Podcasts Archive - Modern Distribution Management

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S9E12: How Kodiak Grows through Local Empowerment

In just a dozen years, Kodiak Building Partners has gone from inception to No. 11 on MDM’s Top Building Materials Distributors List, acquiring over distribution 100 locations along the way and now has over 6,000 employees. CEO Steve Swinney details how enabling local autonomy has been crucial in the company’s growth strategy.


Quicktake 11.17.23: Price is Now Priority for Customers

The relative importance customers assign to the equation of price, availability and support has shifted in Q3, with important implications for distributors. And now digital is in the mix. James Dorn summarizes Dorn Group’s latest survey results with some surprising insights. 

S9E11: Amazon Business is Just Getting Started

Amazon Business surpassed $35 billion in annualized sales in early 2023, and it has plenty of further expansion on its mind. The marketplace’s worldwide director, Todd Heimes, joins us to discuss how Amazon Business is constantly innovating to cater to today’s B2B buyer, and why it sees immense opportunity ahead.

S9E1: A Category Management Deep Dive with Steve Gettleman

We chat with former MSC Industrial Supply veteran Steve Gettleman on the topic of category management, for which he says a formal plan is severely lacking across the distribution sector. We cover the ins and outs of category management and how distributors of all kinds can leverage such a plan.

Quicktake 07.28.23: Distribution Business Model Transformation 


In May, Mike Marks and Tom Gale talked about what the shift from a gen-one to gen-two distributor looks like. This conversation goes into the deeper dimensions of a larger business model transformation this industry is navigating, and where share and competitive advantage is being won and lost.  

S8E18: Jonathan Byrnes on Enterprise Profit Management

“Why didn’t we make budget and how can we fix it?” The volatility of recent years has made budget variance a demanding challenge for all distributors. Jonathan Byrnes of Profit Isle discusses the profitability concepts he developed – with better detail and real-time information – that are helping management teams make better decisions, more accurately meet budget, and achieve step changes in profitability.

S8E17: Fueling Product & Service Innovation with Customer Immersion

Distribution consultant and serial entrepreneur Brent Grover joins MDM’s Tom Gale to discuss customer immersion as a best practice for developing breakthrough products and services. He also gives us a look into a very different distribution business model led by a Millennial and run by Gen Z managers and shares his take on distribution’s M&A landscape.

S8E16: Scott Schuenke on Sonepar’s Growth & Strategic Development

Electrical distribution veteran executive Scott Schuenke discusses Sonepar North America’s growth in his 16 years with the company, which culminate with his retirement this month as VP of Strategic Development. He touches on how the company has evolved and continuously innovated during his tenure.

S8E15: What Shaped MDM’s 2023 Top Distributors Lists

We condense the guest interviews and analysis from our Top Distributors webcast into a compilation podcast about the economic and industry factors that dictated who appeared where on our 17 different rankings lists. Guest voices include Grainger’s Paige Robbins, BlackHawk Industrial’s John Mark, Kimball Midwest’s Patrick McCurdy III, Channel Marketing Group’s David Gordon, Webb Analytics’ Craig Webb and MDM’s Tom Gale.

QuickTake 06.09.23: The Power of Qualitative Analytics

James Dorn and Tom Gale explore how to collect qualitative data to ensure distribution associates are in tune with what their end customers most value.

Quicktake 5.26.23: The Many Problems AI Engines Can Solve

While ChatGPT is all the rage, MDM’s Tom Gale and Indian River Consulting Group’s Mike Marks tackle the broader applications that AI-backed software can make more efficient and soon become widespread in distribution.


S8E14: Patrick McCurdy III on Kimball Midwest’s Constant Improvement

MRO parts distributor Kimball Midwest isn’t slowing down upon achieving 100 years in business. President Patrick McCurdy III stops by to discuss the company’s training and development efforts, digital initiatives and business performance so far in 2023.


Quicktake 05.19.23: Pricing for Digital Commerce

One of the biggest factors limiting the success of B2B distributor eCommerce is pricing. James Dorn looks at pricing strategy and two schools of thought on how distributors look at the ROI equation for their eCommerce revenues.


S8E13: Marketing Missteps that Cause Channel Conflict

Mike Hockett asks Consight Marketing Group’s Alan Hale about what grinds his gears in distribution marketing, and it’s a lot. Their discussion covers how marketing is a point of channel conflict, and how the situation can be improved. They also explore social media do’s and don’ts, as well as the vital role of customer insights.

S8E12: NAHAD Members Voice Cautious Optimism, Labor Updates

Mike Hockett interviews a handful of industry executives at NAHAD’s recent 2023 Convention in the Bahamas. Amid the tropical weather and island vibes, attendees were happy to discuss the the state of industry demand and give updates on the labor and supply chain situation.

Quicktake 05.05.23: The Move from Gen-One to Gen-Two Distributor

The industry is in a disruptive business model revolution with traditional (gen-one) distributors threatened by new competitors with radically different financial and go-to-market models. IRCG’s Mike Marks shares thoughts on how distributors can build a next-generation distributor that can grow profitably and take share from the new competitors.

Quicktake 04.28.23: Category & Supplier Management Strategies

Customers are experiencing price increase fatigue and looking for new ways to reduce costs in their operations. James Dorn shares thoughts on how distributors can manage their manufacturer suppliers more strategically to protect margins going forward as supply chains normalize. 

S8E11: Voices of ISA23 – Networking Push a Big Hit

Mike Hockett interviewed a handful of industry executives on the expo floor of ISA23 in Phoenix, where a focus on networking events was the talk of the show. The resulting series of brief interviews also touched what those are hearing on the product demand front, supply chain and labor situation.

QuickTake 04.21.23: Sales Transformation Trending in 2023

This week Tom Gale and IRCG’s Mike Marks debrief on the Industrial Supply Association Summit, with a deeper discussion on what’s new for 2023 as more distributors engage in transforming sales processes and go-to-market models. Key question: What year will inside sales outnumber outside sales industrywide?

S8E10: Family Ties, Women in Industry & ‘Distribution’s Moment’ with Katie Poehling Seymour

Katie Poehling Seymour might be the busiest executive in distribution. But she made time to stop by and discuss her path to leading family-owned First Supply, the progress on women’s representation in distribution and why “this is distribution’s moment.”

Quicktake 04.14.23: Profit Levers For a Tightening Year

One quarter through 2023 the pricing pendulum appears to be reversing with volume moderating across most distribution sectors. Dorn Group’s James Dorn and Tom Gale discuss sell-side, buy-side and program improvements distributors can make in this year’s environment of contraction to protect and improve profit.


S8E9: Jeff Crane on ERIKS NA’s Year of Change and Path Forward

CEO Jeff Crane joins to discuss a year of change for ERIKS North America, which divested from ERIKS NV in early 2022. We discus the company’s new-look leadership team, a recent acquisition and how the company is looking to grow as standalone entity.


Quicktake 04.07.23: The Right Way to Unwind Company Mistakes

Great ideas sometimes turn into train wrecks. No company bats 100% when it comes to initiatives or projects. But too often management is reluctant to admit a mistake, holding out hope that a positive outcome might be salvageable. In this week’s Quicktake, Indian River Consulting Group’s Mike Marks outlines strategies for minimizing damage and creating best possible outcomes.


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