Podcasts Archive - Modern Distribution Management

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Quicktake 01.27.23: Private Label Outlook for 2023

Private label market share traditionally increases in a downturn. James Dorn of Dorn Group sees a perfect storm brewing as softening inflation and supply chain pressures add some tailwinds to that equation. But brands are not going away. Our conversation reviews strategic options for large and small distributors to consider, as well as brand manufacturers. 


S8E2: NAW’s Eric Hoplin on Combating Challenges in Distribution

Ahead of NAW’s Jan. 31-Feb. 2 Executive Summit in Washington D.C., CEO Eric Hoplin stopped by to discuss how distributors are handling the labor market, economic headwinds, supply chain conditions and more.


Quicktake 01.20.23: Mike Marks Remembers Peter Drucker

If you’ve ever attended a Mike Marks presentation, odds are he referenced one of the most influential thinkers on management in the 20th century. For good reason. In this Quicktake conversation, Marks shares thoughts on time spent with Peter Drucker as his graduate student, insights that fueled his consulting career, and what advice Drucker might have for distributors today.


Quicktake 09.09.22: What Will Distributors Create Going Forward?

Our latest QuickTake podcast discusses how distributors’ roles go beyond reacting to threats and opportunities that many have been preoccupied with since the pandemic arrived. 

S7E8: Grainger’s CFO Talks Tech Stack, Pricing Strategy and More

We chat with Dee Merriwether, CFO of Grainger, which took the top spot on MDM’s Top 2022 Industrial Distributors list. Our conversation covers the MRO giant’s risk mitigation, pricing strategy, how analytics have shaped its digital offerings, and much more.

S7E7: David Ruggles’ Unique Perspective on Digital Transformation

Serving as President of Martin Supply and chairman of ISA, David Ruggles stops by to discuss digital initiatives from both his company and the association, as well as the progress the greater industrial distribution sector has made on that front.

S7E6: Inside Ludwig Meister’s Continuous Transformation

Tom Gale chats with Max Meister, the CEO of Germany-based power transmission products distributor Ludwig Meister, a family-run company that took an inside-out journey to transform its operations over the past decade.

S7E5: The State and Benefits of Product Data Standardization

In this MDM Podcast, our analytics manager interviews ETIM North America Executive Director Mary Shaw, who provides expert insight into the current state of data standardization for manufacturers, distributors and end users. The discussion explores the benefits of standardizing product data and taking the next step into your data journey.

S7E4: Fragmentation isn’t Just Sector-Wide, it’s Within Each Market

We all know the distribution sector is highly fragmented, but to what extent? A chat with McKinsey partners Alex Abdelnour and Kevin Sachs dives into the state of fragmentation within various markets and the factors that separate leading distributors from laggards.

S7E3: The Evolving Role of Associations & Buying Groups

Ranga Bodla, NetSuite’s head of Industrial Marketing, stops by to discuss how the role of distribution associations and buying groups has evolved over the past decade — particularly from 2020 onward — and his company’s newly-launched initiative to better support those groups with education and networking opportunities.

Quicktake 07.22.22: Innovation from Major Deals Challenges PE Playbook

Mike Marks and Tom Gale explore the impact of recent landmark acquisitions and how the mission of strategic deals runs counter to that of private equity.

S7E2: What Sustainability Looks Like at Ferguson

Ferguson’s Vice President of Sustainability discusses the plumbing, PVF and waterworks distribution giant’s bold emissions reduction goals and what it will take to reach them, as well as Ferguson’s now-completed primary listing move from the London Stock Exchange to the New York Stock Exchange and what it means for the company.

Sponsored by Epicor

Quicktake 07.15.22: Distributors’ Strong Growth Persists Despite Contrary Noise

Our latest QuickTake podcast focuses on the importance of maintaining perspective and paying attention to actions and tangible data, rather than taking broad economic downturn talk at face value.

S7E1: Successful Customer Engagement Strategies

Monique Elliott, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Industrial Automation for Schneider Electric, explores successful customer engagement strategies in an increasingly distracted world. Not only crafting an effective customer experience – digital and otherwise – but as importantly how to help your own team overcome the internal challenges and develop a digital-first mindset and culture.


Quicktake 06.24.22: Transparent Communication vs. The Grapevine

Communication was the central topic in the latest Quicktake podcast featuring MDM’s Tom Gale and IRCG’s Mike Marks, as the two dug into what transparency really means.

Quicktake 06.17.22: VUCA Revisited – Focus on the Important

VUCA, unfortunately, has become a well-known acronym among business leaders since early 2020. MDM’s Tom Gale and IRCG’s Mike Marks explore where things stand as a swath of pessimistic economic reports have fueled even more volatility, uncertainty, chaos and ambiguity.



Quicktake 06.03.22: Economic Forecast and A Popcorn Shortage

The latest on the outlook for second half of the year for distributors, ways to manage inventory and inflation volatility, and a popcorn shortage. In this weekly review of current events and themes in distribution channels, Tom Gale & IRCG’s Mike Marks cut through the noise to share thoughts on what’s important, what’s not, and a peak around the corner on what really matters in creating value for customers.



S6E18: NAHAD Ensures its Hard Working Members Get to Play Hard

During the recent NAHAD Convention May 14-17 in Miami Beach, MDM Editor Mike Hockett was able to sit down with NAHAD Executive Vice President Molly Mullins for an interview to discuss the key factors that went into planning this year’s event, why members like attending it and being a part of the association, as well as how those members are handling market challenges.

S6E17: Distribution Marketing Insights with Sheila Hernandez

Summit Electric’s Vice President of Marketing and Supplier Relations Sheila Hernandez’s latest role in leading the company’s marketing efforts includes category management, supplier relations, digital presence and customer lifecycle. We talk marketing plus her contributions to the industry over 35 years with her generous leadership and mentorship.

S6E16: The Power of Independent Distribution

At the age of 19, Doug Savage, President of Bearing Service, Inc., unexpectedly took over running the distribution company his grandfather started. In this podcast, Doug talks about his passion for education, his early adoption of the Entrepreneurial Operating System, the opportunities for independent distributors ahead, and his many leadership roles across a 47-year career.

Sponsored by Epicor

S6E15: The Mandate for Hybrid Sales Models in Distribution

Gartner’s Maria Boulden, Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group and Tom Gale tackle all things sales transformation: Massive shifts in customer buying behavior, digital-first go-to-market strategy, supplier partnerships and the new sales skills needed to compete, including situational awareness, data literacy and digital dexterity.

S6E14: From its Expo, We Go Inside Fastenal With Dan Florness

Fastenal CEO Dan Florness and MDM Editor Mike Hockett chat from the company’s recent Fastenal Expo about the company’s considerable digital growth and how it’s continued to find ways to become closer with its customers. We also touch on Fastenal’s manufacturing capabilities, how the company is addressing labor and lessons learned from the pandemic.

Sponsored by Epicor

S6E13: Redefining Leadership in Distribution

Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD and executive producer of We Supply America, and Tom Gale talk about research into the changing nature of leadership post-Covid. We also touch on  Dirk’s mission of telling the stories of wholesale distribution teams across America – the spirit, the heart, the humanity of what has built the strongest and most resilient economy in the world.

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