The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long
Podcasts

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In this June 12, 2020 segment of MDM LIVE, John Caplan, President, North America & Europe, Alibaba.com, urges distributors to drive digital in their businesses and the need for a marketplace strategy going forward. Hear much more from Caplan — including inspiration for taking your business digital, tips on getting started with Alibaba.com and practical advice on how to sell internationally.

In this June 5, 2020 segment of MDM LIVE, Barry Litwin, CEO of Systemax, parent of Global Industrial, talks about the company’s ongoing digital transformation, online customer service and how they are helping their customers prepare to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with its R3 (Restore, Return, Rebound) program.

Jonathan Byrnes, senior lecturer at MIT and founding chairman of Profit Isle, a profit acceleration SaaS company, talks about the key elements of profit segmentation to manage the shocks of the pandemic and strengthen customer relationships – better defined customer service levels by profitability, smart product substitution and inventory management, digital transformation and setting up resilient supply chain systems.

In this special one-hour edition of MDM LIVE (May 29, 2020), hear the latest intel on how distributors are shifting from face-to-face to low-touch sales engagement – remote selling, resetting roles for outside/inside/customer service teams, building a more digitally-enabled sales force, sales comp challenges, analytics and more.

Over the last few years, Milwaukee-based HVACR distributor Gustave A. Larson Co. has implemented an agile management operating system, revised its sales model and refocusing service offerings. From the May 22, 2020 MDM LIVE episode, hear CEO Andrew Larson talk about how these work-in-progress transformation efforts have positioned the 430-employee company to weather the immediate impacts of the pandemic, and to accelerate growth going forward.

Products, features and benefits. How are we doing (or not doing) on monthly goals set up with Supplier A or Supplier B? These are the day-to-day conversations that, while particularly urgent in the current uncharted pandemic-infested waters, can get in the way of deeper strategic conversations about how to create more value for customers. In this third podcast of our three-part series on innovation, Dorn Group’s J Schneider maps how to rethink your business model to build a more customer-centric and innovative organization.

In this second of our three-part conversation on innovation in distribution, J Schneider of strategy and consulting firm Dorn joins host Tom Gale to discuss what innovation looks like in 2020 for distributors and manufacturers. In this episode, we look at the ways smaller distributors often have an advantage to identify opportunities for innovation, the need to be selective in building manufacturer-distributor partnerships around a shared vision for innovation, and how to build a culture of innovation.

While this privately-held industrial supplier with more than 300 employees may not be a Harvard Business School case study in management structure, the three-brother leadership team has managed to buck the odds of many third-generation businesses by nurturing an entrepreneurial culture in an 85-year-old company. Listen to Doug Ruggles share what’s worked to drive growth with a customer-centric solutions approach.

 

In the first of a three-part series, J Schneider, Vice President of Strategy for Dorn, a strategy and consulting firm located just outside Chicago, discusses how distributors and manufacturers can develop new innovations. In addition to outlining varieties of product, service and delivery innovations, he talks about how to drive growth by building a culture of innovation defined by customer needs.

Justin King of B2X Partners talks about how change management is one of the biggest challenges of any digital transformation project and the critical need to build digital experiences that are customer-first oriented. He also addresses how to leverage the knowledge and expertise in an organization to create better online experiences that drive revenue.

Mark Dancer of the Network for Channel Innovation talks with Tom Gale about the challenges distributors are addressing as they undertake digital transformation programs. As author of the upcoming edition of the Facing the Forces of Change report series published by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, Mark has been in research mode for more than a year and shares some of that insight in this edition.

Update on Lawson’s transformation journey. Four years after transitioning its sales and digital models, Lawson Products President and CEO Michael DeCata gives MDM’s Tom Gale a progress report on the company’s service-intensive approach and talks about its SAP implementation, salesforce transformation and its unique go-to-market model.

Interview with Kirk Zehnder, CEO of Earnest Machine This 72-year-old fastener distribution company out of Cleveland disrupted its outside sales model, creating a team-based sales department structure that had an immediate impact on culture and revenue.

Former Amazon team member and Amazon seller consultant Alan Adams speaks with Tom Gale on Amazon Business from an insider’s perspective. This podcast references MDM’s Amazon Business Forum conference, held in December 2018, that explored strategy and effective tactics for both partnering with and competing with Amazon Business.

Disruption, distribution M&A and shifting value propositions. After selling his family’s paper distribution business 20 years ago, Brent Grover has been a consultant and prolific author on pricing, M&A and creating value in wholesale distribution businesses. Brent talks with MDM’s Tom Gale on the next phase of his career and his take on the current challenges in the industry.

MDM’s Ian Heller and John Gunderson talk shop. What’s on the minds of distribution executives? In spite of a record year for most sectors of wholesale distribution in 2018, there is a growing sense of volatility across many areas – pricing, inflation, global trade, tariffs and an increasingly tough labor market. Industry veterans and MDM President Ian Heller and MDM VP of Analytics John Gunderson discuss what they’re hearing from the front lines of distribution.

Dan Hill, President of Newark element14 and Becky McMorrow, Director of Marketing Newark element14 speak with MDM’s John Gunderson about how to build an Omni Channel experience to take share and grow business.

The information contained in the podcast is for general information purposes only. Newark element14, part of the Premier Farnell Group, assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents of this podcast. This podcast is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not, and should not be regarded as “investment advice” or as a “recommendation” regarding a course of action, including without limitation as those terms are used in any applicable law or regulation.

MDM’s exclusive interview reveals many facets of Amazon’s customer-first strategy. Prentis Wilson, VP of Amazon Business, speaks with MDM’s Tom Gale about Amazon Business’s value proposition for distributors, current strategic initiatives and how he sees the customer defining the future of supply chains.

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