The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Commentary: The Future of Distribution is Happening Right Now

The title of MDMs newest award is actually a bit of a misnomer. The Future Leader Award implies the recipients will be leading at some indeterminate time beyond the present. But what we found from all nine of our 2020 honorees is that each is making a tangible impact right now, not only on their company and colleagues but also throughout the wider industry.
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The title of MDM’s newest award is actually a bit of a misnomer. The Future Leader Award implies the recipients will be leading at some indeterminate time beyond the present. But what we found from all nine of our 2020 honorees is that each is making a tangible impact right now, not only on their company and colleagues but also throughout the wider industry.

As you’ll see in their profiles that appear in this issue of MDM Premium, as well as the March 25 issue, the 2020 MDM Future Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds, some without a single day of previous distribution experience, others with a storied family history. All are using their youth to their advantage, injecting distribution with much-needed new ideas, energy and knowhow. Here, in alphabetical order, are our winners and a taste of what they are bringing to their jobs. 

  • Ryan Boyd, global director of training, Walter Surface Technologies Inc., rose quickly from his first position as an intern. He has helped develop data-driven business intelligence and new products to boost sales, expand territory and product growth.
  • Zach Brado, director of business development, NetPlus Alliance, is a networking machine, working with suppliers and developing solid relationships with distributors to meet their needs. He has a true passion for the industry that shows through his immersion in industry organizations.
  • Michael Butler, director of product & channel marketing, LINC Systems, has risen through the ranks with accomplishments like building a complete pricing analysis system and approval process that in its first year will yield over $500,000 in incremental margin.
  • Benj Cohen, CEO and founder, proton.ai,
  • used his knowledge from a third-generation family distribution business to found his artificial intelligence technology company that is creating data-backed sales opportunities for distributors.
  • Tony Moore, operations & technology manager, Engineered Specialty Products, Inc., has taken a radical new approach to managing for performance using data and technology to streamline warehouse processes and performance metrics.
  • Mary Klett, customer support manager, Palmer Johnson Power Systems, has a passion for customers and a diligent work ethic that led to her promotion as a team leader and made her an integral part in redefining the company’s sales process.
  • Kathryn Murray, eCommunity marketing manager, MSC Industrial Supply Co., leads MSC’s Better MRO online knowledge hub and grew the community to over a quarter of a million visitors in its first year alone.
  • Florian Ostendarp, head of purchasing, Ludwig Meister, is a consistent learner, driven by data analytics and constantly on the search for automated solutions. He developed the data analytics around Ludwig Meister’s order proposal system.
  • Justin Tennant, president & co-founder, Surgical Product Solutions, is described as a trailblazer within the healthcare community for his business model that provides value to customers at each step of the medical supply chain. 

I encourage you to read each person’s profile to learn the details of how they are already transforming distribution — and how you can recruit your own Future Leaders to replicate such successes at your company.

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