September 25

2:00 - 5:00 pm


4:00 - 5:00 pm

Opening Session

Join SHIFT Ambassadors and fellow attendees for a crash-course on how to make the most of your SHIFT experience. Meet new friends and enjoy a drink (or two!) on us. 

5:00 - 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception

Join fellow attendees, speakers and sponsors to kickoff SHIFT | The Future of Distribution


September 26

7:00 - 5:00 pm


7:00 - 8:00 am


8:00 - 8:10 am


8:10 - 9:00 am

Keynote: What is Next in Distribution: How to Outperform in a Changing Landscape

Kevin Sachs, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
Alex Abdelnour, Partner, McKinsey & Company
In our Day 1 keynote, McKinsey’s distribution practice leaders share the just-released update on their groundbreaking 2019 research report, The coming shakeout in industrial distribution. A widening gap is accelerating between distributors becoming mere links in supply chains with those deepening customer relationships as business partners who add value. Incremental improvements and wait-and-see attitudes could lead to ruin against digital attackers, non-traditional competitors, and new actors with deep pockets.

Bold strategy is needed. This session discusses what separates winners from laggers and what distributors can and should do to drive a step change in shareholder value, protect their business and win in a rapidly changing landscape.

9:00 - 9:45 am

Implementing a High-Performance Distribution Sales Model

Michael Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group
As our keynote highlights, COVID-19 exposed the already unsustainable path of traditional outside field sales models. Based on six years of Sales GPS research and decades of distribution business transformation work, Mike Marks presents a roadmap for what to tackle first and where to focus to transition to a digitally-enabled, buyer-centric sales model – the strategies, tactics and action steps to execute the sales transformation plan that’s right for your business. 

9:45 - 10:30 am

Panel: Core Principles of Successful Sales Model Transformation

Dana Mouritzen, President West Region, Sonepar USA
Kevin Ryan, Senior Director, Sales Operations, Henry Schein
Confirming More Panelists Soon!
Moderator: Michael Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group
Larger distributors face unique change management challenges due to scale and more dispersed organizational structures. But there are lessons for every size company in the stories of these three companies that have navigated multi-year transformation efforts in their sales structures.


11:00 - 11:15 am

Sponsor Spotlight: Supply Chain & Productivity Innovation

Will Quinn, Director, Industry & Solution Strategy, Infor
Mike Hockett, Executive Editor, Modern Distribution Management
Distribution warehousing, logistics and operations management has never been more challenging than the past two years of supply chain and talent challenges. In this sponsor spotlight conversation, Will Quinn shares his decades of logistics, distribution center management, customer fulfillment and quality control experience as we explore success levers and KPIs that increase productivity and mitigate stock-outs to ensure the best customer experience. 

11:15 - 11:45 am

The Culture Minefield in Digital Transformation

Jason Hein, Principal Strategist – B2B, Bloomreach
In this session, we will discuss the impact of business culture on digital success. Too often companies jump into a digital transformation project – buying software and hiring people when they lack a culture that can support digital from the start. This can turn any digital transformation effort into a virtual minefield, where problems don’t show up until they blow up. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of where culture creates problems in digital, how it can accelerate success, and a few practical strategies that distributors can use to get through the minefield safely. 

11:45 - 12:30 pm

Panel: Manage Complexity, Maximize Value in Your Tech Stack

Steve Levy, Vice President Enterprise Architecture, Infor
Brian Friedle, Vice President of Business Development, White Cup
Joe Bennett, SVP North America, Unilog
Moderator: TBD – Announcing Soon!
A high-performance technology backbone is foundational for a digitally powered distributor and successful business transformation. What’s the right fit for your unique business requirements today across the exploding spectrum from ERP to PIM to AI? And how do you get them to play well together? This panel has deep distribution experience – on both sides of the buyer/seller table – in navigating selection, integration and implementation challenges. Tap into these diverse perspectives to help benchmark your current tech stack and define future priorities for your portfolio. 


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

1:15 - 2:00 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – The Sliding Scale of Sales Transformation

Mike Kunkle, VP, Sales Effectiveness, SPARXiQ
Michael Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group
You’ve heard about the urgent need for business transformation in the marketplace, and learned how that applies to distribution, specifically. Mike Marks and Mike Kunkle will continue to pull on that thread to share how to get value from the Sales Force Effectiveness part of your business transformation. This discussion includes several methods and tools to guide your journey and turn abstract concepts into actionable plans. 


  • How strategy, go-to-market tactical planning and execution dovetail with key dependencies (and how the sales elements fit in). 
  • Kunkle’s Building Blocks of Sales Enablement framework, which doubles as a diagnostic tool and blueprint for aligning initiatives to maximize sales force performance. 
  • A situation assessment method (with a gap/impact analysis) that will help you prioritize those building blocks and initiatives, based on your strategy and diagnostic work.
  • A Force Field Analysis tool to turn the above efforts into an actionable plan to close gaps, transform your sales results and achieve your desired outcomes. 

Track B: Digital Transformation – David vs. Goliath: Do You Have to Be Big to Win in B2B eCommerce? 

Andy Hoar, CEO, Paradigm B2B; Co-Founder, Master B2B
Brian Beck, Beck Ecommerce; Co-Founder, Master B2B
Confirming More Panelists Soon!
Does size really make a difference in the current digital landscape today, with innovative technologies following Moore’s Law and then some. Seasoned B2B eCommerce experts Andy Hoar and Brian Beck moderate a no-holds-barred panel discussion to get to the core of the issues on how level the playing field is, and who can win the important battles.

Track C: Data Analytics – Advanced Analytics Best Practices

Tony Pericle, CEO, ProfitOptics
Leading-edge distributors are deploying an advanced portfolio of analytics to grow and protect revenue and profit. This session will outline several examples blending prescriptive and collaborative analytics that enable the sales team to achieve meaningful results with minimal effort and risk.

2:05 - 2:50 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – Resetting Distribution’s Value in the Channel

James Dorn, President/CEO, Dorn Group
J. Schneider, Managing Director, Dorn Group
Demonstrating unique value has never been more difficult for distributors. In an era of increasing marketplaces and manufacturers selling direct – the channel is changing and in need of new infrastructure. This session will inspire distributors and manufacturers to work closer together to reinforce their collective position in the market by providing compounding value. Dorn will provide insights on facilitating joint-planning, building modern sales & marketing programs and new ways to measure success in addition to findings from their recent research on the state of manufacturer-direct channels. 

Track B: Digital Transformation – Platform Strategy

Jason Capshaw, Director of Demand Generation, Dorn Group
This tactical workshop outlines the structure, team and tools to launch high-ROI technology projects at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional IT efforts. Jason Capshaw shares real-life examples of distribution-specific sprint methodology he has used to design, prototype and test ideas with customers – without coding or expensive R&D. Includes take-home worksheets and resource materials. 

Track C: Data Analytics – Latest Trends in Metrics and Measurement for CX, CSAT and VoC

Tom Vander Well, CEO, Intelligentics
Scott Wier, President, Customer Insights, Intelligentics
Tony Harris, Branding & Marketing Strategy Advisor, Intelligentics
What customer experience (CX), customer satisfaction (CSAT), and voice of the customer (VOC) metrics are most critical to business growth and success? What are the current best practices for measuring them? In this workshop, the team from Intelligentics will leverage over 30 years of experience as customer and market researchers in distribution to explore trends with regard to key performance, survey and feedback metrics. Learn what your business should consider measuring based on current goals and initiatives.


3:40 - 4:20 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – Six Steps to Accelerate Sales with Digital Marketing

Susan Merlo, President, Next Level iMedia | Founder, The Digital Distributor
There are six core elements that form the foundation of every digital sales and marketing function. All six are critical if your company wants to run a hybrid sales model that successfully connects with your audience. In this session, you’ll learn what these elements are, why they’re necessary, and how to put them in place. Walk away with an immediately actionable six-step roadmap that is guaranteed to elevate the results of your digital sales transformation.

Track B: Digital Transformation – Marketplace Strategy Panel

Confirming Panelists Soon!
Moderator: Brian Beck, Co-Founder, Master B2B; Beck Ecommerce
Marketplaces are being adopted by B2B buyers at record rates. However, resource constrained sellers are confronted with a myriad of options when considering a marketplace strategy. Should you sell on third party marketplaces such as Amazon Business, launch a company-owned marketplace to broaden assortment and manage channel conflict, or do both? Where is the best place to focus and the pros and cons of each approach? By selling on third-party marketplaces, are distributors and suppliers just enabling new competitors, or capturing new customers and building brand awareness? Join Ecommerce expert Brian Beck and a panel of industry leaders as they debate this important topic. 

Track C: Data Analytics – Market Analysis: The Heart of Sales Analytics

Bob Jordan, VP Analytics, Modern Distribution Management
Tom Gale, CEO, Modern Distribution Management
Leading sales organizations are intentional in where they focus sales resources on high-potential opportunities. They embed analytics and put prospect/opportunity value at the heart of sales decisions. This session will help you strengthen your sales analytics strategy as we explore the models, use cases and techniques to profile opportunity by customer, product and territory; estimate market/wallet share, and target prospects that most impact revenue and profit growth.

4:20 - 5:00 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – Roundtable Discussions: Insights on Sales Transformation

Facilitated by SHIFT Ambassadors – Announcing Soon!
Every organization is at a different stage of executing fundamental change today. Tap into the expertise of those deeper in the sales transformation maturity cycle to workshop your questions and challenges. Previous attendees of MDM’s sales and digital transformation conferences – true ambassadors for change – will facilitate the conversations and share lessons learned. 

Track B: Digital Transformation – Why Digital Content Belongs in Your Sales Toolbox

Lindsay Young, President, 3 Aspens Media
Your website needs to work in concert with your people to help your customers make the right buying decision. That means going far beyond just listing products and features. Distributors need to create a rich library of genuinely useful resources so that prospects can find what they need from you – and not be forced to go to another website to get the right answer.


  • A roadmap for building a content strategy that supports your sales and marketing goals
  • Digital content types every distributor should create to keep prospects from falling out of the sales funnel
  • Practical tips from distributor and manufacturer websites that have gone beyond products and features to support customers’ shopping needs
  • How to turn your team’s knowledge into relevant digital content
  • Common mistakes to avoid in building out a content strategy for your website

Track C: Data Analytics – Take Unfair Share with Distributor-Manufacturer Analytic Partnerships

John Gunderson, Sr. Consultant Channel Sales and Marketing Strategy, Dorn Group
Steve Gettleman, Category Management and Supply Chain Consultant, SG Consulting Service
There are a few fundamental levers distributors and manufacturers can deploy together to drive significant revenue gains. But it requires deeper analytics than superficial win-loss analysis. This session gives manufacturers and distributors in the room stronger tools – and case studies from both perspectives – to measure metro-level territory coverage, methods to increase market and mindshare with key supplier partners, and Special Pricing (SPA)/Contract Agreement analytics to drive expansion at the account and local-market level.

Bonus: You’ll get a directory of key analytics to monitor during a downturn for inventory, sales and pricing to stay ahead of competitors.

Evening Reception & Dinner, 5:00 – 7:30 pm

Enjoy beautiful Colorado in this outdoor reception and join the party! Meet with speakers, sponsors and attendees over dinner, drinks and cap off the evening with the drawings of prizes from MDM and event sponsors. This is a great opportunity to expand your network, learn from the expertise of the primary service providers and discover new friends. 


September 27

7:00 - 3:00 pm​


7:00 - 8:00 am


8:00 - 9:00 am​

Keynote: What is Next in Distribution: The Future of Selling 

Maria Boulden, VP, Executive Partner, Sales, Gartner
We have moved into a world where digital dominates and it is increasingly harder for distribution sales teams to cut through the noise and be a part of a more virtual solution. What’s the answer? Maria Boulden will update Gartner’s latest research on the tectonic shifts in B2B buying behaviors, how distributors can rewrite B2B selling for the new world of digital buyers and how to create new opportunities to drive profitable growth with your supply partners and customers.

9:00 - 9:45 am​

Re-Imagine Leadership for Distribution

Dirk Beveridge, Founder, UnleashWD; We Supply America
UnleashWD founder and We Supply America producer Dirk Beveridge shares his latest research into the three forces – external, internal and people – defining new leadership attributes required to build strong, resilient distribution teams and retain the talent to win in turbulent markets.

Innovating Distribution Culture Panel

Katie Poehling Seymour, President and CEO, First Supply
Drew Roberts, CEO, ProSource Plumbing Supply
Moderator: Dirk Beveridge, Founder, UnleashWD; We Supply America

How we work together has changed forever. Hear the transformation stories of two distribution leaders in this panel discussion that explores how they have cultivated engagement, talent and momentum in defining the next generation of leadership.


10:15 - 10:25 am​

From the Field – An Update from Epicor

10:25 - 11:10 am​

Distributor Panel: AI and the Future of Distribution Sales

John Hill, Chief Digital Information Officer, MSC Industrial Supply
Confirming Additional Panelists Soon!
Moderator: Benj Cohen, Founder & CEO, Proton

The digitization forced by COVID and the rise of Amazon have made customers expect a personalized and omni-channel buying experience. In this panel we’ll talk about what distributors are doing today to deliver this for their customers, including the critical role of AI.

11:10 - 11:55 am​

Distributor Panel: Practical Best Practices in Business Transformation

Tony Harris, CEO and Founder, THINCB2B
Mark Wardley, President, Reece Group

Confirming More Panelists Soon!
Moderator: Announcing Soon!
Change management is an essential component of successful transformation. Our panelists have deep experience executing sales, omnichannel and digital transformation programs that have created significant competitive advantage.

11:55 - 12:25 pm

Consultant Panel: Been There, Changed That!

Kevin Sachs, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company
Maria Boulden, VP, Executive Partner, Sales, Gartner
Dirk Beveridge, Founder, UnleashWD; We Supply America
James Dorn, President/CEO, Dorn Group

Michael Marks, Founding Partner, Indian River Consulting Group
Moderator: Tom Gale, CEO, Modern Distribution Management

We cap SHIFT 2022 with a chance to distill key takeaways formed from our time together. Bring questions, insights and challenges to share with these panelists who have helped hundreds of distributors and manufacturers create value and battle inertia, sabotage and indifference in executing change management and transformation.


Transformation Masterclasses

Bonus! To ensure your success in putting transformational ideas to work from the past two days, we’ve added two one-hour Masterclass sessions to dive deeper into each of the core track topics – sales strategy, digital transformation and data analytics. These interactive sessions are designed to take the inspiration, innovation and strategy fueled by SHIFT 2022 to a more tactical level when you get back to your desk. Bring your ideas, challenges and enthusiasm to make SHIFT happen!

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – Masterclass: Resetting Sales Compensation Plans

Mike Emerson, Managing Partner, Indian River Consulting Group
Sales Compensation and incentive design have been tested like never before in the last two years. Indian River’s Mike Emerson will share models to redesign total selling costs when innovations are made in traditional roles and specialization increases. Participants will understand the levers that can drive down total selling costs while retaining the key talent necessary for success. 

As the primary author on the two major studies from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors around sales incentive design, Mike Emerson will address the underlying root causes of compensation obstacles to strategic and structural alignment and provide practical solutions to address them. Attendees will walk away with actionable approaches to clear compensation related obstacles from their chosen paths. Specific topics include: the importance of differentiating gross-profit dollars, migrating to goal-based compensation plans, including goal setting best practices, and how high base pay can actually increase risk.

Track B: Digital Transformation – Getting Your eCommerce Platform Selection Right the First Time

Andy Hoar, CEO, Paradigm B2B; Co-Founder, Master B2B
Re-platforming is sometimes unavoidable and occasionally cannot be anticipated. But often, re-platforming is due to poor planning and a lack of vision. The key to making the right platform decision is to focus on the customer experience you want to differentiate with 2-3 years IN THE FUTURE and select an eCommerce platform that WILL most effectively deliver on that vision.

Choosing a platform that supports today’s experience with the hope of extending the solution as circumstances evolve is a prescription for failure. You will always find yourself scrambling to catch up with both your customers’ evolving behavior and your own infrastructural and technological deficiencies. Join Andy Hoar for a masterclass on how to determine what your customer experience should look like 3 years from now and how to choose a platform and partner now to make that experience a reality. 

Track C: Data Analytics – Technology, Process and Talent: Keys to Becoming an Analytics Distributor

Tony Pericle, CEO, ProfitOptics
Most distributors recognize that better analytics leads to better decisions, and better outcomes. But many distributors struggle at where to start, and more importantly, how to create the structure for continual analytics improvement. Tony Pericle and his team have architected analytics solutions that contribute $150M+/year in EBITA for his company’s clients. This interactive session will discuss the technology, process and talent attributes necessary to build and continually improve your internal analytics capability.

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Track A: Sales Strategy – A Guide to Talent & Leadership Development in Distribution Organizations

Tracie Sponenberg, Chief People Officer, The Granite Group
Dirk Beveridge, Founder, UnleashWD; We Supply America

The Human Resources function is quickly re-inventing itself – from policy, liability and compliance managers to facilitators that maximize the value of employees and drive business results. This session offers a roadmap for how to rethink talent acquisition and retention, engagement and leadership development in creating the distribution culture of the future.

Track B: Digital Transformation – Reintermediation: A Moonshot for Leading Through Innovation

Mark Dancer, CEO, Network for Business Innovation
Disintermediation is a no-brainer for manufacturers, made possible by digital technologies and indifferent customers. Distributors are on defense, putting moats around customers, and arguing that dying value chain partnerships remain vital. On this path, distributors can only delay the inevitable. Something rare and unexpected is needed. Distributors, and their institutions, must go on offense. 

In this masterclass, we will explore the power of ideas for revealing game-changing innovations, create foresight for the future of distribution, and develop influence strategies that work. We will learn that the opposite of disintermediation is reintermediation, a modern-day moonshot for reinvigorating our economy and creating wealth for customers and communities. Distributors can win, but only if they lead.

Track C: Data Analytics – Data, Tactics and Business Transformation

Tom Vander Well, CEO, Intelligentics
Tony Harris, Founder and CEO, THINCB2B

How does a business turn data into profitable transformation? Over the past several years, the team at Intelligentics has been assisting a Distribution client transform their business utilizing the data from multiple research and assessment projects along with a multi-level consultation and coaching approach to translate data into actionable, tactical business changes. They share this success story and discuss practical ways to use data to make a difference. 

Program Close –  3:00 pm


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