On May 11, 2021, we held our third virtual DCKAP eSummit event, a gathering of minds and voices specifically geared towards informing and guiding B2B businesses on their digital transformation journey. As things slowly move ahead with the world getting back on pace, with much still to be done until pandemic times are fully behind all of us, we’ve been inspired to continue improving and refining our largest virtual event to remain engaged with the whole community. 

After last year’s successful eSummit, with our focus on the B2B community, we geared up for an even more insightful dive into strategies that would specifically support the industry. This month, we were very excited and honored to bring together so many different experts to share their experiences and shed new light on the future of the industry for products and for people, how to improve and embrace the changes happening, and how to take advantage of the new growth opportunities. From the heads of industry-leading companies to top academic advisors, inspiration comes from many corners of the industry.

This is the essence of what we are creating here at DCKAP, building an ecosystem of expertise and knowledge that helps inspire and guide businesses through digital transformation, whether from the beginning or right in the middle of the journey, to a never-ending pursuit of betterment. Our DCKAP eSummit event is an opportunity to showcase many of those different avenues that can help benefit B2B businesses on their path to online success. 

Here’s a quick recap of everything featured during this month’s event –

Digital Transformation Event

Welcome & Opening Note

Presented by Karthik Chidambaram – Founder & CEO at DCKAP

After Tim Diep, our DCKAP eSummit Master of Ceremonies, started off the event and let us all know what to expect for the great day of presentations and discussion ahead, he introduced Karthik to the virtual stage for his opening note.

Some Key Takeaways:

  • It’s important to invest in content, to ensure it is distributed across your multiple channels. That’s where DCKAP’s leading Product Information Management tool comes in. With flexiPIM, you get a flexible and simple-to-use solution to keeping data synchronized and up to date.
  • Similarly important is the low effort and integrated experience, and the benefit of a product like DCKAP’s Cloras – a cloud rapid automated system that connects and integrates with any system, such as ecommerce platforms, ERPs, CRMs, as well as third-party applications. Keep everything safe and simple, all under one roof.
  • Always be learning! A great book recommendation: The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

Watch the full opening note here:

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Conquering Cross-Border Tax Compliance

Presented by Evan Wright – Director of Growth, Cross-Border at Avalara

Some Key Takeaways:

  • There is a huge opportunity with the expansion of global sales, and a large trend towards cross-border going mainstream, as the fastest growing segment of ecommerce. 
  • There are new expectations from these customers and their brand experiences online: frictionless purchases, transparent pricing, and convenience.
  • HS codes are an important factor to cross-border sales. Automation is the most efficient, affordable, and accurate way to assign HS codes.
  • It’s important to streamline the compliance obligation with calculating local taxes, accurately assigning tax rates, which is easily achievable with the complete, unified solution from Avalara.

Watch the full presentation here:

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eComm-Wheel Of Growth: A Proven Methodology For Building, Launching, And Growing A B2B eCommerce Webstore That Gets Results

Presented by Matt Johnson – Vice President of Business Development at ES Tech Group

Some Key Takeaways:

  • Amazon in B2B, along with the growing millennial workforce, is changing buyer expectations and the way purchases are being made.
  • Innovate to improve! It is going to be essential to your survival in the future.
  • Build a strong team, create rich content, and utilize the best technology. Integrations are key!
  • Design with simplicity in mind, it needs to be easy to navigate. Can a caveman use it?
  • You need customer adoption and acquisition. Continue to promote, analyze your metrics, innovate and grow.
  • Download the ecomm-book here: https://offer.spinstak.com/b2b-ecommerce-wheel-of-growth

Watch the full presentation here:

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How to Align and Engage Your Sales, Marketing, and Business Development Teams

Presented by Bharani Nagarathnam – Associate Director & Instructional Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University

Some Key Takeaways:

  • There are fundamentals in ecommerce. Must haves, differentiators, and a competitive advantage are some of the integral aspects to better understand.
  • Your people are very important. It’s a value that is often underestimated. Align your business plan to your people plan in order to grow.
  • Rethink your job titles and career paths. Hiring someone as a trainee often makes it challenging to recruit. Consider tweaking your job descriptions to attract the right candidates.
  • Focus on hiring the right talent, grow your talent, and work to build a pipeline to achieve your digital strategies.

Watch the full presentation here:

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Five Tips to Supercharge Your B2B eCommerce

Presented by Hillary Heath – Channel Account Manager at APS Payments & Kim Lombard – Channel Manager at APS Payments

Some Key Takeaways:

  • Why jump through hoops when the checkout experience can be better? Competition is increasing, and B2B transactions are typically complex.
  • There are many payment processing challenges, with time consuming processes. Improve visibility and data, supplier relations and cash flow all by improving online transactions.
  • You want an omni-channel platform that has experience and integrated payment processing, including your ERP and accounting systems.
  • Leverage Level 3 processing, an incentive which helps to drive B2B transactional costs down.

Watch the full presentation here:

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Spinning the Raffle Wheel and Giving Away Prizes!

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The End-User… First!

Presented by Brandon Hagen – Director, Safety Network Division at Affiliated Distributors

Some Key Takeaways:

  • The end user is driving the future of sales, which is inevitable though the process will largely stay the same, but more importantly it is going to drive marketing. 
  • With only 20% of B2B buyers saying they hope to return to in-person sales, remote selling is here to stay. Businesses have learned a more efficient way. 
  • Marketing is driving the way to sales online. The sales funnel is changing and it’s time to rethink your go-to-market strategies.
  • Customers value reputation, contribution to the community, and businesses need to consider the customer’s goals and their ideal experience in order to thrive online.

Watch the full presentation here:

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The Future of Women in Industrial Distribution and Manufacturing

Presented by Lori Mata – Director of Industrial Distribution at Saint-Gobain Abrasives

Some Key Takeaways:

  • There are more women in HR and marketing than there are in roles of sales or engineering. Women account for less than a third of manufacturing roles, and even less in management.
  • We need to attract, educate, and retain women workers to fill these roles, providing them the education, training, and empowerment they need.
  • There is an opportunity for more women to join, and advocacy is important in order to help fill these roles. As leaders, we need to listen for roadblocks and help clear the path for them to grow.
  • Volunteer to speak with colleges and classes about your business, help to open the doors for women and improve workforce diversity. And when they’re hired, make sure they have resources and male allies to help them thrive.

Watch the full presentation here:

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How Direct-To-Consumer Can Increase Opportunities For Original Equipment Manufacturers

Presented by Gary Smith – Strategic Partner Development Manager at Nexcess

Some Key Takeaways:

  • In 2020, Covid changed everything. Specifically, it has accelerated the growth of ecommerce. 
  • Self serve purchases are rising and only going up. Your competitors are likely already online.
  • You’re taking a risk of loss by not taking control of these demands and having an online marketplace. 
  • Increase profitability from a direct revenue stream, gather insights and build the customer relationship throughout their lifecycle.

Watch the full presentation here:

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Q&A Session – What is the First Step Towards Digital Transformation?

Presented by Dave Bent – President at ES Tech Group & Ateesh Vankayala – Sr. Director & Head at Bunzl Corp eCommerce

Some Key Takeaways:

  • The “why” is most important. Digital transformation is not about just creating a website. It starts with the business, then the website is the end result. 
  • You should have a business strategy that focuses on priorities and have the best team behind the processes and technology. 
  • Many distributors are still “sleeping” and are missing out while the larger entities are taking up the slack in online sales.
  • The foundation of the experience is essential. As important as “how do I get new customers?” is the question of “how do I get my current customers to buy even more from me?”
  • Map the customer journey to help ensure your customers get through the entire process seamlessly. Understand who the customer is.

Watch the full Q&A session here:

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Thank you to all our amazing guests and speakers, to everyone who attended, and to all who continue to watch our videos and support this community initiative. We’re looking forward to November for our end of the year edition of the DCKAP eSummit event, so keep watch!

 

Author

  • Catherine Sulskis

    Catherine works with the marketing team as the Partner Manager, bridging connections, finding ways to co-brand and co-market our solutions, and building lasting relationships with our partners. She works to ensure that our partnerships add value to the community and to expand the partner ecosystem. With an educational background in creative writing and sociology, and having worked in the tech industry for over a decade, she has a special affinity for the power of storytelling and the future of technology.

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