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.


S6E12: Perspectives on Canadian Jan-San distribution channels

Tom Fournier, president of Shade’s Mills Group, a sales strategy consultancy based in Cambridge, Ontario, shares insights from a career managing sales channels in Canada and the U.S. with an international jan-san products manufacturer. Topics discussed include unique sales coverage characteristics of Canadian markets, and recent shifts as the sector has commoditized and targeted by Amazon Business and other non-traditional competitors.

S6E11: Channel dynamics, the value of distribution, sales and leadership

Chester Collier, Walter Senior Vice President, shares four decades of international sales management and business development experience across industrial distribution channels. Collier is deeply passionate about the value of distribution and leadership. We discuss the current state of channel dynamics and ways in which sales management has and has not changed in the face of rapid change the past few years.

S6E10: Sales transformation 101 with Mike Marks

IRCG’s Mike Marks talks with Tom Gale about core elements of sales transformation, distilling six years of research from distributors innovating their sales process to a more profitable model. We preview our virtual Sales Transformation Bootcamp series this spring and outline the three keys to successful sales transformation: Benchmark current state, rethink the process, execute the change.

S6E9: Global Industrial CEO Barry Litwin on 2021 financials and strategy update

Global Industrial is investing in key strategic initiatives, in sales, marketing, private brand, digital transformation and distribution, that they believe will drive sales, including its new NASCAR partnership. Litwin discusses 2021 financial performance, the critical importance of B2B e-commerce to Global’s strategy, and where the industry is headed in 2022.

S6E8: John Gunderson, EpaCube Vice President, on growth levers in 2022

We catch up with John Gunderson to learn what he’s hearing on how 2022 is shaping up and ways executive teams are managing inventory, pricing, margin expansion, digital and more. With a 20-year career in distribution sales and marketing, John has one of the most extensive networks across distribution verticals, including electrical, datacom, general-line MRO and construction supplies.

S6E7: Tony Pericle, ProfitOptics CEO and founder, on the power of analytics for distributors

Tony Pericle started in distribution sales 204th out of 207 sales reps. Three years later he ranked in the top 25. After increasing sales, marketing and margin management leadership roles, he formed ProfitOptics in 2008 and has been passionate about how distributors can use analytics and technology to make better decisions. We discuss prescriptive analytics, AI, workflow automation, profit optimization and more.

S6E6: Motion Industries President Randy Breaux breaks down the Kaman Distribution Group acquisition

Randy Breaux shares details on how the deal came together, synergies and future growth opportunity in this deeper dive into the $1.3-billion transformative acquisition combining the No. 1 and No. 3 power transmission/motion controls distributors in North America. The combination of the two companies is estimated to generate $7.8 billion in pro forma 2022 revenue.

S6E5: Larry Davis, AgoNow CEO, on the mandate for digitizing the customer journey across industrial channels.

Larry Davis has strong opinions on change and opportunities to make the supply chain work more effectively as customers have moved quickly to digital procurement. We discuss hybrid sales roles, the power of digital content, value creation and the era of collaboration that is defining new models of competitive advantage going forward.

S6E4: Interview with Avnet’s Peggy Carrieres on solving inventory issues and designing for manufacturing

Peggy Carrieres has worked more than 20 years in the semiconductor industry, including the past six at global electronic components distributor Avnet. An expert in supply chain issues, customer management contracts, pricing negotiations and other industry elements, Carrieres talks about how distributors can ensure a financially healthy inventory mix while working with customers to enrich end-to-end design functions.

S6E3: Interview with Factrees CEO Keith Williams on its network platform and distribution marketplaces

After a career leading digital transformation for large distributors and B2C firms, Williams launched networking platform Factrees to digitize and modernize distributor-rep-manufacturer relationships. Think ‘LinkedIn meets a dating app’ to streamline how industrial/construction products sellers find sourcing partners.

S6E2: Digital Transformation: What does it really mean for distributors?

Shift7 Digital CEO Andrew Walker draws on his extensive B2B consulting experience with distributors and manufacturers — including Global Industrial — to share what makes for an effective technology strategy. Listen to hear why a product-first focus doesn’t work in distribution e-commerce, the benefits of content storytelling and other ways to differentiate your company’s online experience.

S6E1: Interview with Al Bates, Distribution Performance Project

In this episode, Al Bates, principal of Distribution Performance Project and guru of financial performance benchmarking, shares three factors for how smaller distributors can gain competitive advantage against larger competitors as he sees high-touch customer opportunities developing. He also discusses why he wrote his latest book, Profit Guide for the Small Distributor, where he details a profit-first methodology and playbook.

13: Interview with Zoro’s Tracy Buelow on building a credible e-commerce platform

In this podcast, Tracy Buelow, senior director of business development at Zoro, talks about the business elements that are essential to the success of e-commerce platforms and the pandemic’s lasting effect on distributors’ approach to e-commerce.

12: Interview with Will Humsi, Simon-Kucher & Partners, on inflation management

What separates businesses that are successful at recouping inflationary pressures versus those that aren’t? Drawing from more than a decade of experience in B2B pricing, sales and strategy consulting, Will Humsi, partner at consultancy Simon-Kucher, shares ways distributors can be strategic about their pricing strategy to combat inflation and other margin-reducing factors.

10: Interview with Jinny Kcehowski, Curbell Plastics, on the Latest Training Techniques

A lot has changed in distribution training best practices in the decade-plus since Jinny Kcehowski took over internal employee training at Curbell Plastics. And that was before the pandemic sent everything virtual. In this podcast, Kcehowski discusses how to use training as a retention technique, pitfalls to avoid and the future of employee development.

10: Interview with Mark Roberts, CEO, OTB Solutions on Sales Team Effectiveness.

Distribution sales strategist Mark Roberts has one question for you: Do you really need more sales people? Perhaps the real question should be: How can I make the most out of my existing sales team? Roberts breaks down the latest thinking on distribution sales team effectiveness, including how to determine who might be better placed in another position.

9: Motion President Randy Breaux: Listen to Customers and Be Transparent with Employees

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.

8: Interview with Dave Flitman, CEO, Builders FirstSource, on what’s driving growth, the importance of M&A and the role technology plays for the distributor

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.

7: Interview with Ferguson’s Kelsey Bergan and Denise Vaughn on Sustainability in Distribution

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.  

6: Interview with Dan Tinker on SRS Distribution’s rapid growth and what’s next for the building materials distributor

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.

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