussion on how distributors are navigating restrictions in their states and pivoting to curbside pickup and enhanced digital solutions for customers to shop and order.

PTDA Community Conversation: Distributor/Manufacturer Relationships

Chris Bursack, ISC Cos., and Chester Collier, Walter Surface Technologies, led a discussion on how the relationships between manufacturers and distributors have changed because of the pandemic.

While virtual meetings and phone calls have filled the void of not meeting in person, other issues have arisen, including ineffective communications and supply chain disruptions like increased transportation costs and longer lead times.

PTDA Community Conversation: Impact of Digitization

The pandemic has made everyone rethink their digital presence, according to the session that was hosted by Jeff Cloud, IBT Industrial Solutions, Kristin Jennings, Climax Metal Products Co., and Bill Shepard, BDI. The big takeaway: Companies that were well on their way to being digital had an advantage when the pandemic hit and those that were lagging are working hard to catch up.

Award ceremonies

C.C. Vest, president and co-owner of Midpoint Bearing, was named the winner of the 2020 Wendy B. McDonald Award. And Bill Childers — whose resume includes stops at Emerson Power Transmission, NSK Canada, Rexnord and AD — was named the recipient of the 29th Warren Pike Award.

To learn more about the Virtual Industry Summit, visit ptda.org.

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