Change is speeding up in the wholesale distribution industry thanks to technology’s growing role, a generational shift and the recovery in the global economy.
Some things – such as the importance of relationships in distribution – will remain. But not everything will be as clear going forward.
With that in mind, Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group asked a panel of distributors and manufacturers at the 2013 National Meeting of the National Association of Electrical Distributors in Boston last week to name one thing they would advise distribution executives to think about as they approach the future.
- "Lead with innovation," said Jayne Millard, CEO of Turtle & Hughes, Linden, NJ. "Inspire your people to think out of the box every day."
- "Expand and invest," advised Chris Hartmann, executive vice president and CEO, Rexel Holdings USA. "Expand your operations, expand your customer base. Invest in your people, and invest in technology."
- "Make sure that you complete that link between your customers, your suppliers and your people," said Neal Keating, president and CEO, Kaman Inc. "Invest and give them the tools that they will need in this inevitable transition."
- And know that there's a lot of opportunity ahead, says Tom Gross, COO of Eaton Corp.'s electrical sector. "There's never been a better opportunity to see that we're in this together," he said. Distributors and manufacturers have to seize the opportunity together to grow and move together into the future.