Full Agenda

Profit-producing strategies to implement and upgrade digital capabilities.

Tuesday, June 18

Noon – 8:00 PM


1:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Pre-Conference Workshop: A Digital Action Plan for Distributors  

In this handson workshop, you will learn how to build your own digital plan/strategy, based on the workshop leader’s extensive experience helping distributors in launching successful digital implementations. You will walk away with an actual plan template for your organization that is based on best practices. 

Click here to learn more.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Welcome Reception 

Whether you were able to attend the pre-conference workshop or just arriving, please join us at our welcome reception to meet with speakers and other attendees. 

Back to the top

Wednesday, June 19 – AM

6:30 AM – 9:00 AM


6:45 AM – 7:30 AM

Attendee Breakfast

7:45 AM – 7:55 AM

MDM Opening Welcome

Tom Gale

7:55 AM – 8:00 AM

Sponsor Spotlight – Dimensional Insight


8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

The Company That Kills You Will Look Nothing Like you

Justin King 
B2X Partners

Warren Buffet said, “if you’ve got a wonderful castle, there are people out there who are going to try to attack it and take it away from you. And I want a castle that I can understand, but I want a castle with a moat around it.” Most distributors believe their moats are bigger than they really are. With new competitors, Amazon Business, and a major demographic shift, distributors must identify their realistic moats, and use innovation and digital to create new moats. But innovation is not easy inside of today’s distributor. The processes, systems and people that have made most distributors successful to date are exactly the things that will prevent a distributor from embracing new innovative ideas. In this keynote, Justin King will discuss how a distributor can use innovation inside the organization to increase revenue, create a competitive advantage and build a large moat.

9:00 AM – 9:05 AM

Sponsor Spotlight – Vistex


9:05 AM – 10:00 AM

Digital Transformation Success – One Baby Step at a Time

Michael Wu, Ph.D.
Chief AI Strategist, PROS                                                                     

Traditional businesses often must go through digital transformation (DX) to compete effectively with digital-native brands. Although DX is merely the adoption of digital technology to transform your business, it is a very challenging process in practice. More than 80% of DX initiatives fail to create lasting business transformation. This presentation provides the framework (the 4-gears model) that companies can use to visualize what the final state of DX might look like for their organization. Successful DX must go beyond the initial adoption of digital technology to change the process, people and culture of the entire company. The 4-gears model reveals the organization behavioral challenge of DX and explains why so many DX initiatives don’t last — while also revealing an approach that enables companies to maximize their chances of success.

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Networking Break – Sponsor Showcase                                                

10:30 AM – 10:35 AM

Sponsor Spotlight – Agility/Magnitude 


10:35 AM – 11:30 PM


The Coming Commoditization of Distribution: Disruption and What You Can Do About It

Ian Heller
President, MDM

Nearly everything you sell will soon be available quickly and easily from other companies, like marketplaces and manufacturers who ship direct to customers. This commoditization of the heart of a distributor’ value proposition — along with new industry entrants, a changing workforce, and advancing technology – are going to drive consolidation in distribution. You’ll need leading technology capabilities and the ability to develop, price and sell services to thrive in the future.

These massive changes will bring not only threats but also opportunities. It takes a visionary and enlightened leader to succeed when industries go through a transformation. Are you up to the challenge? In this talk, Ian will describe what’s going to happen and explain how you can drive and benefit from the disruption instead of being victimized by it.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Attendee Lunch – The Pavilion                                            

Back to the top

Wednesday, June 19 – PM


12:30 PM - 12:35 PM

Sponsor Spotlight – sales-i

12:35 PM – 1:35 PM

Case Study: The Race to Digital Innovation  

Max Meister
CEO, Ludwig Meister

This $120-million power transmission products distributor in Germany has been on a seven-year innovation and continuous improvement program. In this session you’ll learn how the team built a digital innovation culture, and has systemically – through small, incremental projects – optimized its purchasing, logistics, inventory management, analytics and sales processes.

1:35 PM - 1:40 PM

Sponsor Spotlight – Esker 

1:40 PM – 2:40 PM

Platforms & Marketplaces: How Distributors Can Dominate   

Alex Moazed
CEO, Applico

New networks, platforms and marketplaces are rapidly disrupting traditional distribution business models. Co-author of the best-selling  book Modern Monopolies and regular speaker on platform innovation, Alex will outline the brutal realities as well as opportunities for distributors to embrace these models or struggle to stay competitive as Amazon Business and other digital disruptors gain larger positions across every distribution vertical.


12:30 PM - 12:35 PM

Sponsor Spotlight – Esker

12:35 PM – 1:35 PM

The Real Reason Amazon Business is Taking Your Customers 

Jason Capshaw
Director of Technology, Modern Distribution Management

Amazon obsesses over the adage: “Start with the customer and work your way back.” Most distribution leaders take a sales-first approach to digital strategy. If you want to drive revenue and build a digital moat around your business to protect it from emerging digital competitors, build for the customer first. In this session MDM Technology Director Jason Capshaw shares his experiences building distribution-customer-focused websites and e-commerce platforms that skyrocket conversion rates and revenues. 

1:35 PM - 1:40 PM

Sponsor Spotlight – sales-i

1:40 PM – 2:40 PM

SEO Is Out, Content Marketing Is In: What Distributors Need to Know   

Chris Boggs
Web Traffic Advisors

SEO is still critically important, but needs to be part of a bigger strategy. Too often, those responsible for digital strategy and execution are caught off guard by Google updates, social media trend changes, and even unscrupulous SEO vendors that deliver no value in return for marketing investments. This session maps out an integrated approach to managing SEO, paid media, social media and other campaigns to get the best ROI for your investment.  

2:40 PM – 3:15 PM

Networking Break – Sponsor Showcase                                                

3:15 PM - 3:20PM

Sponsor Spotlight – PROS

3:20 PM – 4:15 PM

Panel: Delivering Customer Value – Digital Disruption Edition 

Moderator: Justin King

Many traditional outside-sales-based distributors are investing in stronger omnichannel capabilities to engage customers more deeply and protect long-time relationships. Then there are the disruptors and innovators, breaking the rules, models and boundaries that have defined how distribution channels have successfully served customer needs. You’ll hear from both sides of the fight for customer attention and loyalty in our digitally disruptive markets today.


  • Jason Joice, HD Supply 
  • Sheila Hernandez, Summit Electric Supply                                    
  • Sean McDonnell, TruPar.com

  • Andy Humphrey, SprinklerSupplyStore.com

4:15 PM - 4:20PM

Sponsor Spotlight – eTurns

4:20 PM – 4:30 PM

MDM Digital Innovator Awards Presentation

We will recognize the 10 winners of the 2019 MDM Digital Innovator Award:

Allied Electronics  | Hisco  |  Ohio Power Tool  |  Charles D. Jones  |  JIS  |  Precision Medical Products  |  FleetPride  |  Ludwig Meister  | WebstaurantStore  | Hill & Markes

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Speaker Speed Summary + Panel: Q&A  

Moderator: Tom Gale                                                     

Our final session is a fast-paced opportunity to dive deeper into any of the concepts and discussions throughout the day with our speakers. You’ll hear a quick summary of the breakout sessions so you can catch the highlights of the ones you missed. 

    5:15 PM – 7:30 PM

    Reception & Dinner | Prize Drawing

    Meet with speakers, sponsors and attendees over dinner, drinks and cap off the evening with the drawings of prizes from MDM and sponsors. This is a great opportunity to expand your network, check your thinking on the day’s topics, and discover new friends and resources. And win great prizes!

    Back to the top

    Thursday, June 20

    6:45 AM – 7:30 AM

    Attendee Breakfast                                              

    7:45 AM - 7:50 AM

    Sponsor Spotlight – Unilog

    7:50 AM – 8:45 AM

    Tech Talks: The Future of Technology in Distribution 

    The role of digital in distribution is shifting at lightspeed. Our speakers, with diverse industry backgrounds, set the tone for Day 2 to challenge current assumptions and consider new paradigms that are forming the future competitive landscape of wholesale distribution globally.  

    Strategic thinking in disruptive, non-linear markets
    Mark Dancer, Network for Channel Innovation

    The Next Integrated Shopping Experience: Beyond Transactions
    Jonathan Bein, Managing Partner, Real Results Marketing 

    8:45 AM – 9:30 AM

    Digitize Your Customer Journey Map to Compete in a Digital World          

    Larry Davis 
    AgoNow, CEO

    The majority of distributors today view digital as an add-on to conventional selling channels rather than a customer-focused, digital-first strategy to future-proof their value proposition for customers and suppliers. Former ORS Nasco president and current CEO of pure wholesaler AgoNow Larry Davis will outline a digital roadmap for distributors, including the necessary characteristics – content, digital tools and capabilities – required to compete effectively in the future with traditional competitors and emerging disruptors.

    9:30 AM – 10:00 AM

    Networking Break 

    9:55 AM - 10:00 AM

    Sponsor Spotlight – Texas A&M University

    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

    Product Data Strategy: No More “Clean-Up on Server 3”

    Jason Hein, Earley Information Science

    Distributors have had no bigger technology headache than managing and integrating fragmented product/content databases, with often messy and expensive clean-up projects. With recent advances in PIM/MDM technologies (Product Information Management/Multi-Domain Management), new approaches are possible that are less expensive, more effective and provide faster ROI on investments in the content asset while using data to drive the roadmap for user experience. This session identifies why data-cleanup projects fail and outlines the technology developments that are opening up new ways to manage product information and content that are more scalable and drive business results quickly.

    11:00 AM - 11:05 AM

    Sponsor Spotlight – VersaPay

    11:05 AM – 12:00 PM

    Speaker Panel: Q&A & Conference Recap 

    Tom Gale, Moderator                                                                                  
    Don’t miss one of the highest rated and most interactive sessions of the conference!



    Thank you!

    Back to the top