Podcasts

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In this podcast, Motion President Randy Breaux talks about the lessons learned last year and this year, and what he sees coming down the pipe in 2022. There has been an abundance of lessons learned by distributors ever since the pandemic hit last year, but Motion President Randy Breaux says some of the biggest include a better human touch with employees and keeping a laser focus on what customers want.

In the latest MDM Podcast, Dave Flitman, president and CEO of Builders FirstSource, discusses on a wide range of topics, including where the company sees organic growth white space, how M&A — most notably the 2020 merger with BMC Stock Holdings but other smaller deals, too — is reshaping the company and how it views technology as a differentiator.

Sustainability is more than a buzzword at Ferguson. It’s an integral part of the distributor’s business practices that touches on all areas of company operation. It’s also key to the organization’s community outreach efforts. Hear Kelsey Bergan, director of sustainability, and Denise Vaughn, SVP of sustainability and communications, address their key focus areas and share advice for other distributors who want to improve environmental efforts.  

In the latest MDM Podcast, Dan Tinker, president and CEO of McKinney, Texas-based building materials distributor SRS Distribution, dishes on a wide range of topics, including the company’s private equity backing, its unique and aggressive acquisition strategy that complements SRS’s greenfield approach, and what’s been driving growth since the company was formed in 2008.

There are many elements in life and business that we cannot control. But when it comes to tackling talent management challenges like recruiting and retention, board-certified coach Will Matthews explains how we can adjust our behavior in order to play to the strengths of our best employees and recruits. Matthews shares simple ways for distributors to create a rapport that builds on working relationships and increases job satisfaction on all sides.

With decades of experience in distribution technology application between two of them, David Oldfather and Mike Wentz of the Industry Data Exchange Association discuss the importance of clean data in the future of distribution technology. Listen as the pair share how to handle the latest developments in areas such as 360-degree imaging, improved data standards and how technology can help with challenges like manpower shortages.

Harry Dochelli has both experienced and orchestrated plenty of change at Essendant, the Deerfield, Illinois-based wholesaler of office products, furniture, breakroom, JanSan and Safety product categories. In addition to navigating the disruption of the last 18 months, Dochelli has guided the company through new ownership and other organizational shifts in recent years. In this MDM Podcast, Dochelli discusses lessons learned during COVID-19 and how Essendant is well-positioned for the post-pandemic economy.

This episode is brought to you by:

Bloomreach and Infor

Intentional organizational development that includes a company restructure is often discussed but rarely followed through. Along with the help of her business coach Lori Miller of Developing Professionals, NetPlus Alliance President and Owner Jennifer Murphy pulled off the task with satisfying results. Listen to the pair discuss the change process and provide tips on how to make it happen for you.

Hundreds of e-commerce marketplaces have popped up in the last few years. How can a distributor distinguish those that are more likely to last? Digital platform consultancy Applico’s CEO Alex Moazed and Managing Director Nick Johnson address the details behind their company’s top marketplaces ranking and how they see distributors using such platforms to compete with Amazon and other online giants.

Klaus Werner, the chief marketing officer at Global Industrial Co., was named one of MDM’s Digital Innovator Award winners because of the numerous initiatives he has helped drive at the industrial distributor in this last pandemic-plagued year. In addition to leading the company’s rebranding efforts, including a website redesign, Werner oversaw the creation of a Knowledge Center that provides customers with expert advice and product info. He also managed a new social media campaign that saw Global Industrial venturing into the unlikeliest of channels for a distributor — TikTok. In this edition of the MDM Podcast, Senior Editor Eric Smith speaks with Werner about the busy year for him and his team, and how their initiatives resulted in measurable improvement for Global Industrial’s bottom line.

Building materials distributor Palmer-Donavin is feeling the crunch of labor shortages and supply constraints that many distribution companies now face. But despite those obstacles, it’s been a banner year for Palmer-Donavin. In this MDM podcast, CEO Robyn Pollina shares the secret to the company’s success in handling ongoing challenges, and discusses operational improvements the company is embarking on to ensure a strong future.

 

Kevin Short started his role with ORS Nasco in early 2020 after a 25-year career in other industrial distribution sectors. Here, he discusses how the company – with a diverse set of customer segments and 450,000 SKUs – navigated 2020, its transformation and unique positioning as a wholesaler. Short also delves into how the ORS Nasco value proposition is evolving, and the nature of leadership in 2021.

The pandemic accelerated distributors’ digital transformations with artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge compute, IoT and 5G poised to play key roles going forward for supply chains and e-commerce platforms. Next-gen technology can help improve the customer experience and provide independent distributors with an edge in differentiating themselves from digital disruptors.

With a background in event ticketing, Scott Barrows got a front row seat to witness how e-commerce platforms can affect distributor performance. Although in a different market sector, the lessons Barrows learned carry into the way he manages BluePallet, a B2B e-commerce platform currently serving the chemicals vertical. Listen in as Barrows discusses the pros and cons of how digital transformation can impact distributors.

Profitability, pricing and supply chain strategy consultant Jonathan Byrnes discusses the core concepts from his latest book on how distributors can target profitable customer segments and create differentiated services and experiences that can’t be replicated by the tech giants. He outlines a roadmap and most important steps to take now to reclaim control of your markets.

Former distribution CMO and expert in B2B customer loyalty programs Doug Press believes the core differentiators distributors have always had are the personal, deeply engaged relationships with customers. We talk about the strategy, tactics, monetization and metrics for how to best translate that critical asset post-pandemic into the realm of online engagement.
With a bright outlook shaping 2021 for pandemic and economic recovery, now is a critical time to look hard at what a distributor’s new value proposition looks like. Mark Dancer talks about what distributors are learning as they compete more effectively in the digital age, and the three emerging business models shaping the future of distribution.
In this conversation, President & CEO Jeff Cloud shares how this 72-year-old Midwest distributor with 36 locations has navigated the challenges of 2020 and continues to build a more digital- and data-driven organization. As part of the third-generation leadership team, Jeff talks about the core values and culture that continue to form its differentiated value propositions across a diverse customer base.

In this episode, MDM Future Leader Matt Miller, VP of Corporate Development at Jupiter Communications, discusses four critical projects he led as Commercial Operations Manager at IEWC and the need to transform customer experience from the inside-out. As a Future Leader, Miller shares his perspective on attracting top emerging talent, and the future of distribution.

PART TWO: In this episode, industry consultant (and MDM contributor across five decades!) Bruce Merrifield discusses post-COVID-19 scenarios for distributors and the imperatives to transform into more customer-centric, profit-driven entities to compete effectively with digital sellers. Key question: What if customers want digital first, then virtual support as needed, and finally physical visits by the “experts” they select? What will you and your assigned, regular-calling rep do?

As veterans of the B2B e-commerce world, Brian Beck and Andy Hoar know a boring online presentation when they see one. That’s why the pair are framing their new MasterB2B online video series as “the un-webinar.” Launching March 30, the series of un-webinars will unfold approximately every three weeks, providing distributors, manufacturers and other industry stakeholders with the tools and insider knowledge needed to run a successful e-commerce operation.

Visit masterb2b.com/ for more information.

Investment Banking Directory

The MDM Investment Banks in Distribution directory is a listing of firms with expertise in the wholesale distribution industry.