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.


5: Interview with Winsupply President John McKenzie on how his company is solving supply chain and labor issues

In this podcast, Winsupply President John McKenzie talks about how his company is addressing supply chain constraints, the labor shortage and hybrid training, as well as how Winsupply is driving more of its business to digital.

4: Interview with Jon and Matt Schreibfeder of Effective Inventory Management on best practices in inventory management

Jon Schreibfeder has received more calls in the last six months from distributors looking for inventory management consulting than at any other time in his 40+ years in the field. Listen in as the Schreibfeders share their insider tips on practical, data-based solutions to handle today’s supply chain disruptions.

3: Interview with Will Matthews of Matthews Performance Group on talent management

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.

2: Interview with David Oldfather and Mike Wentz of IDEA on competitive technology in distribution

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.

1: Interview with Essendant President and CEO Harry Dochelli on the company’s ongoing transformation

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.

16: Interview with NetPlus Alliance’s Jennifer Murphy and Developing Professionals’ Lori Miller on organizational restructuring

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.

15: Interview with Alex Moazed, Applico CEO, on key characteristics of successful marketplaces

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.

14: Klaus Werner, Chief Marketing Officer, Global Industrial, and a Digital Innovator Award winner

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.

13: Interview with Palmer-Donavin CEO Robyn Pollina on why inventory is the new king

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.

12: Interview with Kevin Short, ORS Nasco/MEDCO Tool President & CEO

Starting his role with ORS Nasco in early 2020 after a 25-year career in other industrial distribution sectors, Kevin Short 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, how its value proposition is evolving and the nature of leadership in 2021.

11: Interview with Roy Chua, AvidThink founder and principal, on AI/ML, cloud and edge compute

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.

10: Interview with Scott Barrows, BluePallet CEO, on E-Commerce Platform Evolution

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.

9: Interview with Jonathan Byrnes, Profit Isle, on how to compete against the digital giants and thrive

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.

8: Interview with Doug Press of The Incentive Group on Customer Engagement

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.

7: Interview with Mark Dancer on Business Model Innovation

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.

6: Interview with Jeff Cloud, IBT Industrial Solutions

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.

5: Interview with Matt Miller, MDM 2020 Future Leader, on Driving Commercial Excellence

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.

4: Interview with Bruce Merrifield, MDM contributor, on more adaptive selling models

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? 


3: Interview with Brian Beck and Andy Hoar, B2B e-commerce vets on new MasterB2B series

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.

2: Interview with Bruce Merrifield, MDM contributor, on new-normal distribution business models

In this episode, industry consultant (and MDM contributor across five decades!) Bruce Merrifield discusses post-COVID 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? 

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