DCKAP eSummit 2021
- Karthik Chidambaram
- Evan Wright
- Matt Johnson
- Bharani Nagarathnam
- Hillary Heath & Kim Lombard
- Brandon Hagen
- Lori Mata
- Gary Smith
- Dave Bent & Ateesh Vankayala
Opening Note By Karthik Chidambaram, Founder & CEO at DCKAP
Introducing Karthik Chidambaram (00:05-01:00)
Tim Diep: Welcome to the DCKAP eSummit Spring Edition. Hopefully, everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep. I am the customer success manager at DCKAP. I’ll be hosting today.
Next I’d like to welcome Karthik Chidambaram. He is the founder and CEO of DCKAP. He bootstrapped the company from this small apartment in Illinois. DCKAP was started with two people, two computers and two desks, and is now a global team with headquarters in the Greater Austin area.
He recognizes industry setbacks and renders solid and practical solutions to organizations. Karthik holds a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He’ll be talking today, he’ll be doing the opening note for DCKAP eSummit. So Karthik, I’d like to welcome you to the stage.
Kickstarting DCKAP eSummit(01:00-03:00)
Karthik chidambaram: Vanakkam. Good morning. Bonjour. Buenos Dias. Welcome to the third edition of the DCKAP eSummit. Thank you for joining us from across the globe. We wanted to do this in person. But here we are. I hope you and your families are doing well and staying safe, wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing. While in the U.S., things appear to be getting in order but in countries like India, we have a long way to go. Thanks for the great solidarity. Thank you for the support and our prayers are with everyone across the globe.
Thank you again for joining the DCKAP eSummit and welcome. We would like to begin by thanking our sponsors, our returning sponsors, Avalara, our Platinum Sponsor. Thanks so much Avalara. Thank you for solving complex tax problems and making things look simple.
Thanks to our Gold Sponsors Nexcess. Whenever we have an infrastructure problem or a hosting problem, we go to Nexcess. Thank you for your sponsorship. And thank you APS Payments for making payments look simple.
And enjoyed your lunch bite session last month.
And thanks to our Silver Sponsor dotdigital, who helped with marketing automation.
Content and Distribution – the correlation (03:00-03:59)
Content is king and we have heard this multiple times. I remember my mom using the typewriter to type and send content by mail. Times have changed and we use content in different forms and we consume content in different forms. Distribution is also a very important constituent in getting your content across.
A great content with poor distributions may not be so interesting and on similar lines, even a moderately well written content or okay content with great distribution may make you look like a great writer.
Understanding different distribution channels (04:00-06:59)
There are various distribution channels which we use today and we also consume content today. Let me walk you through our user journey. I was looking for a room divider to divide my room.
And one of the first things I did like everyone else is go to Google and search for a room divider.
I also thought, why don’t I make the process even more simple or or why should I even spend a lot of money? Why don’t I be frugal? Why don’t I create my own room divider?
And I decided to venture to YouTube. I searched for how to make your own room divider. Again, this is nothing fancy, but something simple, which everybody does. You go to YouTube and you search for videos to learn how to make things.
Let me play this video I found for about 30 seconds or one minute. Let me just play this clip.
Well, let me stop here. I think we all know how to make a room divider by watching this video. But one thing I did after watching this video is I did not just go and immediately placed an order.
I saved this video link on my Evernote App. So what is my user journey here as a B2C (Business to Consumer) user?
I saved this how to make her own room divider video on my Evernote, so whenever I’m ready to make a purchase or whenever I’m ready to make that decision, I will go back to Evernote, find that video link, watch it again and maybe order from this company, the components required to make a room divider or I might hire someone or decide to do it myself.
User journey into B2B (07:00-08:27)
This is nothing uncommon and all of us do this. And how does this user journey tie into B2B? Again, this is a form of content and it creates a lot of brand value for this company here.
Let’s compare a B2B user journey. So what happens here?
They need to be triggered, right? There needs to be a reason to make a purchase on the B2B side of things, and then you do initial brand consideration, look at 10 to 15 brands, then you do active evaluation where you narrow it down to about two or three brands and then decide to make a purchase.
And you make the purchase decision to buy this particular product from this particular B2B distributor.
What happens next? Once you make the purchase, the experience becomes very, very critical.
As a B2B distributor, you want to make sure you provide a low effort experience to your customers, and this experience one gets, you either go back or you decide to drop off and you become out of markets.
Again, this chain and this cycle keeps continuing. So as you can see here, it is important to provide a consistently low effort experience to your customers.
Direct Supply and eCommerce for customers (08:28-10:45)
Let’s watch a real scenario.
Oxygen concentrators are in big demand today especially in India and a lot of charity organizations are shipping oxygen concentrators from the U.S. to India, which is a big need.
We feel privileged and fortunate to be working with Direct Supply, one of our customers, a large distributor of oxygen concentrators.
One thing we found last week when we were trying to make some ends meet is that one of the first questions a lot of people who are ordering oxygen concentrators in the U. S. are asking, Hey, can I see the product specs? Can I see the weight? I want to see the dimensions, so that’s going to help me with the shipping. Well, Direct Supply had everything listed on their website, as you can see on the product detail page, and then they also had a link to the specifications document which you can download as a PDF and go over each and every specification or share it with the doctors to ensure that this is what India needs. This goes a long way, and it also creates trust and it also helps the brand Direct Supply and again, these are ordered in bulk and as a B2B distributor, orders like this are of significant importance and it is very important that you take care of content in this part of the user journey.
Product management tool ensuring flexibility (10:46-12:01)
So this is why we are excited. Here is when we talk about FlexiPIM- a product information management tool and it is very important for you to invest in your content and FlexiPIM helps you distribute content into multiple channels like your ERP or your content distribution channels, into your YouTube, into WalMart, Amazon or so on.
We were chatting with a customer last week and showing a demo of the FlexiPIM product.
Post the demo, I was curious to hear the customer feedback.
The customer started talking Salsify and I was looking forward to hear what the customer was gonna say?
The customer said- Hey, in my previous record I used Salsify. It took me a lot of time to learn the product but your product is so simple to use, and I would be able to start using it.
Thank you so much for that great feedback, And it means a lot and we will work hard to make FlexiPIM even simpler and we are excited for what we have in store for you with FlexiPIM.
Investing in integrated experiences-CLORAS (12:02- 14:10)
Next, let’s talk about investing in integrated experiences- CLORAS stands for Cloud rapid automation system. In order for you to win the customer trust and ensure returning customers, You have to provide consistently low effort experience.
This is why he was excited about CLORAS.
And it helps integrate multiple systems. You can integrate your ecommerce channels like BigCommerce, Magento or shopify or your ERP system like Epicor P21 or SAP or Oracle.
But it can also integrate their marketing automation platforms like a hubspot or even Sales Force.
So listen to what a customer has to say about CLORAS as a product, and we’re very thankful to Ryan Van Hoozer, Vice-President of Operations at Marysville Marine Distributors.
Ryan Van Hoozer- “It did really come down to DCKAP and one other company who also had high grades on all of these issues. I mean, they also had certifications that could do that Integration has similar customers. But one thing that is really beyond all of this that made DCKAP stand out was this piece of software called CLORAS, which I do feel is game changing.
It’s a middleware that we’re using to connect Magento with Epicor 21.
QA Masterclass- Invest in learning (14:11-15:45)
That’s one thing we would recommend all distributors to do is to make learning an investment. Invest in your employees in terms of learning so that they’re able to better themselves.
One of the things we launched in the last 12 months is the QA masterclass and initiated by our QA team. The masterclass has great content in terms of how to master quality assurance, testing automation, how to write test cases from experts across the globe and across the world.
And we have great viewership with respect to the QA masterclass. Another thing we did was the DCKAP esessions, which not only provides
Customer experiences but also talks about how to transform your digital transformation journeys on how to better your e commerce for your B2B and even B2C.
A lot of US cities are also offering some great courses online. We are very thankful with the continuing studies program at Stanford and you’ll be surprised to find out that the courses are not very expensive and again that there are also a lot of free tools for learning like LinkedIn and YouTube and coursera.
So we highly encourage you to make use of these available resources.
And up skill, So we are able to better serve our customer experience that you think education is expensive. Try ignorance.
Readers are leaders (15:46-16:30)
At DCKAP, we believe in reading, and we believe readers are leaders.
But isn’t it a great Book recommendation or very court book, which I really enjoyed reading as a team the Ride of a lifetime. By Bobby Iger.
Bob had started with Disney right from the scratch, worked for about 30 years on, and went on to become the CEO of Disney.
It is a great and inspirational story and it is very, very relevant for the distribution industry. You get to be in the same business because of a lot of distributors and the work of the same company for a long period of time.
And this story was a great inspiration for somebody who starts from the bottom and goes on to become the CEO of business, and I’m sure we can take a lesson or two from this book.
DCKAP an ecosystem (16:31- 17:26)
At DCKAP, we don’t refer to us as a company but call ourselves a community or we call this account or call ourselves an ecosystem. That’s a picture we took when the entire DCKAP community or the ecosystem got together in Los Angeles in 2019. We can’t wait to do this again and see you soon.
In case you are not a part of the DCKAP community, we welcome you to join the community on the decision because it is a hub for learning and we always want to help each other grow.
Learning about the speakers – DCKAP eSummit and the wrap up (17:27-20:28)
We have an exciting day ahead and an event is only as good as its speakers. We are very thankful to you and we have an amazing lineup of speakers.
First of all, we have Bharani Nagarathnam, who is going to be speaking on digital transformation and how to ally your sales, business development and marketing teams through the digital transformation journey.
Bharani, we are very thankful.
Bharani is a professor and an associate director at Texas university.
We are also very thankful for Brandon Hagen, Director, safety distribution network, 80 is going to be speaking to the end user first and how the end user of the customer is always first.
We also have Dave Bent along with Atish Vankalya, who’s going to be talking about one of the first steps one needs to take to the digital transformation journey.
Thank you, Dave. Thank you, Atish, we are looking forward to your wisdom.
We also have Matt Johnson, with the Aztec group, who is going to be talking about the e Commerce wheel of growth with respect to B2B and B2B eCommerce journey. We have Evan Wright, who is going to be talking about cross border tax compliance and cross border trade. It’s gonna be the new norm or it already is. We are really looking forward to your session.
Then we have Gary Smith who was going to be talking about more opportunities for distribution and equipment manufacturers. Gary is from Nexcess. Thank you, Gary.
And we are also gonna also have Kim and Hillary who are going to be giving us some tips to supercharge our B2B business.
Next, we have Lori Mata from Saint Gobain , who is going to be talking about the future of women in the B2B industry of distribution and manufacturing.
And we have our very own Tim Diep who’s the master of ceremony.
Thank you all of you for being here today and stay tuned for an exciting day ahead
Thank you again for joining the DCKAP summit.
We’re grateful that you’re able to join from across the globe to this event. We are also looking forward to meeting you in person, we can’t wait! Thank you again for coming on here. Thank you.
Conquering Cross-Border Tax Compliance by Evan Wright at Avalara
Introducing Evan Wright (00:00-01:25)
Welcome to the DCKAP E-Summit Spring Edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customer success Manager at DCKAP and I will be hosting today. So here’s a quick video from our platinum sponsor, Avalara that joins the tens of thousands of customers using avalara seals in these tax solutions to make their jobs whole lot easier. It’s time to get back to a simpler and happier year with tax compliance done right?
So next, I’d like to bring up Evan. He’s the director of growth at Cross border Avalara and has an experience of the past six years. Evan has worked with thousands of businesses to educate them on the complexity of sales tax compliance and help them identify solutions to reduce the risk of increased customer satisfaction.
Prior to the arrival era. Evan worked for an expert that is international, a fortune 500 logistics freight. Florida as international operations manager recently, Evans Focus has been on working with companies that have a global compliance footprint and helping them grow and upscale their cross border business, and he’s talk today will be on conquering across borders. So Welcome Evan to the stage.
Conquering Cross Border Compliance (01:26-05:00)
Thanks again, I really appreciate the time and I look forward to talking to everyone today regarding the complications and really, how to manage the cross border business as you start expanding internationally.
So today, a really brief agenda problem talks about the market opportunity and why we’re starting to see a large trend for its cross border e-commerce.
There’s new expectations of these customers that will be purchasing from businesses, cross borders and what they expect out of your brand and the brand experience online.
Understanding the common pitfalls are when it comes to compliance and making sure you are facilitating that shipment and ensuring that it gets there on time and meeting your customer’s expectations. And then I’ll briefly cut Avalara solutions on how to actually streamline those compliance obligations.
So first, let’s talk about the opportunity Transporter has become quite the massive opportunity in regards to globally commerce. You know, as we’ve seen with the pandemic, it has really
Brought forth a huge, you know, plan of cross border and in regards to the volume and really moved it forward about five years. So by 2020 it was about $4.2 trillion in global sales online.
And they expect we did a study with digital commerce, Digital commerce, 360 marketer and really the overall value. The cross border market will grow to $6.5 Trillion by 2023. And today, most businesses that are based here in the U. S or really around the world don’t still cross borders on really compliance taxes clearance. Um, and it just is too much of a headache for them. They don’t want to be able to do that. But with the growth and technology and solutions out there today really allows these retailers to be able to be compliant.
No cross border and create that brand experience online that your customers are used to here domestically as well. So I thought this was incredibly interesting as I was doing some research on this. Global opportunity. As we said, it’s gonna be $6.5 Trillion, like 2023, but just looking at the percentage of e-commerce sales by country and here’s the top 10 countries, in regards to what they’re generating from online sales to China’s global retail sales 16% are online today.
In the U. S 7.5% of retails online in the UK The third biggest market is 14.5%. So you look at these numbers and just the ship to, uh, e-commerce in general. We’re going to see these numbers grow exponentially. So this generates 3% of its global GDP, uh, being an online retail year.
Why go across the border? (05:03-07:22)
Avalara conducted a research about cross border and really, we went through and interviewed a lot of our clients about cross border and what we’ve seen is about 86% of clients today are selling cross border, And the ones that were not the 13%… 92% of those said that they plan to sell cross border in the next 12 months. We’re starting to see this market trend. Um, you know, across the board in regards to it being the fastest growing segment of e-commerce as technology progresses, and you can really create that local experience globally. But as you start to
Migrate to a cross border experience. These customers have expectations. And you know, we can all thank Amazon and some of the larger retailers out there who have, you know, could afford two day shipping and really created that extremely user friendly experience online.
So there’s gonna be three pillars that we talk through this presentation and you’ll start to see them come up again and again as we go through the compliance piece of this, but customer expectations, Really, they expect the frictionless experience. I mean, who doesn’t write only 10% of consumers agree that that brands meet their expectations of what they consider a good experience, so there’s a lot of room for growth in this area and brands that do this well, really said that themselves apart.
Transparency.-95% of buyers expect to see you all shipping fees. Taxes total before they complete a purchase. So we call this landed cost, you know, they we all expect to know what we’re gonna pay at the time of check out and not get hit any surprise fees no hits at the door.
And lastly, convenience. So 90% of consumers say that when they interact with the brand online, they want a convenient experience. So I mean we’re gonna take all the tests. This is really something that is driving, you know, consumer decisions online.
Pitfalls of cross border compliance(07:23-09:52)
You know, there are those three main pillars that will keep reoccurring. But let’s dive into the you know one of the common pitfalls, so I have worked with a lot of different clients across multiple industries. Marketplaces B2B to see high end reached sellers, manufacturers and distributors. And really, these themes are across all industries? No. Regardless, so when you are selling cross border, there’s a few really highlighted key items that merchants and retailers need to be aware of when they’re trying to facilitate the shipments so suddenly cross border that number one is obviously a tax calculation, so being able to calculate that local tax whether you’re importing something into the UK or Australia or Canada.
You need to be able to accurately assign tax rates based upon the rules and jurisdictions you need to take into account free trade agreements in the US we have the U. S. M. C. A, which is the new NAFTA agreement. We are in the EU with Brexit and the new change is coming here in July, there are free trade agreements that apply to certain products based upon where those products are manufactured. There are duty calculations, so that’s the actual tariff. That is a sign. So this is different from the attack calculation. This is actually a tariff to import into a country.
There are thresholds. The minimum thresholds are actual revenue thresholds by shipment that if you exceed that revenue threshold, therefore the tariff applies.
You have to manage exchange rates, Currency rakes on and lastly, you have to really understand what your product is to the global harmonization Tariff code system. So this is what the W T O created to make trade more accessible
Challenges faced by sellers(09:53-12:13)
We found that the really the top three challenges here are shipments, dilated, customs added supply chain cause and accurately calculated international duties and taxes.
And all three of these really stem from one source. It is an inaccurate classification of an item. So we call this the harmonization code organization system code.
So interact. Inaccurate classification really leads to delay that a supply chain costs so maybe a few of you on the phone are like what is a what is the harmonization? So let’s kind of take a step back and just talk at a high level about what an NHS code is. This system is a global trade language. It’s a good way to think about it. So it is a numerical system.
That allows customs officials to understand what is being imported and exported out of the country. And six digits of that code is universal. So no matter what country I send this orange, too, it will always have the first same six digits.
This describes what the actual product is that is being important, but each country will add on their own flavor of the last four digits here. So these are the national digits that are specific to the country that you want to import your goods into. So this code is applicable for important to the U. S. But if I was important to Canada or into Australia or into Brazil
These last four digits would be different. And so what NHS code really drives is he drives what the terror afraid is gonna be so we will be terrified. It fluctuates depending on you know, in the U. S to paint on the administration that is currently in office, it could be dependent on trade.
You know conflicts that are going on. So the terror free of these classifications will change. But the code itself does not change that office.
Let’s talk a little bit more about this because I think it really helps.
Understanding HS codes in detail (12:14-17:16)
Let’s talk a little bit more about this because I think it really helps and in it.We found that the top three challenges here are shipments, dilated, customs added supply chain cause and accurately calculated international duties and taxes.
And all three of these really stem from one source. It is an inaccurate classification of an item. So we call this the harmonization code organization system code.
So interact. Inaccurate classification really leads to delay that a supply chain costs so maybe a few of you on the phone are like what is a what is the harmonization? So let’s kind of take a step back and just talk at a high level about what an NHS coat is. Harmonization system is a global trade language. It’s a good way to think about it. So it is a numerical system.
That allows customs officials to understand what is being imported and exported out of the country. And six digits of that code is universal. So no matter what country I send this orange, too, it will always have the first same six digits that Jura, wait. 05 10.
This describes what the actual product is that is being important, but each country will add on their own flavor of the last four digits here. So these are the national digits that are specific to the country that you want to import your goods into. So this code is applicable for important to the U. S. But if I was important to Canada or into Australia or into Brazil
These last four digits would be different. And so what NHS code really drives is he drives what the terror afraid is gonna be so we will be terrified. It fluctuates depending on you know, in the U. S to paint on the administration that is currently in office, it could be dependent on trade.
You know conflicts that are going on. So the terror free of these classifications will change. But the code itself does not change that office.
Is really a huge factor in the guy’s cross border trade. So six digits again are universal. So in this example that I’m showing you I have a leather sandal.
It’s 64 or five nineties, but if I wanted to import it into Australia, they had a 001.
With a 5% tariff rate in the U. S. It is 9067 12.5% tariff rate, and Japan only has three digits.
So another example. I have a low for these loafers. You know leather with a leather sole and in classification there really key factors is material and it is used in that product. So here’s an example if I wanted the imported to Canada
There could be multiple child classifications, depending on the use case of this product, so if it was classified to medical or for medical or ballet reasons, if it was classified as a female orphans classify the slippers.
Drastically changes. What that tear afraid is going to be
So incredibly important to go down to that country specific level when you choose to import goods into other countries to really accurately again because back to the three pillars, right? We want a transparent frictionless experience to be able to stand what that true cost is to import goods from one country to another. You really want to understand what that territory is going to be?
So this sounds complicated. What are your options to actually assigned care if it’s
You know, the shipping company is FedEx DHL, a freight forwarder. They typically do this service. It is a value add to win the shipping business.
And they usually require a certain amount of shipping in order to do the HSE classifications for you.
You could use a customs broker. This is the third party that actually facilitates the relationship between customs and the retailer so they can actually fill out your customs declaration. They do this, but it is highly expensive and highly manual.
And then the third, you know, common option that we see a lot of companies. Just do it, do it themselves. I used to be studying to become a customs broker in my previous role, and I could tell you that the book was just too important to the U. S. Is about foot and a half thick, and it is incredibly complicated in terms of what
What each is code for what product, So there’s a new and better way to do it.
Automation. Lyra has an automation tool that will allow you to do it easily.
Take your catalog of items description about your items. You know what materials are are in those islands, and then we’re able to run that through our
Automation solution to be able to pump back to our customers. What the customs grade country specific HS photos.
Would say the tip of the spear with regards to cross border trade and really allow you to facilitate a good experience because those HS pills are not only going to be used to calculate the duties and taxes in a shopping cart experience.
But they’re also going to be used to clear good. So if you provide a good hs code to customs into your shipping brokers, then they will be able to facilitate that good. So it clears customs without any delays or surprise fees or rejected orders from your customers because they didn’t know this was coming.
So there’s a new and better way to do it to be able to display what that true Lady cost in a checkout experience. Real time insights of your e-commerce cart. No matter what cart you’re using, whether it’s a magenta platform, or, You can have that customs duty and local tax easily displayed collected up from your client and really again curate that brand experience that you want to facilitate with your customers. So this is what we call it delivered duty paid methodology.
We’re seeing a big shift in the market from delivered duty, Paige or from, you know, just shipping the box out and having your customers be responsible for paying any taxes on arrival. We’re seeing a big shift in the e-commerce world to a delivered didi page methodology, which really again highlights the eggs that experience of a canoe.
Conquering cross border compliance (17:17-21:02)
So I’m gonna jump into how Apple Eric and help in terms of this cross border trade compliance Because there there are a lot of you know what Brexit happened in July? The EU changes and in July that they haven’t Iosco one stop shop for
They were now requiring that all shipments going
And really, we got our start until snooze tax and have slowly expanded into unending and compliance. Solution from health and our clients get registered in these jurisdictions all around the globe to help them calculate their duties. His taxes are.
To actually facilitate those returns. You know the actual sales news tax or that returns back into the local jurisdictions.
And then there’s some countries that require physical representation. Ari invoice.
We can handle anything from a transactional tax standpoint. We now have a cross border solution that allows us to help our clients accurately classified those classifications. Those HS votes.
Then help drive that duty calculation. So we are currently the only provider in the market today that has all four pieces of this puzzle under one word. We have some
Providers in the market that just focus on the transactional tax and some that focus just on cross border and again. We’re the only solution on the market today that does all four pieces
And when we talked about cross border there’s really two unique solutions that Apple Eric everybody. We have an item classification, a really powerful artificial, intelligence driven solution that classifies hs codes and then we have a real time duty and tax calculations.
So let’s talk about how we classify items from a high level. So I think this is, uh, this tells the story very well. We have a wherever your product data stored, whether that’s inside your ear, P. Whether you have a separate solution, that is a him.
Or whether it’s in your e-commerce card. Wherever that information lives, we extract those details. Those catalog details
In a variety of ways. We can do it in an FBI format where you just push us the information or we can simply do and excel files. CSP File Batch Service re just drops it through and keeps the site.
The engine. Then it’s going to take that information, strip down the important pieces of information and predict what the HSE code is. But because technology and the wages codes are subjective, it could be, you know, one code or the other, And that is the nature of the business. Unfortunately, we pair
That artificial intelligence solution with human expertise, So we actually have humans. We call him our experts to the service that comes in.
Review what the engine provided and put that second level audit on it before we return those codes back to you.
It just increases the accuracy of that classification, which is really important to our clients.
Avalara:Tax compliance solution
Our holistic total solution. You know, we have a classification service, right? We’ve seen this exact information engine does its magic experts come and validate the info passed back to the system. We can also store those HS codes inside of your Avalara account. Now you have a consumer who’s coming into your online store. They are reviewing in a cart.
They choose to check out. You send that transaction with all the transactional information to Avalara line items on the order shipped from ship to
Were able to calculate any applicable customs duty import tax sales news attacks in both they delivered duty paid methodology. So if you want to just present it as investment or if you prefer to actually collect that from your customer. What we see a lot in the beat of the space is, you know? Hey, Evan, I don’t want to actually collect the customs duty from my client because we’re selling, you know. Define that.
Um, that product. We can actually predict what the import tax and customs duties will be in real time on that invoice. So what that’s doing is actually looking at that data.
It could upset a variety of HS codes. The engine is going to select the most appropriate code and provide that back real time. So we see this a lot with customers with huge catalogs of items and part distributors. We work with a lot of auto manufacturers as well as marketplaces. They have a huge catalog. They want to sell to every country around the world.
But it doesn’t make financial sense to reclassify the entire catalog. This is a perfect solution for our customers that fall into that bucket. So what makes it, you know, different and why we should be integrated into your cross border strategy. We really are a complete solution. So we are the one stop shop for sales news tax domestically.
Import Tax. So that’s that bad GST. We calculate tax and every country around the world as well as customs duty, and we plug in, in a plug and play environment into all of the major shopping cards as well as have pre built FBI’s and best case or those homegrown solutions. We have the most amazing content team we have is about 350 people in our content.
Engineering and Content research group. We do not source any content from third parties. This is our secret sauce. We have this amazing content team that is constantly researching tax rules, tax rates, jurisdictional boundaries, and tax content. All of the data that is driving that calculation is real time. So the rules changed. Rates change. You know, Every time you’re getting our FBI, you’re getting the latest and greatest content.
The ease of integration again. I touched on it briefly, but those pre built integrations and then flexibility and control the fact that we are open and modular. You could bring your own shipping provider to the table. We don’t force you to use one shitty service over the other. It allows you the best in class freedom to be able to easily bend over within your commerce side.
So you know, really , to summarize here.
Like really going through and checking the boxes on a
– Mapping your HSE codes
– Automation, tooling place
– calculate duties and taxes. A lot of these top challenges that customers are facing are easily overcome. So shipments get delayed in customs at it’s flashing cause accurately calculate international text duties, lack of product demand.
No customers. Rejecting orders are all solved through Avalara’s automation process. So I want to take the time to just say that again. Curating that brand experience makes it a convenient frictionless experience and really what Avalara is. We’ve taken a historically expensive, inefficient, slowed manual process and made it cost effective, efficient and automated. I think that really checks all the boxes.
In regards to those three pillars that I wanted to hit on today. And if you have any questions at all, you know, we have a website so avalara.com/goglobal and here’s the phone number. Give us a call. We’re more than happy to help and look at your scenario and specifically cater a solution to you.
Wrap up: (27:00-27:52)
So I really want to thank the DCKAP community and really appreciate the time that you guys allowed me to come and speak here to your community again.
Tim Diep: Thank you to all of our sponsors Avalara as a planet sponsor. Then APS payment as our gold sponsors dot digital, that’s the silver sponsors. So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully they get to stay tuned for next week’s summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
The eComm-Wheel Of Growth: A Proven Methodology for B2B by Matt Johnson
Introducing Matt Johnson (00:00-00:58)
Hello, welcome everyone to the DCKAP eSummit Spring Edition. Hopefully, everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customers success manager at DCKAP. I’ll be hosting you all today. So next like to bring up that Johnson is the vice president of business development at ES Tech Group and he’s the managing partner of Spin Stack Growth Agency. He is a brand and market strategist with 16, plus years of experience, working with industrial supply distributor’s in North America and beyond. Matt Johnson and his firm, Spin stacked Growth agency, have joined the ES tech Group Family which is dedicated to helping independent distributors who want to grow and go online.
He’s living the American dream and is passionate about helping other distributors compete against the biggest brands online. So,I’d like to bring Matt Johnson to the stage.
An overview of the talk (00:58-02:35)
Thank you, Tim and Catherine and Karthik and everybody at DCKAP. It’s just an honor to be here and to share with you guys today, and I am excited about listening to the other presentation as well. I’m gonna I’m gonna grow and learn myself here. Let’s talk about growth become wheel of growth. This is a proven methodology that I’ve put together for building, launching and growing a B2B e-commerce website that gets results. The Keyword being gets results.
Just a word about me in case you don’t know who I am, I spent 16 years in the manufacturing distribution industry working with, distributors and manufacturers on and build a sort of that relationship that we had with many distributors, we found it spends on that growth agency, which is an on the channel marketing agency, dedicated to helping distributors grow. I’m passionate about leveling the online playing field for B2B distributors.
My grandfather actually started a distribution and business in his basement up in Ontario, Canada way back in the late sixties. He brought that business down to Florida and he grew it into a $100 million global supplier, So I’ve seen it work. We’ve gone through digital transformation and my family’s business. I’ve gone through additional transformation.
And many other distribution businesses throughout the years and we’ve basically taken what we’ve learned from the most successful distributors and broken that down into a system which I’m going to share with you today.
Providing unique solutions for B2B traditional distribution (02:36- 04:19)
So, yes, ES Tech group is the business that I’m with and what we did just as earlier as recently as last year is that we merged Spend Stack Growth agency with evolution X with ES tech group. So it’s a unique situation. We have a software company, Evolution x which provides a B2B enterprise level e-commerce platform for distributors with Spends Tech e-Commerce Enablement services. So, it’s a two in one solution and we’ll talk more about that after I share. Excited to jump in here. So, in 1999, there was a change in the world. It’s kind of like this. You’re kind of flowing down a lovely stream, listening to the birds chirp and it was a peaceful situation and your distribution business. It really wasn’t too dramatic. The Internet was certainly here.
But it wasn’t causing as much headache as it is today. So fast forward to 2021 and navigating change and your distribution business feels a little bit more like this.
There’s rapids and are rocks that you don’t even know where they’re at. And you don’t know what you don’t know. And so navigating this kind of change today can be pretty intimidating.
And it could be scary.
I just want to acknowledge that at the outset here because a lot of folks maybe who are joining this this e-summit, you know that you’re thinking about building in e commerce platform for your traditional business, and it seems overwhelming.
And you’re right. It is overwhelming because of the amount of change that’s coming at us.
Business is all about change(04:20:05:43)
I just want to start with some little bit of philosophy for you guys. Herrick Lightest wrote this famous saying that no man ever steps in the same river twice for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.
Now that is a super deep statement, But I’m not gonna dwell on that let you take that one home with you guys and think about that in terms of existence and existential reality, but let’s apply it to our business. It means that the only thing constant in life is change. And we have to become changed managers if we’re going to thrive and survive.
Understanding change right? What’s happening in our business? Well, obviously, there’s this little company called Amazon. That’s changed the way that we buy and sell online, right? But it’s not just Amazon. From a B2C perspective. It’s what Amazon’s doing in the B2B sector that’s so interesting and I’ll touch on that in the second.
It’s changing buyer expectations, right? So it Z. This is kind of right on the back of Amazon. The way that we think about purchasing online is completely changed.
Especially in the B2B distribution World. Finally, it’s the millennial work force.
It’s a changing workforce, and It’s a different type of buyer and, you know, making sure that our platform is set up to cater to those types of buyers to the really important in the future, months and years.
Overlooking the evolution (05:44-07:30)
Amazon B2B, Right, Okay. So, it was launched in 2015.
Since then, they’ve been really good at converting their B2C customers into B2B customers, eh? So what they did was pretty smart, right? So you don’t get to the top.
without doing some really interesting things. So what they did was they figured out what their customers were buying. And they basically broke that into categories and so they were able to determine which items were related to business and then they targeted those customers and offered them to set up a B2B account, which literally took seconds and then you know, before you knew what you were able to start ordering your business supplies on the same website as you were ordering your personal supplies.
20 billion in 2020 in just a matter of five years. That is double the size of Granger.
The Amazon business is a real threat and better believe that your customers are not buying everything from you, that they’re buying some of their products from Amazon business.
The buyer expectations are also really important, right, so clunky, outdated systems that, you know, use Bill to get by with. Maybe they’re connected to your ERP. Maybe they were made by your ERP software provider, and they really provide a really bland and clunky experience. It needs to be integrated. Right Needs to your software e commerce platform has to be integrated so that the buying experience is flawless and frictionless.
eCommerce solution for B2B buyers (07:30-09:02)
As I haven’t talked about the same concept on B2B buyers by the consumers too, so every time that they’re out shopping on a Shopify website or Amazon. You know they’re taking those same expectations back to you and either accepting or rejecting the kind of e-commerce solution that you put out for them.
The Millennial workforce is shaping up, this is a big reason why things are changing so quickly. In 2020 50% of the workforce was millennials and 2025 estimated at 75% will be millennials, which is crazy. I actually have a lot of great hair here in my beard, but technically I am a millennial. So get, you know, get that through your head. We’re growing up. And a lot of these millennials are demanding different ways of doing business. Right? So they don’t want to see the sales rep all the time. They don’t wanna
spend time schmoozing, you know, going out to lunch there to get their work done, and then they’re out, right? This is the way they think they don’t want to talk on the phone. They want to place the order online.
It’s the biggest workforce in the history of the world, and it doesn’t just impact your customers, right. It’s also you, you need to provide the tools, the software, the systems to help the up and coming workforce, that your own business be successful and part of that is having any commerce website.
What do you need to do? (09:03-10:03)
So lots of different things that are causing this disruption. Right? So what will you do in response to all this? You know, there’s a few options.
If you’re not in it to win it. If you’re not going to put in the work to have a successful e-commerce platform, acquisition might be a good option for you. You might want to sell the business. Get out of it. You know that it’s complex. This is gonna take some work. It’s gonna take investment.
Maybe you’re just not up for that’s an option. Another option is the solution. Well, we don’t really want to think of that. But the reality is that if we don’t do something, the cost of inaction is, you know, losing to online competitors and even to the traditional distribution companies that have any commerce platform, this solution is a real threat. But what I want you to do is innovate. We want you to innovate. We think you can do it. We think that we’ve put together the tools in the process of the strategy.
Innovation for your business (10:04-11:11)
We are here to help you transform your traditional distribution business. So innovation is really so I’m guessing that if you’re here at this e-summit, you’re gonna be you’re gonna fall into the right side of this bucket. Right? You’re gonna be an innovator, so let’s talk about what we can do to innovate our traditional business and get online because we all know that e-commerce today is not just a luxury, right? It’s not just something that you know that the super wealthy that the big players have. It’s absolutely table stakes.
It’s a requirement. It’s a cost of doing business today, and it’s going to be essential for your survival and for your success in the future.
So all that being said this is why we created the economy of growth because we knew that it was overwhelming. We knew that there was a lot that goes into being successful online and we wanted to condense it down into a system that could be easily understood and implemented at your business.
eCommerce: Wheel of growth (11:12-13:11)
Okay, So it’s based on 10 years of best practices and B2B e-commerce. We’ve launched hundreds of Web stores and some of those web stores actually do really well, so you know it.
We have a lot of successful distributors and dealers to utilize our services platform and what we did was, we took a look at the best of the best and we broke it down and we figured out what they did, and we put it into a comprehensive system. And it’s all based on this concept of continuous improvement so well the cog wheel because it doesn’t stay Still, It’s always in motion. Just like your website. Your platform should be continually improving.
Right. You should be making adjustments on the fly, something that you know your dad in constantly every day every week and you are analyzing the results and you are making the whole thing turn over and over again.
That’s how you get results. All right, So let’s jump into this. There are obviously a bunch of points in the cog wheel. Well, we gotta get through quickly, and I wanna make sure I leave time.
At the end, so you must have a champion. He’s gonna build a team.
You don’t necessarily need a giant marketing team. You don’t need a massive army of people doing content or designing content, or, you know, managing the website, But you do need at least one project champion.
It’s so critical. We found that every customer that we had that was successful had at least one employee whose sole job was to make sure that the commerce website was successful and it needs to be a company Wide strategic initiative. They can’t just be a project that you hand off to somebody and say good luck. This has to come from the top down.
This has to be a strategic initiative from the leadership team. He’s got to have your buy in and you’ve got to talk about it, and you gotta push it through all the different departments.
Understanding how to structure the team (13:12-14:05)
Also think that you know you can outsource the rest. I mean, would it be great to have somebody working on content? Full time? Absolutely would be great to have somebody doing your digital marketing. Yes, that would be fantastic.
Those are things that you can outsource. But you cannot outsource the champion for the platform. It’s really important that there’s somebody owning this from the start and we recommend establishing smart goals and defining a clear timeline. These projects can get off the rails fast. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard horror stories about commerce implementations that have taken 1-2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Absolutely not necessary. We stand up most websites for four or five months and that’s with integrations built in so long as you’re organized and you have somebody championing the product that project you can be successful with your implementation, so that’s the first step is-Building a team.
Technology platforms (14:06-15:17)
All right. The next one is technology-tech stuff. Okay, so in terms of e commerce platforms- there’s lots of options out there. I’ll just name a few of them. You have your off the shelf platforms. Those are your Magentos, your big commerce, your Shopify’s then you have your bolt on platforms. Those air both on we refer to as um, sort of like additional services offered by any RP provider. So you know a lot of your ERPs offer these platforms and then you have a specialty platform that are really custom.
And in the Aztec group, our evolution X platform is a specialty platform. In other words, it’s built specifically for B2B distributors and we have had a start in B2B from Day one, as opposed to a magento or Big commerce which started in B2C.
So, that means there’s still just a little bit differently behind the scenes off the shelf platforms are great because they’re really flexible and there’s lots of people out there. They’re willing to implement it for you and they can. You can get access to a lot of different plug-ins. A problem with it is that they’re kind of like bare bones off the shelf.
Choose the right software (15:18-16:55)
You have to stack up a bunch of different plug-ins and Apps and software to make it custom to your B2B distribution business to make it really perform well.
That could cost a lot of money that can also take a lot of time. And you’re gonna be relying on third party developers really to maintain all of those different pieces of middleware.
Both on platforms. Unfortunately, they just don’t there. They haven’t got to the place where I mean integrations there, But they haven’t got to the place where they looked really good. And they provide that great seamless, You know, front front of the site by experience for the customers.
By the way, no matter what you choose, integration is everything. One of the reasons why we’re here is because we’ve got a relationship with DCKAP and specifically, we utilize their CLORAS Platform for integrating ERP software.Herself. It’s phenomenal when you have the best platform, the best experience, good content, and you have everything connected to provide that really clean user experience.
By the way, there’s a lot of platforms that don’t work well with other platforms. They don’t allow you to integrate with other software. And that could be a problem because you need all of your systems and software to talk together today in order to really provide the best experience.
This is just a quick runthrough. You know, I won’t spend too much time on this. But when we think about an e-commerce platform, there has to be these three fundamental areas of, you know, requirements.
Features for eCommerce website- Content is crucial (16:56- 19:22)
Together today in order to really provide the best experience.
This is just a quick you know, I won’t spend too much time on this. But when we think about an e commerce platform, there has to be these three fundamental areas of, you know requirements right, So he’s foundational foundational requirements. It means that
It has to be fast, it has to be scalable. You have to be 100% secure, compliant and you have to have a 99.99% uptime. You just can’t afford to have something go wrong when the customers out there are shopping and buying from you.
You need to have pillars of functionality built around B2B distribution, and you need to have growth tools that allow you to not just put up a website but grow a website right. You need to be able to grow online sales, utilizing some of the sophisticated merchandising and marketing tools.
Customer segmentation, personalization collectivity to marketing automation platform. This is what really makes a difference. Not every platform has it, but you know, this is something If you are looking, you’re shopping for something, you can let me know. And I could get you this kind of a snapshot for what you need.
All right, Let’s talk about content. OK? Karthik talked about this in his opening talk. This is absolutely critical like not having every area of this e com wheel is important, but I would say nothing is quite as important as content.
It is the life blood right? Like if we don’t have content none of this works and there’s three kinds of content that you need. You need informational content. This is
Content about your business, content about who you are, how to contact you, etcetera. Right? It is a marketing concept. You need to be able to educate your customers and provide you with resources that help them make good purchasing decisions.
And any product content is rich product content, not just the kind of content that you have in your ear piece system, but multiple images, detailed description specifications which allow you to filter search through the e-commerce platform.
And even videos and downloads to help really solve the content problem for your customer right? Because if the contents are not there, they’re just going to continue to go to the sales rep and ask questions and get additional information.
If the website’s going to be successful and transform the way that your customers purchased from you. Product content has to be exceptional.
Build an online product catalog (19:22-20:44)
If the websites gonna be successful and transforming the way that your customers purchased from you product concept has to be exceptional.
But how do you manage to eat this elephant so to speak, right? This is a massive project. Many of our distributors have 5 10 20,000 SKUs that they stopped.
And more that they are able to sell their customers and building an online product catalog can be overwhelming, so we always recommend starting with the top 20% of
The products that account for 80% of your revenue. There’s your top sellers, right? So if you blow through and you basically create a bucket for each product category, and you, Philip that bucket with your top 20%
Then you have a starting place and then what you want to do is every month, every quarter, go through and add additional products to that bucket and eventually get to the point where you have a long tail merchandising strategy where you have lots of lots of products.
Um, back behind the top 20%, which are going to be your most popular items. This is a good way to think about it. It’s gonna take time, it doesn’t happen overnight and there are content service providers that will provide you with content immediately, although it will be a cost to you.
Graphic design (20:45-22:35)
So graphic that design important because like we talked about earlier, the buying expectations have changed. Right B2B buyers are consumers to you got to remember that the website design has to look really clean and simple. We like to think of we like to talk about and design in terms of you know our implementations like, keep it really simple, like they used to kiss method. Keep it stupid, simple.
In a way that we do that is by utilizing scenes, which do a couple of things that restrict the amount of stuff that you put on a page, thus creating a more streamlined, consistent navigation process, But it also allows you to manage the cost. Because design projects can really get out of hand quickly. Multiple reviews might take months and months to be able to, you know, agree on a design for your site. So you really want to keep it simple, use themes because nobody needs to build a website completely custom. Today. It just is not necessary like it used to be back in the day. And by the way, Caveman tested like, when somebody walks into your house for the first time, they’ve never been there. They don’t know where the bathroom is right. You do you have to, You know that you know where the bathroom is because you lived there.
Your websites sort of the same way. You need to be able to make it easy to navigate across the site, So we like to recommend having multiple people test it. The caveman test is if a caveman were to sit down and look at your website.
But they know what to do within 5 to 10 seconds where they know what you want them to do, who you are and how to purchase from you. That’s the caveman test.
Well, if you haven’t already done this, there’s a lot of additional process that is required. And of course, I’m walking you through a process, right? The conduit of growth isn’t in itself a process.
But there’s gonna be additional processes around e-commerce, management Order management, website management, marketing, and communications. And you’re gonna want to document all of this so that you can scale it.
So the idea is that you find too much in the process, then you roll it out and you make it bigger, so nail it and scale it. So you’ve got to get really concise about how you do things. Um, how often are you updating content? How often are you managing your pricing? How often are you running marketing campaigns, communication campaigns, promotion campaigns? And how is it done? Um, And when you when you document your process
Thus, you can essentially build a franchise model as your e-commerce website and be able to roll it out to a bigger and bigger team.
So again, it might start with one person and then it could be managing a small army of people in a few years of consistent online growth.
So if you’re ready to launch your website, you need to just stop and pause and ask yourself; Have I gone through the most important requirements? To launch it right. Pre Launch checklist is important. Surgeons use checklists. You know pilots used checklists. It’s important to use a checklist because it prevents you from skipping over really the basics, you know?
Really basic information that can help you prevent any issues when you want your sight. Now, when we launch a site for a customer, we really convince them to do a beta launch. First obey the launch is a small roll out to existing customers first to work out any kinks to work on our processes to you know, um, to make sure that the customer experience is on point before rolling it out with argues all the entire customer base.
So a customer rollout is actually the best way to do it is to have hands-on experience. Toe literally go on. Sometimes it’s the commerce manager. Or maybe it’s a sales rep. But what would really be great is if you went out to your customer in person?
We can’t do it in person, do it over a zoom or whatever, and sit down with them and explain to them the benefits of using your website and bring in the sales reps. By the way, If you bring in the sales reps. You’re doing two things. You’re selling it to the sales rep. And you’re selling it to the customer. And when the sales rep sees the benefits of the customers they’re on board with the platform.
And then they can actually promote it themselves. So when you’re first doing the beta lunch, maybe you’re the one of your commerce managers. The one running the project. Um, you know, maybe you’re the one selling the platform. But then eventually your sales team learns how to do it as well. And by the way you’ve got to incentivize the reps and customers
Because you’re talking about buying behavior changes and it’s important that you have some sort of reason for them to get on board. We always recommend that sales reps are commissioned through the website sales right when you’re doing B2B e-commerce, otherwise they’re gonna follow the money.
They’re not going to follow the money to the e-commerce platform. If it’s nothing, but there’s nothing in it for now. So incentivize your ribs and your customers. This is a big misconception. If you build it, they will come. Unfortunately that idea only works in the field of dreams. It’s important that when you build an e-commerce platform that you follow it up with a really organized, structured marketing program. So this is where we’re at now is promoting in order to get the return on your own investment.
In order realize online growth has got to have a couple of things- customer adoption and customer acquisition. So adoption obviously means that your customers, your existing traditional buyers are moving from a phone, ordering email , or acting for going to stake and they’re utilizing the platform you built. That’s adoption. Acquisition obviously means the acquiring of new customers through the website. The website should not just really be an ordering tool.
Should be generating leads and customers on a regular basis. Alright, so customer adoption, it requires behavior to change human behavior. We all know this. We do not change unless there is a reason either. There is a carrot or there’s a stick. You know, so the carrot here we don’t want to use on our customers, obviously, so we’re gonna offer a carrot.
But that could be something like a rewards or loyalty program. That could be a promotional campaign where you’re offering the president up percent off of orders. Or maybe you’re offering a rebate program. Whatever you do, it’s gotta be significant enough to get them to pay attention to sit through the training to log in to change the way they ordered from you and to feel really good about it.
Customer buyer Journeys are something that I recommend every distributor do even if you’re not building an online platform, but especially when you are you’ve got to understand where your customers come from and where you want them to go.
Ultimately, the ideas to gain more wallets share from the customer and the customer journey helps define your marketing strategy. We’re taking a customer from the very beginning and walking them through maturity with us. What does that look like? They’re buying multiple categories.
We own a significant share of their wallet, etc. Marketing automation is really helpful to do this that’s been stacked as a help spot solution. Partners were integrated with hub spot on our e-commerce platform, and we can’t recommend enough, you know, utilized in great marketing tools, like hub spot or others to help you automate some of the touchpoints. The communication.
So every stage of that buyer’s journey has essentially an automated email campaign that hits your customers on a regular basis, Getting them to take the next step. You know whether they’ve lapsed accounts and they haven’t been in left side for a while, whether they’re trying customers who just need to be reminded that they could buy other things from you.
Marketing. Ana making automation helps make that happen and then finally sales alignment is just so critical. We’ve got to get the sales team on the same page with the marketing and the e-commerce teams.
So that we can go to market in a consistent way and really, you know, to a sales rep. The e-commerce platform is not a competitor. The e-commerce platform is a tool that they can use to help their customers grow their accounts by providing great experience.
Alright, right. Very end analyzed. So here’s some KPIs measure that you can use to improve right. So this is the last on the economy of gross because it starts part of the whole process over again.
So what we do at spend stack is that we work with our customers that are utilizing the evolution ex platform, and there may be utilizing a hub spot software.
What we’re doing. We set up a dashboard for them that pulls in data points from their e-commerce platform from Google Analytics from Hub spot and we create different dashboards to track, you know, the website traffic to track conversion rates on the site.
To track lifetime order value, average water value, and cart abandonment. And what we’re doing is we’re looking at all of these key metrics. And then we are analyzing them, and we’re and we’re defining what the next step is.
So, for example, if our average order value is low, what can we do to get that average order value up? Maybe there’s a promotion that we can run. Maybe there’s a campaign where we’re adding. We’re offering to add things to their shopping cart when they get to the point of placing the order. If there’s a card abandonment issue, maybe we’re setting up automation to offer, you know, a percent discount to get that cart through the checkout process, and then finally, net promoter score.
Most distributors don’t do this, the ones that really kill it, do. They consistently ask their customers how they’re doing. So I’m Net promoter score basically allows you to define how you’re doing in terms of customer experience, and so having something like that pop up like in a chat widget on your website asking them. Hey, how are we doing? Would you recommend us to appear or another distributor? And really, that is the idea is that you’re tracking that net promoter score and you’re figuring out what we can do to make it better? You’re asking the customer. You’re getting that feedback and you’re putting it in action.
Again, The wheel is moving, right? That’s the idea. It only works if the wheel moves.
So I would just encourage you guys as we’re wrapping up. You can do this.
You can do this (32:18-37:00)
You can build a legacy that stands the test of time. You could become irreplaceable to your suppliers to your customers and to your community, and you could build an online channel that increases sales and profits. This is doable. We’ve watched it happen many, many times. But not everybody does it because not everybody puts in the work like we went through in this presentation.
Yeah. So, at ES tech group we say that while going online, you need a complete solution.
What does that mean? A complete solution? Well in our minds, that means these four things. It means content, commerce, communication, and connectivity so constantly have a content partner. We use distributor Data solutions out of Salt Lake City.
They provide phenomenal next generation product content straight from the manufacturers updated on a regular basis and syndicated to, the evolution X website. So evolution X is a B2B e-commerce platform for distributors. We think it’s the world’s greatest B2B e-commerce platform where a little bit biased, but
Many of our customers agree with us that there’s nothing like it indeed to be distribution. , And then we combine that with Spend Stack Commerce Enablement Services dedicated to helping distributors go online to expert digital marketing strategy. So if you don’t have a marketing team, you don’t have any commerce manager, Spend stacks basically fills those needs for you. It helps you get the most out of your software after the commerce platform, and then just a shot up to DCKAP and what they’ve done with CLORAS and therapy integration platforms that allows us to connect evolution X with whatever your P software utilizes.
As well as you know, CRMs. This all allows better control, improves productivity, and a real friction list like that word frictionless, experience for your customers. And really, when you have all of these things you can win doesn’t matter what size you are, If you’re just starting out, or if you’ve been successful online to this point you can win against the biggest competitors because what you’re doing is putting together an Amazon killer.
Like to say that we’re here to help you grow and put together some resources for you guys sort of called action here at the end that you could take advantage of. First of all, if you go to our website evolutionx.io, you can learn more about the e-commerce platform and for the features that are unique to it, And they didn’t even book a demo. You can download the features guide. If you are interested. A demo would be eye opening. Even if you end up not going with us as a service provider you with the educational.
Wrap up (37:01-38:30)
I’m sure you would enjoy learning more about how we solve problems. Brother distributors around the world on then, finally or not this one more, one more and then we’re at finally, distributor marketing university is something we just launched this year. We’re excited about this because we’re putting all of the greatest content related to distributor marketing B2B e-commerce in one resource place.
Where you could access downloads, articles, videos, webinars and really get educated on the best practices in terms of B2B distributed marketing. And then the shout out to Gary- my partner days then, and I actually host thee
Describe your podcast or we get together. We enjoyed a cold beverage and we talked about distribution. We talked about B2B e-commerce and we talked about what it takes to grow your B to B business today. So a fun little podcast appeared in the podcast.
And then truly the final here is downloading the ebook, so I talked very quickly so they don’t have much time. I had to get through the economy and love growth at rapid speed, but there’s a lot more to be said about it. And you can find out more by going to the economy Look gross landing page that Spencer, calm distributor, Marketing University.
You can stand that QR code and I think I’m gonna be able to drop the link into our chat.
You guys can go get this book. I think you’ll find it very insightful. Um, and use it as a guide, You know, pull it up every month.
All right, guys, that’s it for me. Thanks again to DCKAP and all of the other presenters for being here and having a great rest of your day.
Thank you so much. Matt for the presentation. Thank you for the shout out as well with DCKAP Cloras and, uh, great visuals on the E com will growth so again like that I was talking about the download that will work Sure, but then in the chat session
Just make sure you guys have that. So thank you so much, and it’s great that you guys are building the ecosystem both just for educational purposes for the community.
So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully, they get to stay tuned for next week’s summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
How to Align and Engage Your Sales, Marketing, and Business Development Teams by Bharani Nagarathnam
Introducing Bharani Nagarathnam (00:00-01:19)
Welcome to the DCKAP E-Summit of Spring Edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep on the customers and I am the customer success Manager at DCKAP and I will be hosting today.
Next we have Bharani Nagarathnam. He’s a social director in instructional assistant professor at Texas A and M University, and he’ll be talking about distribution digital transformation.
Also about how to align and engage, sales, marketing and business abilities. He is an associate director of master of industrial distribution at the industrial distribution program that Texas in the university, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and has more than 20 years of experience in teaching, applied research and business development.
He has worked on applied industry projects and development programs for more than 100, industrial distributors and manufacturers. He runs the talent Development Council that works for all cell distributions on talent, acquisition, management and development practices. So like the welcome up, Dr Bharani.
Starting on business transformation (01:16-02:39)
Thank you, Tim. Thanks Karthik and DCKAP for the opportunity to share some of our research on experiences.
You had a lot about platforms, processes and products. My presentation is going to be on people. Especially sales and marketing talent. For those of you who don’t know about Texas A & M university, we are one of the oldest and largest distribution focused educational programs in the U. S.
You have more than 1000 undergraduate students who study industrial distribution, which is in progress,
We also have a master’s program built for working professionals called a mighty
It’s been running for us, but for 20 plus years, in fact, one of the upcoming speakers, Brandon Hagen is a graduate and an undergraduate of our university.
Distribution Digital Transformation (02:40- 02:52)
Let’s discuss the next three levels about business transformation. We heard a lot from the speaker’s earlier regarding some of the fundamentals of ecommerce. They must havs right? To have a great search for product information, pricing and so on.These things are essential, If you want to move your company off forward in a digital environment, then you have the differentiators.
Right personalization. Think of Netflix, or Amazon,you get to see things based on your preferences. Customer segmentation because that customer stratification
You segment the customer based on a number of criteria based on that you can apply the pricing rules and shipping rules.
Many, many, many things and put me in that environment. It is easy to do that.
Then, if you if he had the ability to provide a course or of even project building ability for customers to upload their Bill of materials to generate their bunch of catalogs.,
That you have that big to be a store friend inside and a company’s upper chasing procurement center. So all of these things help your company become a differentiator?
Right. So finally, The competitive advantage comes from doing a certain number of things, but what is the competitive advantage? Competitive advantage is one of the two things. It could be- one your competition can’t or want to do. That’s number one.
Your competition can do it, but you can do it cheaper, faster, better.
Most of the companies are in that group that want to create a competitive advantage. Most distributors want to create a company of advantage for themselves.
How to stand out? (05:34-07:06)
Then, we heard about Omni Channel.
Contact a customer if they walk into the store, if they are calling on the phone and if they ordered online using, they should be able to get the same pricing and be able to access the same service. Then, we have the value added service things like being able to develop capability designed solutions.
That you help. Your customers are designed so as an example that there’s a company called Artists Components.They have a platform for design spar. The engineers can design Elektronik competence and generate the bill of materials that extend today. That’s right. You are right, so see the integration.
Bye transactions on the online about transactions on the customers abiding by behavior edge points, Collected and analyzed on used to improve the company. So, we hear a lot about customer experience and the discussion has shifted from customer service to experience.
Help make distributor’s profits (07:06-09:29)
So anything that we can do? I think Karthik mentioned this earlier to reduce friction, to make customers more successful and help make distributor’s profits.
So how do we get there? Remember all that topics we’re talking about regarding eCommerce, value creation, are only strategies on a paper.
Right, People execute your plans. So
People are very, very important. The speed at which your company and group
It’s only dependent on your hip. In today’s economy, everything else has been a second. You and your competition have access to capital. Access to technology access to supply us.
The only differentiator is people. Value of human resources is often underestimated. It’s typically a shift stone in the panel as an expense.
I don’t know what to be found on the balance sheet as an asset, right? So, for good reasons. Growing your own talent to achieve critical information is a better idea.
So, we recommend that you live with your business plan to meet your people’s plan in order to grow. So, studies are very, very important to be able to achieve your digital transformation.
Align and engage your sales driver (09:30-13:36)
So some of those things to consider to make your distributors stand out is to rethink the strategy. During the pandemic, a lot of the outside sales started doing what the inside sales were already doing behind the door. We see many distributors beginning to assign smaller accounts to inside sales to be able to make outbound calls, etc.
Add role clarity in your sales experience. What is the role of the inside and what is the role of the outsides? And when a customer calls with a problem whose responsibility it is? And when you have a lead from marketing, whose responsibility it is.
I think Matt Matt brought up. This important point is addressed to the account on a ship on the commission, a structure in order to incentivize your sales force.
To drive the customers to know. And nudge your customers to use your eCommerce website. They can look up the price and look up the availability and their previous orders. That relieves the time from your sales professionals to focus on other activities.
Right, so incentivize the sales teams to encourage customer behavior.
When somebody calls but pricing you can,if the sales force should be incentivized to say, can you know that you can get an instant uprising on our app. So we recommend that you focus on hiring the right talent on developing them on retainer.
You cannot achieve excellence in your organization with mediocre talent.
I mean, having said that, there are many things you can do.
When it comes to hiring people developing talent,
It’s about 10 different things that are advised by companies regarding that position.
A different thing on management. But the advantage is just one thing for the sake of this presentation.
Jobs and titles( 13:37-16:10)
Although job titles on carry it back, So this is really for
How do you recruit Millennial on Gen Z Entry level sales Professional
Right, so I wanted to give you a perspective. The next generation of talent. What are their aspirations, needs and wants? Right, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The immediate tenure, in the U. S. Is 4.1 years. I mean, when you’re looking at the end of people, it’s all about what do you want?
Look in the generation want
Passionate piece to learn. I think Karthik mentioned that feedback and appreciation.Right. This is all the things that are driving the next generation of talent needs.
So this could be your destiny. This manufactured us. How can we attract
qualified individuals to join our sales force right? One thing to do again. This is one of many things to rethink your job titles and career paths. It is going to be difficult to recruit a 4 year graduate as a sales trainee.
It’s more intimate.
Oh, Are driving the next generation of talent meets so as this to do, that’s an industry of manufacturers.
So I wanted to share with you that when you give me the job, job titles and job descriptions and other things that go along with that.
Any improvement in the title being able to make fruit attracts the right candidate because a job that is so important for a millennial. Maybe for somebody old school like me, or maybe some of you it’s more about compensation and growth, but for younger people that is very, very important.
Things to do as a company (16:11-18:14)
And as a company if you don’t have a career path, that’s also going to be a challenging one of the reasons why it believe because they cannot see
What is that next chapter.So, I wanted to share some of the sample job titles that we encourage you to look into so that people get advancement opportunities.
So I wanted to share this one real life example. This is from a distributor called Ryerson and they are one of the largest metal distributors.
This is how they have reinvented that inside working.
That insight safety they’re no longer called inside sales of customer service.
They have changed the names to be more customer focussed and clearly defined their roles. You come into inside sales. And if you are successful, good.You’re going outside, since you can have a long career in inside sales and they’re doing the same for the outside. You see the names that they’re using, and the roles that they’re developing. They have developed the competencies. The training
So I just wanted a quick moment to share that one thing that you can do.
It could be, you have an action item that you could take on today.
Career paths are very important (18:15-19:40)
Career paths are very important and you try to find the clue to end in person when they ask, What is my next level? And if your responses if you work hard enough, and if you work long enough what things will happen? We have to take it. You don’t have a career path.
So it’s very important that you develop that.
So when it comes to hiding the top talent, you’re not competing with other distributors. You’re competing with everybody on no one thing is going to make a significant difference. So they encourage you to benchmark your practices.
Continuously innovate, especially in the states on marketing areas in order to achieve your digital transformation strategies.
So I just let it quickly be worked very deeply in this area of talent acquisition and development to the talent development, a constant .Right now we have about 25 distributors that we work as a group. Get interested in more information contact with that. I wanted to turn it over to Tim.
Thank you so much, Dr Bharani on your slides about this distribution, digital transformation and just the extra insight on the crew growth. So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully they get to stay tuned for next week’s summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
Five Tips to Supercharge Your B2B eCommerce by Hillary Heath & Kim Lombard
Introducing Hillary Heath and Kim Lombard (00:00-01:36)
Welcome to the DCKAP Summit Spring edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay, fine. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customer success manager at DCKAP and ‘ll be hosting today, so I would like to bring up Hillary Heath and Kim Lombard from APS Payments.
Hillary Heath is a general account manager at APS payments, leading payments processor and provider that specialized in business, the business level three processing and offers on the channel integrated human Solutions.
Hillary has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the credit card processing industry and strives to execute a shared focus and intentional strategy to obviously provide unsurpassed value to partners and our customers. Leveraging her experience and expertise in conjunction with that over partners enables, and users and partners to take what the process needs to new heights. I’d also like to bring up Kim Lombard, who’s the channel manager at APS payments and has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Kim has an extensive experience and knowledge of the merchant services industry, working hands on with hundreds of merchants to streamline processes and the minute improve quality services, support assistants with the culture and core values of a Pius payments, and they’ll be talking about five to supercharge your B2B e-commerce. So I’d like to welcome Hillary can’t thank you guys enough for joining us.
Getting started with an overview and agenda (01:37-3:09)
Thank you so much for introducing Tim and thanks so much for joining me as the next payment team here at the DCKAP e-summit. I just wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself and my colleague Kim Lombard. We are both Channel managers at APS payments. And where’s your data? Highlights from tips for supercharging your business to present we commerce and we’re gonna have a great time doing it. Kim and I have very different backgrounds. I came from the sale, site of payments and myself from the integration side meeting in the middle to bring you a full spectrum of industry knowledge. I wanted to show you guys a few things about us and some background on the APS payments as an organization. Here’s our list of humble brag writers. We are a processor and an integrator tested by thousands of merchants in over 20 countries. Our team of experts myself and even included worked diligently to offer innovative products and services to emergencies no matter the processing volume.
We partner with companies like DCKAP, That’s why we’re here today to help find those payment processing complaints. You guys stop and work together to find the best and most comprehensive solution that makes getting paid easier.
Yeah. Quick. Stop on the agenda today for you know what to expect will walk through some challenges that you may be experiencing. Take a look at the B2B industry as a whole. And Kim will take us step by step to ensure that you’re needed in the e commerce solution is primed and ready to go.
B2B Industry Challenges (3:10-4:45)
This industry of all it turns out, there is a difference between buyer behavior and expectations and what businesses were offering. The expectation of a you or me as the consumer is now one click, and it’s done. My product is on the way out the door.
Ready about our other businesses are getting wise to that. And something in the industry practically changed overnight or over the past year and a half. The tools of your competitors may be a little more in enticing your customers. I know I’m willing tol. I’m unwilling to jump through hoops to do business when I know they’re sites that are more user friendly, and the checkout process is easier
Truthfully, the way it was done, 20 or even 10 years ago was slow, costly and risky, easy to use for customers and your internal team becomes crucial for me. Gaining productivity across your business units for you’re focusing on customers excess and your products instead of operational bottlenecks.
Playing catch up on payment that already went out the door. You further complicate things. Baby relationships are often personal, and might involve local multiples. Decision makers make the cycle longer with marquee players, and you might be using multiple distances for procurement and shipping. And getting these pieces and people to communicate effectively isn’t an easy path.
B2B Order Transformation (4:46-5:40)
Gone are the days where the only way to get something was to call in using the number on a catalog. Talk to that customer service rep over the phone or fax, a purchase order payment gets delayed. The check is in the mail. We’ve heard that before, And as I said earlier, maybe your accounting system doesn’t talk to your inventory management system, and that doesn’t talk to the shippers.
Networking multichannel ordering called Packed email. Collect biologicals in the store. You bet. Integrated business operations where information from your customers flows from one modality.
B2B Payment Process challenges (5:41-7:01)
Not two adjectives that you want to hear. When you’re talking about your company’s finances, and truthfully, not all payment processors are set up to provide me with pricing or even want to pass on savings to customers. There’s this time and programs like level three processing specifically for the transactions that are tricky to take advantage of time consuming and can cost in your business more than they could be paying if you aren’t doing it right. A typical merchant service provider can give you the runaround when live customer support isn’t available. Not great when you get information about payments right now, last of centralized reporting, and insights into your payments can result in extra time. Hot and in its payment cycle of destruction.
And not being able to process in the country in which he came to do business. Not exactly gonna help me get the doctor Mandel processing the lack of adequate automation capabilities out of the back office integrations lacking in Electronic invoicing. That team duplicate entry errors wasted time fixing those errors, and that means the added expenditures and added time.
This is an order view of the B2B business. You might see some things that are applicable to your company. Are your customers researching online prior to purchasing with you? Maybe they’re using social media. But if you consume arising you’re to be commerce to see revenue increased by 25%.
B2B Industry Stats (7:02-8:15)
B2B e-commerce transactions are estimated to reach 1.2 Trillion by this year, and they also said that 93% of wholesale buyers prefer to buy online. This is a new world. You see these trends emerging every day and I’ll be frank with you. The time for B2B ecommerce is now.
So in summary fine tuning, beats easy payments and offers a tremendous benefit for B2B business. You’ll improve visibility data and reporting and improve supplier relations and include cash flow, simultaneously reducing crossing time, reducing approvals and time consuming work load and reducing the administrative costs that are associated with getting paid.
Kim Lombard, Five tips to Supercharge Your Business (08:16-08:30)
Now, I’ll hand it over to Kim, where she could give you the tools and tips needed to supercharge your B2B solution.
Right, Hilary. Thanks so much.
Hey, Jack. So I’m gonna just run through a few tips. I hope you find useful
Tip 1: Engage an integrated payment processing provider (08:31-09:54)
I hope you find useful tip number one.. You want to engage with the company that has experienced developing solutions for rigorous enterprise level challenges. You also want to make sure your commerce platform and processor work effortlessly with your accounting and other business software and if possible you want a single source and all in one payment interface.
So you want a company that will provide easy, convenient ways in which customers could pay but also provide you with flexibility control.
Control for reconciling all payment channel data from a single source. So, therefore it’s often recommended to do a little research prior to, um, you know, prior to rolling out your e-commerce platform really just to eliminate having to deal with multiple providers and unnecessary cost.
You also wanna get a way that integrates into all known leading shopping carts that just magento or woo commerce are APS Gateway is just that quick and secure. Check out, even if you’re offering Omni Channel Services, you’re missing out on a valuable cross channel.
Tip 2: Find the right ecommerce platform (09:55-10:53)
Even if you’re offering Omni Channel Services, you’re missing out on a valuable cross channel. Insides If you’re back in are not connected, so that leads me to tip number two.
Which would be finding an e-commerce partner that has experienced integrating with your back Officer, ERP accounting system. So as I mentioned previously you want a company that has experience with demanding business challenges and APS payment has years of experience developing solutions for B2C and B2B.
Our payment Integrations air is easy to use really? Because they work seamlessly with the counting of business systems You already use every day whether it’s credit debit, ACH recurring, mobile or on the go payments. Or you need self serving portals such as are quick to pay where customers can buck and, um, voices down to light on detail and make a minute. We’ve really got you covered.
You also want a company that has innovations into leading ERP systems. Yes, we have flexibility on integrated payment solutions for every business and work with reading ERP systems And really, with the help of DCKAP, the possibilities are endless.
Tip 3: Choose an omni channel payment system (10:54-12:26)
So we’ve already discussed giving customers more ways to table and increase revenues. Also that you don’t want to limit options because your competition certainly won’t. But in most cases, businesses end up with multiple providers and a gateway.
You know, as an added solution for their customer work, it sometimes starts with maybe a standalone terminal, which is an actual point of sale system which again needs mobile or on the go payment for field service. And before you know it, you have
Then you add your eCommerce before you know it. You have multiple providers, which present entirely a new set of challenges. So let’s look at some of the problems you might face with multiple gateways and payment service providers.
You may have now you may now have me channel solutions for your customers and how they can pay. But you also have additional costs and no centralized recording, so therefore, he spent time and manpower searching for transactions and making multiple calls to result in questions or issues.
With this single gateway that provides for omni channel payments as well as integrating into your e-commerce and earpiece system. You really want to give a B no added cost two at a time or duplicate entry. All the information is at your fingertips. So seeing who came in Gateway provides for not only a single point of contact or source, but also it won’t minimize mistakes and increase security.
Tip 4: Maximize level 3 payment savings (12:27-14:16)
Tip number four B2B payment Processing has really modernized the way in which companies do business and with flexible convenient payment options really go above and beyond the house away for checking the mound, So let’s look how you can leverage level three processing.
For those of you who might not be familiar with level three processing. It was put in place almost 10 years ago. And really, the intent was to drive B2B transactional costs down. In other words encourage businesses to accept credit card as a form of payment from other businesses. However, there’s still large majority of companies not taking advantage of level three processing.
And having set of works is by providing a few extra data fields for business program or government cards actually receive a reduction and interchange and interchange rates.
But in order for you to receive this savings, you have to be on it entertaining at surprising structure. So if you’re unsure of your pricing structure is
You know what your pricing structure is? Or if you’re receiving level three or went to serve, leveraging level three processing. Please get in contact with us because we’re always here to help.
As you can see here. These are the data fields required for level 1,2 and 3 processing. Um do you want to mention that most of the additional data fields at me for level three processing or more than likely?
Already within your ERP system, the ERP system that you’re using every day and for those data fields that are we’ve actually automated the process and therefore all the information is passed along to Visa, MasterCard.
And you to receive that lower interchange trade.
Tip 5: Choose the right technology (14:17-15:20)
So moving on this tip number five. Choosing the right technology is sometimes easier said than done. Last year really made it more challenging than ever. And we know that that consumer preferences are really are here to stay. You want a company with experience and providing multiple payment options for your customers, but also communicates with your other businesses. You want your customer payment information safe and secure.
Along with reliable protection against front. You want to be able to take advantage of innovative features as well as leverage discounts you’re entitled to receive. You want clear customer services, support that standing by and ready to help.
And you want all the buzz, But you know the least amount of effort and cuts. We get it and therefore why we don’t charge for payment integrations, implementation training and maintenance.
It’s also where we really value and really rely on our partnerships with companies like DCKAP
Get more from your middleware (15:21-16:41)
Getting more from your middle air. So as we discussed, an integrated platform really eliminates roadblocks. Roadblocks you might otherwise face didn’t connect. All of your business applications are probable by cohesive solutions.
Together bullets to optimize systems that you already used as well as increased control and provide transparency. Yeah, well providing are proving productivity.
So we really worked diligently to save you. Time and money. What? They’re seamless integration. So if you’re looking for a diligent payment partner look no further than APS payments.
Wrap up (16:42-18:01)
With that. I want to thank everyone for taking time out of your busy schedules today to join us. I sincerely hope for a little knowledge from the information we share.
And again if you’d like additional information with regards to your pricing structure, or left, leveraging level three processing, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Hillary. As I said, We’re always here to help.
The other thing is that I’m gonna post in the chat elite for our relief kits. If you’d like to go into that link and fill out information, we will definitely get that relief came up to you ASAP. Andre won’t be around to answer any questions.
So I think that’s it. I wanna thank everyone again and Tim, I’ll turn it back over to thank you so much, Hillary. Okay, great presentation, and, uh, since Titus right here, this is my boy. He’s nine months old and just woke up. So it’s always been great work from home. So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully they get to stay tuned for next week’s summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
The End-User... First! Presented by Brandon Hagen at Affiliated Distributors
Introducing Brandon Hagen(00:00-00:50)
Tim Diep: Welcome to the DCKAP E-Summit of Spring Edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customer success Manager at DCKAP and I will be hosting today.
I would like to bring up Brandon Hagen. He’s the director of the safety network division and affiliated distributors. He’s passionate about education and sharing knowledge to help others. He served as director of member education services at Safety Network for five years and created a valuable education and market ecosystem.
Well, he is here to share some of their learnings and pursuit of best practices in the topic he has is the end user first. So, Brandon, I’d like to welcome you to the stage.
Overview of the talk (0:51-02:29)
Brandon Hagen: Yeah. Thank you for appreciating a man who just wants to make sure voice is coming through for you. Good with this place first doesn’t pull on this floor, I’m fairly bad at slide shows.
So you’ll see that the mind of design work I put into it is minimal with that’s partly by the side. I think that I’m a lot of time not thinking about PowerPoint. So let me just make sure that what you wanna share is more pungent and sorry. I hope you guys will forgive me for the blank playing slides, but you’ll still enjoy the content.
Our organization has been on a mission now for over five years to put the end user first in a lot of things that we do, and we’ve learned that a clean deal in that pursuit is done. Let me play in the states so we could play successes and that process we’ve developed.
We think there are a lot of best practices and and round and round and take you guys through the guts of what we’ve built in all those different best practices and how we’re doing things. I thought it would be a beneficial use of our time today to share with you guys. Some of the core philosophies that we’ve learned to follow.
You help us to see Vanessa Kerry, I think it would be more beneficial for you guys as listeners to not see exactly what we’ve done, but instead of understanding what we used to think, through these strategies to decide how we’re gonna go our path towards the future and it comes down. It’s very simple. This simple concept is in the screen end user first.
End User…First- ISA:2021 (02:30-06:03)
This simple concept you see on the screen and user first.
What we mean by that is, if you’re not putting your end user custom, the person that you’re selling two persons gonna use your equipment in the day or your services or whatever it is you provide.
If they’re not always at the forefront of your strategy off of your direction. Your organization, you tend to be in vertically, making some some missteps. It is at this point that really got driven home to me. Just recently when we went to a conference held at the Iast AIDS conference that’s the Industrial Supplier Association with a phenomenal complex phenomena.
They’re really good education speakers there. They had some sessions where I just absorbed love every second and I was curious because they had this theme that you see it. The subtitle here at this theme of the future of selling, and that was what all these industries came together to talk about all these face justice for about like, how are we gonna be changing the dynamics behind our sales force is giving everything you went through over this past year has 10 years of visual adoption and years and it’s been amazing for those of us who play in the digital area.
I want to share some of the things that actually got away with me from this conference. I thought you guys would value getting this information passed along to you because there were some things that I found tremendously insightful, but added up to this. This is the future of selling. And what was curious was not only was there a conclusion. He’s gonna drive this. But the conversations in the breakout sessions at this conference we’re sitting around with groups of five or so of the other people that are attending and talking us all through.
As you did that with the three days it was consistent. I mean, a steady theme of everyone saying Questions wrong. You know the future of selling was the aim of the conference. That’s not what we’re here to talk about unsolved. They go because he’s selling is going to stay pretty steady. It’s probably gonna stay pretty similar to where it’s at today. But the difference is that everyone’s discussions, even education sessions were all about how the market is going to dress. We evolved.
No marketing is going to be a part of the sales process where we’ve ever seen before. It was already going their way. But we’ve had a huge catalyst accuse Accelerator towards making that happen. And that was the big finding of that conference. And it’s funny because the conference was designed to help us come to that conclusion. Well, that’s what you know and speakers and talking about this are your breakout sessions.
It’s not about rebuilding the sales people talk about rebuilding anything else. Except for our marketing strategies. So I’ll start by sharing with you guys some dialogue and statistics from one of the speakers in particular. I love his name Marcus from McKinsey shared some insights by him. He was an excellent Speaker Like I just love, I’m actually taking his content to just giving it to you guys for words I want to give credit where credit is due. First thing your slide shows you are from his deck. And then there was awesome information just passing along. Check out marcussheridan.com for more details.
Statistics to ponder upon (06:04-09:48)
First thing you told us we were talking about the future of selling and what it will look like and you know, He said and this is interesting, stat 20% of me to be buyers. Our customers want to return, See that they hope to return in person, says 20%. It’s a pretty abysmal number.
And this is even in sectors that were traditionally dominated by outside salesforce. This includes pharma, Medical and much more. So I was coming.. Some of these changes in these trends could be here to stay.
You know only not me, and we’re looking forward to going back to the old way of doing things. Now you continue to push this store with us on the same study you were talking about. You said 90% of his adjustments that we’ve gone through are expected to stay.
So that was the answer. Well, how much of this stuff is gonna instead? And clearly they keep on setting the date of the texting feedback from both sales pros, leadership in organizations as well as the customers.
Finding consistent sentiment that we’ve found a lot of synergies. We found a lot of things that we can do more easily and keep more cheaply but still effectively through these virtual meetings. So containing that half the clothes in the morning, three quarters over 75% of both the buyers and the sellers are telling them they prefer these digital self serve models and this remote human engagement over face to face interactions. And they are seeing the sentiment continue to intensify, So it wasn’t just a pandemic bubble and we’re gonna go back to how we were doing things.
It’s well we learned any way of doing things we’ve learned the more efficient way of doing things. And in some ways more effective, we’re gonna keep a lot of these things and plan. So they’re saying what this means to us. Isn’t that we’re gonna change selling forever. They were gonna overhaul the sales for us and overhaul the sales process. Now the sales process is still fundamental. There still is what it is.
What does this mean? Is that our customer’s journey, What they’re going to go on is going to start without us is gonna do a lot more on the digital, the marketing side before the sale direction involved.
This is the side that I think is really important. I made their color for a rich man. And this one’s going to top out 80% of the action. You know, studies have found that buyers now 80% through the sales process. I actually talked to sales, bro. What this means to all of us, and whether we like it or not, is that marketing is now driving roughly 80% of the sales process. Hence fly our conclusion as we went through this whole essay conference. The question isn’t about how we should have We retool where we’re going to sell products. The question is, how do we need to completely retool the market problems? Because marketing now one hair before?
Is going to be a component of the sales process. Well, what we particularly found was that it’s going to be the top in the middle of the sales slow.
That’s going to go through a really big change. It’s all centered around this concept of, you know, we need to be focused on what the end user is, where they’re going, what they’re pursuing.
Nobody cares. What do you think? Frankly, I love what Marcus said. He goes. Nobody cares what you think, nobody cares what he thinks. He’s like. What matters is what we’re actually witnessing what our customers do.
And we keep our eye on that end user first, so we’ll be making the right decision. If an organization is strategically off, we can help with understanding how to meet them where they’re going.
Why is this important? (09:49: 12:12)
Mentioned sales final is changing. We know it is and I want to talk to you guys today about the areas that we see as an organization, as are most critical components to helping us facilitate this change successfully and you’ll see it right here. I go to market strategies are gonna have to change and that’s because the customers are now driving.
The sales froze, and drove from start to finish. So I knocked on the door that saw you cradle to grave. That day’s been gone for a long time. Now we’re seeing that market because it’s all about playing the fellow final organism that final dress expansion could be forward. And so I love the way we’re closing this right. You know the customers driving, but marketing is gonna be tasked with building the writing.
And at the build the roads to link somebody to a sale.
So we need organizations to build these roads. The roads are gonna be traveled there, and they’re gonna be pursued based on our company’s reputation.
And our customers’ experience. We had to make sure that the customer sees our reputation and their experience as a road. They’d like to travel down. We’re going to get really good at telling that story on a regular basis because the fact that matters is more likely than not.
I’m not gonna be getting a sales rep in front of new prospects all the time where they get to tell this story where they get to build up the reputation of the grand and tell the history and explain the customer experience is gonna be like and give testimonials.
Now the reputation is gonna be a brand presence online, our social media presence. How we contribute to the overall community that’s not the experience of customers. It goes through is gonna be as you saw 80% done without it. It’s going to give them a chance to consume our content. Then looking at things on our Web. I’m learning about who we are very much. It’s And then Miller aside, this is a road I wanna drive down. I want to engage with this foot. So because this is continuing to advance and accelerate. We’ve seen the need more than ever before to double down on our perspective of putting the end user customer first in all of our strategy sessions on everything we do is how we make sure that we’re going over there.
So we consider these reputation and experience as the two primary drivers that we all have to keep in mind when it comes to society. However, how do we want to evolve our company?
Customers value our reputation (12:13-16:30)
You know, customers value our reputation, whether we like it or not really, it is important.. We know they do. It’s out there now. You my personal thing. I don’t want to put a bunch of work and entire money investment in to help this reputation.
Most of us resist that because that’s really a hard path. What does it take to become a Nike? What does it take to become a 3M. Yeah, no, that’s a long, long play with a lot of equity from behind those brands.
What I’m challenging us to do is to look at that second bullet there. I say, you know what’s true? What’s wrong? Why that’s no organization. Do you have that clearly defined?
If we look at the three about here, you have a Tesla in space X and Nike in Tom’s shoes. You know those air three companies that have tremendous recommend reputations but all for really different reasons.
They’re widely or all uniquely different, like as a customer, If you’re gonna buy a Tesla
Many of them are doing it because they don’t believe in trying to help save the planet. Where the heck they just think it’s cool. We’re gonna want and that mission that why I was like, Hey, if you buy a test that you’re supporting space extra helping us connect all of these dots that gets people to become not only customers.
Very loyal first evangelical customers that organization No. You could say I’m not gonna have a going to mars type of reputation. Not gonna have a green reputation. Maybe you go to the nike round and that’s a tough one to do what you want to be the brand leader, meaning that, like every athlete knows, that is their wearing Nike like you. That stuff has been tested. It’s the top performance for their industry.
It’s gonna be. It’s gonna be a really just get together shoe, basically. But if you buy a pair of shoes, show me also donate a pair of shoes to someone in need, and their organization went from just a small little start up to a national nation like Brandon no time because their lives their mission. They’re putting off the end user first, all the sudden making them relevant out there. I mean the reputation, you don’t wanna work with so you can see every one of these sometimes. Then why for 90? Otherwise I’m gonna be the best for my customers. That’s there. And you for Tom. Just like I’m gonna make sure that you’re buying from me as my customer. But you get that good, warm, fuzzy feeling of health in the world.
If you believe in my mission to go to Mars, come support me, so I used this as somewhat tongue in cheek examples, but really, we could look at. I’m sure everyone out there could name one or two or three competitors and there is a tree that had a reputation that’s really, really strong. And I think it’s pretty safe to say that when the reputation next form is probably one of the largest components of their value competition, okay?
So what did you do? Regardless of the odds to lunch in the cast people could have accomplished for yourself. Why don’t you get it done? It’s not worth cracking, because if you do it well, you know it becomes one of the biggest things that help me succeed in the marketplace. Long term.
So you can think of doing it anyway. You know, you could contribute to the community. And I mean the industry you’re in. You could help share your knowledge with people. You can get back as you go. You could be someone like Tom. Just help my communities and you’re gonna help your industries. You could. You know green things are very simple Examples for you to see there.
They all lead to a lot. Hey, we exist because we want to contribute to the community. As we go. We exist because we believe in sharing out. So if you had that, why, well defined as an organization, you usually are really good ground.
About that. Why does it become a little bit tough? Most re strategy sessions are gonna be very, your goal is you centric rather than one of your customers.. How can I help them right now? So we continue on this path. Your reputation is important, I think it is when we all get and we know how hard it is to achieve, we can be achieved. I think today in today’s day and age of social media, it is easier to achieve than ever because it’s free to publicize yourself in those channels that have the most viewers. Shouldn’t that receipt, you know it used to be. We have to go on TV or magazines and papers at stocks even cultivated following on our own, just by being altruistic, doing the right thing and sharing your life and your story to get followers. People who look like this are somebody who we want to support and that can snowball quickly out of it.
It’s a task worth pursuing.
What about Customer Experience, where is the end user? (16:31-19:59)
It’s not about reputation, what it takes to build that. But when I passed my state and this is where it’s gonna really test how much you focus on the and use. Do you have this end user first mentality?
So here’s our past yourselves. No, have any of you ever sat through this strange decision? Nothing to yourself. Ask yourself this question, and I sat through the strange session. Now we’re gonna launch this new great product or service. We were super excited about our goal to sell this much by the end of two cores from let’s get to work, man. Here’s what makes it awesome. Has these great features, these benefits here some facts and figures, just great marking material on it. There’s some good information you could take out. There’s a one pager for it. Here’s how he’s simply suggesting you go out there and sell it. Now. Let’s go out there and get this thing sold. Let’s accomplish our goals. Get this thing done.
If you’ve sat through that a strategy session, and that seems to be the primary strategy session that you sit. There is an organization here for the new product. Here’s what we want to accomplish is how we’re gonna market. Let’s get done.
Well, you’re likely not a customer centric organization. You’re likely not an organization who puts an end user first in your strategy. You’re putting yourself first, your strategy another and usually comes into how you thought you could figure out how to sell them to figure out how to take it to him? You might have set loose with a moment like But at the end of the day all you don’t say, I think you’re gonna like this. I wish I lived my nanny position right.
We’re inside our reputation could let their customers know that they, of course are altruistic about us and experience that they go through with us can show them that we’re here to serve you not get our job done, because when we look at this strategy session
Basically saying, Where the heck is he? And where is it? I mean, I don’t want my customers to hurt. What if we might be selling drills, But they’re buying holes after we can kill a whole man without that, trailing behind that mandrill, so war will use talk about how we’re gonna sell our drill and getting here’s what makes our drill so amazing. Let’s go to the market with our drill. We totally missed the point.
The customers buy and hold. We weren’t talking about how we could help them stick to their work, but it seems tongue in cheek. But our goals are not our customers’ goals. So we gotta forget our goals. If the goal that we crafted is not around how we help this customer out.
It’s pretty around. So forget your goals, especially those that come to its selling and are going on the market strategy. We need to just ask herself someplace simple questions in order to calibrate ourselves around this and use your first on Palestinian. Let me ask these questions internally to help make sure that we’re bringing something out for developing some new service.
That we’ve checked all the boxes to make sure our choice of words the way we presented them communicates. It’s gonna be all about our customer, customer centric because good storytelling asks of ourselves. What are our customers’ Gold relative to these product servants?
And what would their ideal experience be purchasing it and using the first scene is a big experience. So we want if we’re stay focused on these. Here’s the features and the benefits. I got a proposition. Here’s how we’re going to sell it.
Most presenters just already come out and tell you everything there is to know about this and talking about him and Amazon.
Why did Amazon grow? (20:00-22:05)
We always think how Amazon has grown freaking rapidly. There’s a lot of things there but one of them is that we all know, every one of us. Not only is that basis really could care less about his suppliers and less about his distributors. And you could basically care less about employees, and that one’s got made him so hot water, But I mean, really, when it came to everything Amazon ever done is an organization.
It was all about their customers’ experience . How can I make sure that they have the best experience? This is a absolute end User First organization now and at the end of the day, they know that if they own that, and user if they get that preference from the end user they’ve won. They’ve won the whole supply chain. They’ve won the whole negotiation. There’s nothing else to debate here. You’ve got to go through that.
So when we look at folks like this, you know, we want to make sure that we emulate this model of a simple it and I was gonna end user first, Ask yourself one of their goals, one of their ideal experiences and then follows up once you know those goals you do you have the experience laid out maps like this is how they love to purchase our product. This is what they have to know. Here’s what we’re gonna cross reference without me. Here’s why I’m not there and I left that sales meeting. Here’s what they’re probably gonna do.
If you could think through what they’re going to do and deliver the things to help them do that. You’ve given half the experience along the way for that. You’re saving them work. You’re creating loyalty and trust. So we just asked ourselves about other challenges. Will they have faced accomplishing that goal?
What are those challenges listed that somehow have them mapped out and see how many of these challenges can we help them escape through? How many can we just give them the information? They need to make the decision where they choose or not. Let’s just do it right.
And how could we help them get there, So he’s very, very simple questions require robus they required and you go back here. You say what our goals was there to experience this a lot on. You ask yourself what challenges that I faced at the customer end. Those goals are a lot of dots to connect right there. But you’re gonna make a map of how you could go to market in a way that’s most efficient for your hospital. So they bring this thing home.
Empathy with the end user, listen to the voice of the customer (22:06-28:17)
I just think that not just everybody applies some empathy out there. What I mean by that is, you know, Make sure we’re seeing this stuff throughout Customers Act put ourselves in their sheets.
You think of a time because we’ve all been buyers. We’ve all bought major things. Think of the time that you were buying something. You felt uncomfortable. You didn’t like it. You don’t want that, Bender.
When I tell me all about what you said. Fixed on my tire, my engine only I’m talking about now I feel helpless and it’s a horrible experience. When I talked to the people who make sure I feel good about this process being dragged.
It’s a horrible experience, actually buy a pool pump with the same fleet.
So ask ourselves some questions. You know what? Whatever made that a better experience personal as your personal thing. What would you like to have happened to you? What information would you have needed? Would’ve made you one in your decision.
If you can lay that out there for yourself Simple purchase, It could be something you can use to map out your company’s purchases. Your approach process, so don’t create more little teams. Absolutely. So one of the things that encouraged us to do more often as a collective body of professions is to lean on this old old adage of invoices, Customer There’s always the customer’s right, all those all those things, but I mean, sometimes there’s so much value and just being warned and asking our customers questions. What could I do to create more law? T? What can I do? For a better experience process and just listen to.
You know if you ask most of the time, they’re going to tell you the answers.
If you ask enough, you’re gonna figure out what the most common answers are. You have a strategy. And in that old field of dreams thing, man, you could build it. They will come. You don’t have to outsmart ourselves, you don’t have to sit here and create most conflicts in the world. We just need to listen to our customers.
You get what direction they want to go in and then build exactly what they’re looking for. And I’m not saying this is gonna be easy guys. Because simple is hard. Simple is a very hard thing to do, you know and think about where it was. I was that years ago.
They asked their customers what they would like in order to purchase through their platform all the time. It’s a simple request. I value consistent daily times with free shipping.
And that’s requested a simple, simple request. But man that’s hard to make happen. In fact, for most of us that would be impossible to make happen.
But that’s the only guy like they used and they came with the most successful distributors in history. So we don’t know what our customers might tell us. They might tell us how to value your instituted user interface with no instruction manual.
You don’t say, that’s gonna be impossible. Well, if it’s impossible, then that’s gonna be a big laugh because someone else figures it out. The impossible like basements did what could happen to the industry?
So nice. It’s simple as that gives us a huge amount of work to do. Dude, the organization’s better so I’m in my blind spots. Well, that might mean that you’re gonna have to be more forthcoming and explain to them the challenges that kind of face and then be very transparent in this process, so they don’t learn that from somebody else and then also discredited.
Maybe one of the price options with easy comparisons. We start online now. What reviews on my stuff whenever they want to know what Hillsborough is? They want to pick the sales pro and spend the time we’re seeing more and more of that out there. In fact, we know of a case study for one of our members who implemented the ability to review their sales people. You can look at their cells from online profiles. Were they on them? What they specialized in where they liked to be.
The person who says why they’re not going to meet with this person, You know, they’re specialized and gassed. I want to talk to this individual. Well, they have found that when they let the customer give up control, they say here, Mr Customer. You decide how you want to spend this to play out with us. We’ll give you all the information. You need your decision and let you decide you want to engage with us working to help, they have found that when they’re getting meetings through that medium they are closing at over a two times council acts with these people. It’s insane like that. They’re there. They’re there. Case like that. We’re gonna write up because no one knows how that played out, and they’re not getting a ton of means. They’re the ones that are really quality. It’s like the people decided this is gonna wanna talk to totally disarm the cell structure.
They only want to do that because customers have been asking about that. So if we take the time for the end user first of all our strategy for business asks ourselves. What are their goals? What’s their ideal experiences? What challenges they’re gonna face doing this and how can I help them? Get through this process? It’s technically a really straightforward approach to the market.
And it seems so simple. It’s shocking that we can’t do it. But I know why it’s because that asks, we get our sometimes insurmountable. Again. You’re all things really for us to work for. So I conclude by just saying this guy’s just keep it and use your first drone. We don’t let them become the tails that your strategy session doesn’t start off with your business schools and how you’re gonna go to market.
Start off with what are my customers’ goals? And how would they prefer us to engage? That’s a great way to recalibrate ourselves in the strategist section and become a story. Tell it, are you willing to explain how you create this reputation of the market? You are willing to explain how you had a great experience so your customers know you’re wise. You could tell that story and be willing to give up more information.
More control and just warm your knowledge only to the public that you ever have before. Because if you’re not giving that information up, if you’re not putting the pricing out there, if you’re not giving the map to make this process easy.
Someone else will and when they’re engaging digitally in your sales force is that they’re talking that customer’s gonna drive down the road of your competition. Who’s getting in the information they wanted upfront was being very transparent with process helping them see their blind spots, and they’re gonna pick up the phone one day and say, I want to talk to this company instead of yours and your team are teams will all be stuck in the cold calling just regular role of nobody answered anymore. It’s shifted. It’s changed. We gotta make sure that our road is the best road to drive down when it comes to their journey in the sales process.
Wrap up (28:10-30:00)
This stuff has been helpful for you all. As I mentioned. I don’t wanna go into how we didn’t want All of these things were very, very proud of where we’re and it has been awesome. We have our membership over here. But I just wanted to share it with you guys again. The taps that we follow are a very simple process, but it requires a ton of heavy lifting.
Or to actually get results out of it. I’ll pass it back over to you. I don’t know if there’s any questions or comments like that. But hopefully you guys enjoyed that little presentation.
I think it’s much Brandon. That was a great presentation, and I was taking notes by myself. So just mind boggling, saying the 80% go to the sales process or through the process before they talk to sail seems so.
Very important information, right as we’re looking for digital transfer, So thank you again. I know you’re very busy with your schedule. Just thank you so much for just this from your time for this great presentation. So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully you get to stay tuned for the next DCKAP esummit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
The Future of Women in Industrial Distribution and Manufacturing by Lori Mata
Introducing Lori Mata (00:00-01:35)
Next, we would like to bring up Lori Mata. She’s the director of industrial distribution of North America at Saint Gobain. She’s been with this company for over 25 years and has held various positions with increasing responsibility and customer service sales, national accounts and industrial distribution building partnerships for growth.
She strives to mentor her employees to see business from a broader view and become great leaders. She has spread her influence in the Dallas Fort Worth area and her topic today will be the future of women in the industry for distribution on a fast rate. So Lori, Welcome to the stage. Thank You so much for coming in.
Getting into a male dominated business (01:35-02:13)
Thank you, Tim. Today we’re talking about the future of women and industrial distribution and manufacturing. We all know that the industrial supply channel has long been a male dominated business. I skipped changing slowly, and I’m gonna discuss how we can help the women in our industry.
There are still biases. We have women and management roles in marketing, accounting and HR, But women in more technical fields like engineering and antique and even manufacturing management roles for small businesses are definitely lesser. Hiring managers sometimes assume that women don’t want to travel or women with small children wouldn’t work the long hours that are needed.
We need to talk with the potential candidates and determine their interests level before we omit them from any list attributing it to their family duties. We need to notice that the acceptance of the female customer base world has changed in the last few years. Wait 10 years ago when I would walk into a customer’s manufacturing plant in the South. All work would stop, people would stare. Women would be escorted back to your meeting, and that doesn’t happen now.
A lot more commonplace now: Spot the evolution (02:14-02:55)
Now, as we walk in, it’s not even noticed which is just wonderful and I think one reason is because there are some operations managers and female engineers on the floor, so it’s more commonplace now.
Despite making up more than half of all workers, we’re gonna count for less than one third of manufacturing roles, and there’s even less on the management front. There’s still about half a million jobs opening manufacturing right now in a study by Deloitte and then the manufacturing institute finds more than half of those jobs go into the field unless we attract educated individuals for them. Next thing is about retaining the workers.
Change the thinking (02:56-03:59)
It is crucial to retain workers and to do this, we need to change the way that we think about women and manufacturing. Because definitely something that could help. We need to get them the qualifications and skills to help the least job. Put simply the manufacturing industries and the state of reinvention. Then you need to look at educating and empowering women. This
will be crucial for the future of industry. For these reasons, I’m really encouraged to see the change which happens more wrapped up in the next few years, actually, and first, it’s the rate of retirement, which is incredible.
In the U. S last year single bond. My company had 32 retirements and sales, engineering and product meant that’s a ton of experience walking out the door. Luckily, we were prepared for it, but it’s also an opportunity for the baby boomers. We’ve got great ideas and the industry will be leaving and philosophies will change with the management, you know.
There’s also the talent pool. Now we’re women who outnumber males as probable candidates, and this is from steadily for the last 15 years.
Advocacy is important (04:00-05:11)
Advocacy is another important point. I believe that the industrial community needs to advocate for women more openly. I know many don’t know where to start. They would like first for you to acknowledge that there is indeed a place for them. It is important for you to know what to say before you can speak up. You have to listen. Ask them what you know is stopping them from ghosting in their careers, and then you need to try to change and you break lots of thinking. If you’re in a hiring position manager, bring in more women so as to add more diversity to your organization.
Outback favor when you see it because there is still some out there. You know, in the next few years, I think that there’s a lot of distributors that have daughters that could be stepping into the owner or president’s role. Um, we need to think differently. The best management candidates maybe women haven’t always been considered.
We need to provide opportunities and offer new and intermediate level females. Some leadership training. Now there are many summits out there that have education sessions, their virtual or Harvard, and the cost was very low, so it’s something that most distributor’s studio
Creating awareness (05:12-06:20)
I believe the key to more women in the industrial business is creating awareness. There’s career opportunities for women at all levels.
Universities such as Texas A & M Nebraska are examples of this. These are all schools that have programs and industrial distribution, and these are people who actually went to school to be in this distance.
I didn’t think about going to college and thinking, Oh, I want to manage distributors is still grinding wheels when I grow up, and so I think that many assembled across this business on it’s been massive stuff. Most distributors and manufacturers. I speak with her, having trouble finding a suitable absence of any gender. The best way to get better access to these top students is to volunteer to speak with glasses.
Not your business.
Bring in early career employees and experts too (06:21-08:01)
I speak twice a year at a local university to do international business, and in turn, a Professor comes and speaks at some women’s groups where I need them to talk. My company has 10 career fairs around the country each semester, and there’s always someone from HR there, But we began bringing someone from sales or engineering as well to prompt questions and see if there’s any answers. Is there anything you’re curious about?
I suggest you bring some early career employees to the fair with you because I think it’s important for the students to see that there’s people who look like them. That worked for your company, not helped them. Give a lot of time to consideration. You know the business.
I have a friend. That’s the next pan and she mentioned to me that things are different now. But she looks for before she goes to an interview or when she’s asked to interview anywhere she considers in the interview, and she looks at their website, she reads their value statement and goes to see the antiquated, she says. If it is you think you’re talking to would be the first turn off.
She looks like the leadership team’s images, and she sees it. The representative of diversity
And she looks at the online presence, which we talked about. She looks at length on Facebook and she likes the soup. It’s a current drought right? If they’re a publicly traded company, she looks at their finances to see if they’re growing. This surprised me when she told me this is not anything I would have considered. It’s so hard. The interests of new employees is also important. It changed a lot to train. Once we have these women in our business, we recruit them if they’re new to the industry or a 30 cent talent.Make sure they have resources and connections at many levels, including male allies. That’s great for our business.
Company’s culture (08:02-08:43)
Your company’s culture is also important for new employees and for their experience. Once we’ve been lucky enough to find some experienced sales and engineers and analysts from companies like Bird Look last year.
Both experienced and the new house employees are there and they need mentors. Mentors are essential. I believe it doesn’t matter if the mentor is a male or female, they just need to have some value to offer.
Women seek out colleagues they can check in with. I’ve had a few mentors in my career. Some formal and some that I just admired and inspired me.
My best mentor was a male and I learned from him. It was not gender related. What I learned from him was the strategy of the business. I was lucky enough to find strong women in my career too.
How to retain women employees (08:44-09:47)
Retaining is essential with any employee but especially with next gen, you really need to understand your company’s career promotion time. This was discussed earlier. For instance, sometimes it takes as long as 3 to 5 years before they are promoted. This is what really hampers retaining. We lose a lot of employees around the three year mark. So, to think that what you have to do to keep them challenged today is to let them know that there’s opportunities out there where we can help them sign up for a project or ask them to train some of the more mature employees on systems and other things that are recently helped.
And when they handle these projects, you would know whether they can handle a long term project or not. And this way, you can figure out about their potential to? And these are the ones you convince with money, time and other priorities.
It’s critical to retain them and have a bunch of exceptional talent to build many positions for the future.
Moving forward in distribution channel (09:48-11:33)
We know that people will leave because they had a bad man or a bad experience. Just that happens a lot, And sometimes now if they don’t feel connected, or if they think they don’t have growth opportunities there, it was mentioned earlier that the tenure at any company is much shorter than it used to be.
Yes, we have worked long term too, You know, lifers and now 34 years is kind of you know how often they turn over, so it’s an interesting change in the industrial distribution channel. It’s moving forward, and I think women are a big part of it.
We all know that diversity breeds innovation and statistics show that businesses with more women managers on boards and see more possible research suggests that pursuing policies that help women in their mid term careers.
Not even more effective than addressing board memberships or syndicates, the result of policies that facilitate women rising, too dependent on the company ranks they help. You know if you could educate girls better be more supported of child care policies and more rigorous application of anti discrimination would also help.
We need to reach out and find female job candidates. We need to make them aware of an interest in our businesses. We want to train them and provide them a strong network of experience.
Someone can learn from a network with many industry groups. Now. Women are a part of industrial supply swimming, electrical industry and even manufacturing. There are plenty of resources out there to help support the women in your business.
I’m really excited about the future of women in our business.
Wrap up (11:34-12:54)
Thank you for your time. And thanks to DCKAP.
Tim Diep- Thankyou Laurie for the great presentation. It’s really good to see the rise of women in the district producer space and then fast rate.
We can’t wait to even meet you at the next event, once COVID kind of winds up. We are excited to be a part of these outside events again. But for now, just thank you so much for joining us and having a great presentation.Thank you.
So that’s all we have for now, and hopefully we get to stay tuned for next week’s e-summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis.
How Direct-To-Consumer Can Increase Opportunities by Gary Smith at Nexcess
Introducing Gary Smith and the Nexcess (00:00-02:49)
Welcome to the DCKAP Summit Spring edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay, fine. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customer success manager at DCKAP and ‘ll be hosting today. Next, I’d like to bring up Gary Smith. He’s the strategic partner development manager at Nexcess.
Nexcess provides hosting for Magento, word press and ecommerce sites. Gary He’s got experience in industrial sales and e-commerce as a merchant agency leader and hosting providers. So it has got a 360 view of the whole digital transformation. His topic today is how direct to consume can increase opportunities for.
So, I’d like to bring up Gary. All right, Tim. I appreciate it, you can hear me, OK?
That’s good. That’s good. Thank you so much. Okay. Great. Appreciate it. Um, you know, I’m reminded of those college keen presentations where you all do bigger and more research and independently put some of the same points on some of the same slides because I’m afraid you’re probably gonna be seeing some things again because we’re just all come to the same conclusions and of all observed some of the same thing naturally about the landscape I think some commonalities to a lot of these presentations, how the world’s changing Naturally how e commerce is growing exponentially. And you know we’re all we’re all sort of acknowledging the Amazon factor today. I won’t be any exception. But all I’ll try not to be too redundant with these observations. I’m Gary Smith, I’m channel partner up with Nexcess.
We worked with the DCKAP extensively and appreciate the opportunity to speak. Today. We do managed applications hosting were owned by liquid Web, and we’re the part of the company that provides hosting that is specifically tailored for
Word press, Woo commerce. So we provide advanced technical support for those and a few other applications.
Like coral commerce and DRUPAL and things like that.So as promised, we will get into some observations about how the landscapes are changing.
How’s the landscape changing(02:50- 05:20)
I do want to offer a similar perspective but maybe a little different than what you heard. One of the things that covered the year of COVID it as I think, well, mainly 2020 and part of 21 for, has exposed us all to that. Maybe we’ve all gotten a little bit complacent about supply chain scarcity as we talked about today, depending on which part of the country you’re in. You may be more or less affected by this, but there are gas shortages in some places because of a pipeline that’s been just electronically hacked with ransomware. I believe, all of us in the South were used to those panic buying situations. Some of us were getting our five gallon gas cans and lining them up and going into the gas station. So scarcity or perceived scarcity sometimes really breeds or exposes some of the complexity and fragility of the supply chain. The thing I’ve got up on the screen right now.
There was a webcam that I checked recently and they’re back to normal prices. You can buy these any day of the week now, but last year when I had two college students and my wife, needed it for meeting Webcams for class for work, church related stuff where they hadn’t necessarily needed one before, or perhaps they came home for from campus, and they had won in their apartment where they lived in that town, but forgot to bring it with him.
And so all of a sudden everybody needs a webcam. And we were the only ones who needed a webcam, as evidenced by the fact that this webcam I’m showing on screen which normally you could buy from, I don’t know $65 to $80 the day I looked at this. The screen shot is from 2020. And the price was $89 or $90. And you couldn’t get one. They were on backorder. I saw some on eBay for over $200. So this is kind of a consumer item. What does that have to do with B2B e-Commerce and why you should be in it? Let me move on to the next point. Think most. If not all of these stats may have been seen by you already today if you attended all the presentations
Online opportunity and statistics (05:21-08:33)
Just as it was almost impossible for us to get our heads around what has gone on with e-commerce in the past year, and I think one of the reasons it’s hard to get our heads around is because it was already growing in a hockey stick curve.
If it’s possible to go from a hockey stick curve to even more vertically, then COVID 19 did it for us. The anecdote that I often use is that my 80, plus year old mother in law is buying groceries online. Now, instead of going through all the aisles at the supermarket and writing a check at the end of that process, my wife is there to help her with it, but nevertheless, her money is going into an e-commerce platform.
For that purchase.you know next time buying online was often a consumer’s only option in 2020. And the thing that I think is intuitive. Probably everybody is listening here today, but may surprise some people out there is, you’re not going back there, finding that it’s more convenient to buy online and again. That’s not just consumer goods. We’ll talk about that. We’ll get more into that as we go, but 900 billion with a B more purchased online in 2020, on top of the trends that have been going on for a decade.
You may or may not realize this, and I think it’s leading to some of these supplies. Scarcities. Customer optimism is rapidly rebounding. Over 50% of customers surveyed by McKinsey around March, 2021 say they will spend extra to treat themselves. Only 15% are pessimistic. Some people have been displaced. Some people are having a hard time.
But many consumers have continued their jobs, as we’ve gotten through this and through the worst of it there, they are more confident that they’ll continue to have that job. And so spending is really pretty strong, and that’s going to drive not only consumer goods, but of course, is the wheels turning that will also drive B2B transactions as well.
Another supply chain Scarcity issue that I noticed while listening to a podcast the other day, and here’s a stat for it. Demand for automotive electronics is growing 28-36%.
There are car manufacturers today that are shipping cars. Maybe putting one of those old doubled in cassette players in the dashboard and in lieu of the navigation system or whatever that they can’t ship because
Ships and boards and things are so hard to get right now for certain things, but we’re in a seller’s market. And so it’s really a great time to consider modernizing and processes.
2021: the year of opportunity(08:34-14:04)
Here’s the opportunity. We’re gonna talk a little bit about the opportunity and we’re gonna talk about some of the problems. In other words, the wrist side of this
We, um, a last bigger talked about
How the workforce is aging and the boomers are exiting the management sphere.
I’m intentionally using this term digital natives and not millennials. When we think generationally. We often think the majority of these apply these generational labels and as a guy in my mid fifties, I’ll admit there’s a tendency of a mental picture of a millennial as being like my kids. And guess what. First of all, my kids are growing up. And secondly, millennials, they’re not like the age of my kids. Millennials are in their forties.
People in their forties grew up. Not nothing, anything really different other than they had a computer, and they had Internet access. Um what’s a fax machine? Picking up the phone and ordering something by that channel just seems a little bit like that to them.
So they’re looking for an online search self-serve purchase that was also alluded to. Earlier presentation, Brandon made excellent points about that. It’s really really true. People are less interested in picking up the phone ending up in an exchange with a sales rep unless they really need help with that purchase.
Online commerce allows you to scale into new global markets. It allows you to do things like language, localization and currency localization. See, I’m hitting all the other prisoners today.
You can more easily ship to other markets, using the tools that are now afforded to you, your competitors are already there.
We’ll talk about competitors, both Non Amazon and Amazon, but the thing that you may not have considered if you are sitting on the sidelines and thinking online sales is not that important to us. We sell widgets. People buy these things in bulk. This is a detailed involved purchase. And so we feel like it’s gonna be complicated. I want you to understand the risk you’re taking here because simply outsourcing that function to Amazon has its risks and just simply leaving it to chance also has risks.
Amazon is an entity obviously evidenced by the fact that we’re all talking about the extremely powerful means in e-commerce. That’s not good or bad. It just is. They have tremendous buying power, tremendous ability to vertically integrate on things, and this is nothing that goes all the way back to the early grocery stores. Whenever they see an opportunity they’re going to build around products.
One difference is they have much more data than retailers of prior generations ever dreamed of having to know exactly what selling and if you completely rely on Amazon is your online channel?
You could be one giving him that data. What kind of item sells the best. What kind of batteries sell the best? Where? What length of cable? What? What color cords. All these things are just data.
Frankly, we’re all handing to Amazon and so you just need to be aware of that risk, especially if you sell highly specialized industrial equipment or supplies. I added this screen shot just yesterday as I was thinking about this, You know, Look at these products and go. What am I looking at?
These are products in my first career that I sold in my parents, little mom and pop supply company. There are names now. So if we think of Amazon as primarily about consumer goods, then we don’t understand the extent to which Amazon is really able to be a channel to sell anything and everything. That’s something that you need to understand. If you’re not really doing e-commerce yet, and also something that we’ll get to a little bit later is a factor in how am I going to handle this? If I have a dealer network
Just another slide here Selling how, If we don’t control the online availability and reputation of our components and assemblies, somebody else will somebody’s out there is going to do arbitrage and fill our stuff online so it can be, We can control that and provide that user experience or people could go to some kind of aggregation site like the one I’m showing.
And just make those things available online, so returning to benefits if we embrace this change, and perhaps take advantage of strong sales and a strong demand cycle right now to drive this process and build the B2B direct to the consumer site. You need to enjoy profitability. We get weekends by selling directly where it’s appropriate. Simply be more profitable.
Benefits of OEM commerce(14:05-15:18)
Perhaps more importantly, we can build the customer relationship in this kind of tag from a previous presentation. When we understand and can get data directly from our customers who are users of this product, people are trying to make the holes with the drills.
Then we can understand better. what they need when they want to buy it, wow they want to buy it, winning where they need to repair it. What parts? They need all that sort of thing. Already talked about data.
The amount of data that you can get from a properly built online system is incredible. It’s better than operating a retail store. It’s better than relying solely on dealers and distributors. And it allows you to understand your consumer. Better personalize. the
Marketing effort, help them understand what they need, what they need next and drive up souls, retention and commitment.
So this is my last slide.
I want to talk about how this could be done badly.
Potential issue with OEM Commerce(15:19-18:40)
And if you are a manufacturer who traditionally has worked through dealers I want to encourage you to even as you’re building an online site.
Don’t view it as well- we’re just going to bypass the dealers. We’re gonna skip the middleman and just sell directly without consideration for those channels. We built those relationships.
I have personally experienced that example from earlier industrial products from that manufacturer. This goes back a couple of decades. Now you know, that manufacturer just basically signaled us. Well, we don’t need you anymore, And that was very early days e commerce and it really wasn’t based on that idea. It was just the idea of, we’re simply going to take things more direct. We’re going to rely on bigger dealers and we’re gonna rely less at the moment, that was a long time ago. I don’t know what choices they really had in those days. But the choice you have, If you are a maker of something that you can build a sight, you can build a sales delivery system.
That where appropriate really brings your dealers in you can, you could be the one to educate and inform dealers about how they just like you can be suffering are losing sales from the grey market sites like I talked about earlier, losing sales from people who simply buy stuff and put it back on Amazon and you can provide tools you can, for example.
Provide, uh, catalog tools for your reps. There is still a role for sales reps. In today’s world. They answer questions. We answer questions for consumers that they don’t or they can’t or don’t want to figure out for themselves so
Equip your reps with a site that provides a better catalog.
Guess what your cells were upstate. Thumbing through your paper got along, too.
You can provide location finders for your dealers. You can provide localized sites for your dealers who support you and provide your equipment and provide repairs for your equipment and so forth.
One of the problems. It was really hard to solve. An e-commerce even like five years ago that’s gotten so much easier is things like Parks locators? Parts finders? Optimize your search on your site? Not like it’s just a consumer site for different guys, but rather a site where people go looking for parts for things they may have bought from your dealers. There’s a lot of ways to work this where you can make your dealers your distributors. Your partners. When you go online, and even when you sold through some channels direct to consumer
Wrap up (18:41-19:37)
So, um, that’s really all I’ve got. Thanks for listening and I appreciate it. Tim back to you here.Awesome. Thank you so much, Gary. Thank you for just a part of the ships and your presentation. We always value you and nexus. So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully you get to stay tuned for next week’s summit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.
What Is The First Step Towards Digital Transformation? Q&A with Dave Bent and Ateesh Vankayala
Introducing the speakers by Tim (00:00-01:11)
Welcome to the DCKAP E-Summit of Spring Edition. Hopefully everyone’s doing okay. My name is Tim Diep and I am the customer success Manager at DCKAP and I will be hosting today.
Next I’d like to bring up Ateesh Vankayla and Dave Bent. So first Ateesh Vankayala. He’s a technologist at heart and aspires to change the world through technology. He has helped Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation and he loves sharing his expertise with others who are also trying to drive this difficult change. I’d like to bring up Dave Bent as well. He’ll be the one interviewing Ateesh and he is a leader in driving transformational business changes for both billion dollar and emerging companies. Yes. ES Tech Group and Evolution Ex President Dave Bent is committed to helping any size speed to be distributor off affordably and efficiently realize its full online selling potential today.
For the Q and a session, the topic will be on what are the first steps towards digital transformation. So I’d like to welcome Ateesh and Dave Bent.
Dave bent introduction (01:12-02:54)
Thank you Tim for that. Yes. So let me kick it off here. And like everything crazy That’s happened in the last 18 months, I have never met Ateesh face to face but we’ve been united here by DCKAP to share some ideas and lessons learned around. I don’t know. Maybe it’s an overused phrase digital transformation, but
I just thought briefly. I could do an intro myself and then pass it to Ateesh.
That nice picture that Tim has where I got no beard. I know, I have a beard with gray hair and I’ve been doing I don’t know this B2B digital stuff for a long time. The first website type was way back in 1999, which was a business to business site, and I spent a lot of time in large global companies running it on actually helping.
Really, in the last 15 years, distributors specifically with B2B capabilities and solutions and the last four years as president of a company called ES Tech Group.
Which is why Tim mentioned where we’re really here to help the small medium. Even large distributors compete with some of the kind of big box providers who are effective online. How do we help the smaller distributors be equally effective as a large guys and kind of level playing field? So that’s my quick intro. Ateesh, over to you!
Ateesh Vankayala introduction (02:55: 05:01)
I am very excited and happy to share my little learnings of a few years of experience in this industry, so I am very excited to be here a little bit about my background. My career was split into two parts.
First part was, primarily financial services, software development getting into,, product management.
The separator between the two was, my MBA. And then I say so or more to the business side, more slowly in the industry decision space, starting with the startup called gamut.
That was, acquired by Granger and we’ll get into it, I think it’s part of national conversation.
So, uh, Now it has come full circle where I lead a team of product managers technology group and just a little note. I am very much into dry humor.
So if I say something, and you’re like why he’s saying that I’m probably joking. So please keep that in mind and forgive my poor jokes.
Dave: Atif. We might team up on that, because the accent can kind of tell that I am not originally from the U. S. And so I’ll bring a British little British humor if I can.
Ateesh V: Yeah, For me. It’s like coffee without the coffee. It grates up your brain on disagreeing through today, So I I love how it works anyway.
Dave: I think we can just go back and forth here and all pitch in which just really, You know, digital transformation, and you think it’s kind of overused. And what doesn’t really mean and you know, in my mind- Digital transformation could actually be completely making a huge difference in the manufacturing facility. But I think the audience here is primarily focused around customer facing aspects of it.
Diving in: Fireside chat (05:02-36:10)
Dave: I guess maybe just share what are some of the fundamental things you see before you know, people say digital transformation, and it’s a key strategy. But Just like your lessons learned what? What really has to be in place. If some kind of transformation or big change is gonna happen for it to be successful, right? Right.
Ateesh V: Okay Dave, I loved how you separated the customer facing from the let’s call it back office. It could be a distribution center or a call center. Of course, we all talk about a website, but it’s equally if not more important, to help solve modern day problems. Right and I’m talking HR systems, Account receivables like all of the traditional portions of an organization which we don’t recognize can help. So however, we will stick to the topic and talk about how we can help customers. You know, benefit and make the process of transacting with us easier.
And when I say us, I mean businesses that are trying to save the other businesses, right? So, Dave, your question was what must be in place. I would say it is that I run things, obviously, but the first thing that needs to be in place is the why right like they should. Transformation is extremely hard, like you’re alluding to earlier.
Sadly, I would say, if you had to give a pass or fail grade to do the companies trying to do it about eight of them would would feel like they would come out and say that, you know you feel that they don’t go back up, but they didn’t quite understand how could tradition transformation be so incredibly hard. But the first thing that you know we need to have is the way like, Why do we? Why do you want to go down this journey? It’s not because everyone else was doing it.
Is that the right thing to do for your business? And that’s typically where the answer is yes. But sometimes the next question, which is this just the right time, where people get a trump like a lot of businesses and not ready.
Digital transformation, what people think is adding a new website on top of their existing organization, and that’s not it. You know, Some of the speakers earlier talked about how content is everything, and I kind of agree with that. You know, it starts with the business.
Onboarding the website just like the end product of the end result. But if you think about making a movie, you know, We see the actors, but there’s a whole cast of characters behind the scenes that make it happen.
So I think the why is fundamental and you know it is very important to start an additional Transformation journey.
Dave: I love what you just said. I would see my lessons learned to our It’s actually it’s often thought of us like this is an IT initiative. And it absolutely should not be an IT initiative. It should be a business strategy. And the other thing I think I’ve learned along the way and I will say is You know, business is a running day today and everybody’s got a full time job running the business making it better. And so I actually think it’s even if it’s just, you know, stick with the concept that you might want to create a really awesome new e-commerce solution and engage your customers in a different way.
I think it probably has to be for I don’t know. 6 to 12 month period. A number one strategy like known you know, to say revenue manufacturing focus strategy because organizations can only manage so much change it once and so I know. I just kind of think.
That is critical success. Factoring is the executive team doesn’t view it as their important Probably not a good time to start but teach. Maybe maybe this is some comments. These are my thoughts.
You read my mind, I won’t give exact examples because I don’t want to shame any of my existing or previous employers, but that’s absolutely right. And what you’re getting to is focus. Right like focus is beautiful. Focus is powerful.
On when you’re doing something as difficult as digitally transforming your company. There’s not much else you can do that you spend about the same time and energy on and you know, as park managers are, don’t say anyone. Privatization is key, right? So the example that was going to talk about is you know what other companies I went back to? I was hired to visually transform one thing that kept coming up and we’ll talk more about today is the people. Right, you gotta hire the right people. Then you go to motivate them. To help the business, But as I was looking to understand and assign the appropriate rules. One of the things I heard was, you know, we have too many, You know, the President reporting to the Vice Presidents, here we have too many directors reporting to the directors here.
You know, but we want to do something that fundamentally makes sense. I get irritated when I see four levels off the post and I was like, just like everyone else.
Dave: You know this right? There’s gonna be a joke about that somewhere. A teen It’s not coming right now.
Ateesh V: Damn, it’s not coming, But, yeah, I mean, I fully agree with that.
But if I am looking to hire a solution architect on board, that person is going to define our technology road map.I need that person to be a director level and this is a title my company uses, the titles can vary across companies. In my company, I want that person to be a director level.
And if their manager is a director, you know that’s not a reason I would choose to hire someone with less experience. This is a small example. But they couldn’t agree more.
Peter, you have to pick your battles and focus is extremely important. And, you know, not trying to do too many things at once as that is a recipe for disaster.
You know, I think so. You picked up on the people aspect tonight and I was saying philosophically, no no initiative today.
Really happens without the whole combination of people, process and technology changing and in a very coordinated way, and I think, actually even the way of doing what work with, you know, small, medium sized distributors and I found it in the large companies, just like a classic example is certainly with eCommerce. Sometimes parts of the existing organization feel threatened.
Oh, you’re taking over my sales role, or my marketing role is now really different than yes, yeah that marketing role is different. I actually don’t think about taking over the sales role and just putting it online.
Um, but it’s definitely that whole aspect of thinking of the big picture, and I actually think engaging the organization in the whole initiative.
I don’t know.Ateesh, It’s easier if you run into it. But let’s say in many distributors, there’s a lot of language there about calling a new e-commerce site is like opening another branch of the business. It’s just another term and I actually fundamentally disagree with that concept, because I think if it’s effective, it actually engages every branch that exists today in the branch. I’m eating like an outlet where, Of course, both channels and so I was thinking, taking that holistic view.
And you said it right at the start is what is really the business strategy. What are the goals before you embark on the project and getting that really clear about getting the business like what is the role of sales marketing?
I would say, supply chain people to write. It has a supply chain implication because as companies go more online does this next day, Same day next day to day expectation of a supply chain. So yeah, I think People process technology. Organizational change.
Management is definitely critical to success. As you said at the front of the store. Lots of lots of projects fail, it feels like more fail than succeed versus the original intent. I think a lot of it is not having it is the number one strategy and getting the people in the process piece really engaged.
Ateesh V: So Yeah. I mean, that’s exactly right
I see that happening in the B2B. Well, maybe, you know, three or four decades later, But right now we’re not there yet, like our customers have grease on their hands right and then are going to go upstairs change for the computer to get that stuff. We’re certainly not there yet, and their technology is right now, an eCommerce website is right now.
Is playing more of a supporting role to the existing channels. Right, that sales force- The website is going to help them.
Smarter in front of their customers straight because no salesperson is expert in every single product category that the companies but especially in the place level that broad line distributors.
Everything from the cruise to my crew is nobody is an expert, you know, Use the website to help you be an expert, you know, for customer support agents, use the website to get information quickly. So, the e-commerce strategies and augmentation to the existing channels right now. Yes. Eventually the generation dies out and, you know, people go exclusively online where you know, even talking to someone on the phone is what the right word that I just used Daisy from now on, And you know, you just want to do it online. In fact, not even said in front of a computer, do it on the phone.
Right. I see that happening a few decades from now And then you can say yes. The commerce is a channel the biggest settlement for the business and most companies that have done recently. We are seeing the biggest growth in e-commerce.
You know most of the most of our customers would find what they’re looking for. It’s Not a separate branch, but at this the basis of the foundation for the business.
And bunzl as you said, it’s a very broad line, a very broad offering right that covers multiple industry verticals. It could kind of be fragmented to some extent into different industries tonight. I think what we see and one thing I’ve experienced, I would say that I spent 10 years in the business supplying office products vertically with a wholesaler, and I think you could make an argument anyway, that that’s not the most advanced policy in terms of sentence sales done online. Most dealers and distributors are doing 60-70% online.
And I would say it happened there. For one reason. The products are the kind of things that are easily purchased online right? They come out of the products. It’s pencil paper. The other thing that happened was a big box player, namely Staples. Staples showed up in the vertical and decided they were going online, and they did the most awesome stuff with content.
Yeah, it was a customer experience. And I think what we see is we look at other verticals like industrial electrical plumbing distribution. We’re actually in the gas of welding safety.
There’s a lot of distributors. Maybe there, I say, still sleeping, thinking, Why don’t we have to get into this but what we see and what we learned in business supplies is these big box players, including the Amazon business and some of the verticals that, like Granger and industrial, you know, MSC industrial. The smaller, more independent distributors are losing sales to those bigger entities where somebody goes and Google’s for the product.
The sale actually goes, and the distributor who has had the customer relationship doesn’t like they lost the sale. So I’m always intrigued to ask customers. I would think it’s interesting to ask your customer where they are buying a product and see why? Yes, yes, Good idea. If that ‘s all, be transparent and honest. It’s like, okay. Why do you buy what you buy over there? Why? Not from me? You know, anyway, just philosophically.
How do you actually own more share expenditure from existing customers? Because sometimes people view e-commerce as a way to find new customers? You know the whole SEO. But I think this is really as important to question and be dubious. Don’t get my existing customers to buy more from me instead of the alternatives, But how do you see it in the Bunzl world?
I have recently joined Bunzl, so, most of the talking and experience would come from the start-up Gamut and Granger. But since you brought up staples, I’ll take a quick detour like a 30 second detour and it’s related. I promise.
So, I was purchasing a chair from staples this morning. Why Staples? Because I had to get back to rest on the chair I currently sit on. You know, you could call this an uncomfortable sofa. It’s neither far, nor a chair, So it’s uncomfortable so finally, the joke’s are coming in. I read the staples and I’m like 6 feet 3.
So I went to a store and I sat in a few chairs, and then you know if you think of the sternum like the table on the chair was half off my story, Right. So the rest of my Uh, half of my time on my knees were like hanging out mean aside and every single chance none of them fit. So that like, sir, we have A bigger selection online like that defeats the purpose. I want to sit on the chair, and define the conflicts. I go online, though, and behold, they had these attributes required information.
Car seat up. You know what? The stuff that you see on balance like Yes, OK, I’m impressed. I would have never expected that one. My website is like staples. I would expect a brand of price and a description.
Which would kind of vary as you go from one car, one chair to another beating. You couldn’t even compare to do so. I saw this extremely important attribute called Seat death, and I’m like, okay, I’m impressed.
This is the starting of something magical. Like, Okay, let me go back up to the chairs category and let me see the attributes.
And then you know, I think the biggest one that didn’t exist in the factory. I was brought back to reality. When I went to the center. I saw price I saw brand and I saw something else and they see this is there
Is the last leg. I was a customer. I could’ve been in and out in a few minutes, but it took me like 30 minutes Because of that little piece. It’s all about.
It’s all about the foundations and then getting that right. Sorry, Dave. Can you just remind me what? What? Your original question.
It’s good, the example you shared. It’s basically, you know, offline and online is mapping a customer journey.
Yeah, It took us two majority this morning and none quite got you to the destination not. I mean, another interesting aspect is and this is actually a question in the Q and A. I teach how to interact with customers, especially new prospects and digitalization.
And one of the things we talk a lot about is do you actually understand who the customer is, like a persona like an open part of our business? Spence that the fines
Actually sitting with the distributor says. Okay, Well, who are your customers like? What do they do most episodes of and then what’s that kind of patent buying journey in today’s? Well, how does that happen?
Actually. So I think you know the answer to the question here, just like that one of its in the Q and a. How do you start with customers? I actually think it is really thinking through who is the customer?
What’s that buying behavior? And how might that change or improve? Hopefully as if they do something online and then and then, you know, oh, I’ll just come back to the second to teach. There’s a vory that’s funny way of selecting staples here. Hopefully that’ll listening, but some of my colleagues and customers and probably say this so just Staple.
I think the focus and B2B is actually the primary focus. If you’re not online today, so more to current customers. The deck is the next part of your question. Yeah, a lot of the current customers. And so staples had a trick. Actually, when they signed customers up in the statistically proven, this is if you can get a customer, existing customer or new customer, but existing customers can come three times to the site and procure something they’re going to keep coming back. But the simplest thing was you get a coupon code or a promotion on the first three orders. It’s simple enough.
But anyway, I also rambled a lot so share some thoughts.
Such an important topic and I could easily talk about it for an hour, but let me see and try and condense that the 60 seconds like, you know, quit running after new customers like serve your existing us works properly and then you deserve, you know to get new customers but again, speaking from the broad line distributor perspective. This thing there is, you know, the marketing of the father. What should be marketing is helping customers understand what you’re offering is right. Like I’ve heard all over again, You know, brains. Customers have come to Granger and purchased some fasteners or screws, and then they would go to McMaster and purchase calipers.
And then they would go to your line and purchase boxes and you know, we were just, you know, going to speak to some customers. It’s part of the session, and they want you to buy the clippers from the Granger line dividing the boxes. We have so many of them.
I could really use the information. I had no idea I would come in, you know, get my fasteners and get out because that’s what I’ve been doing The last 10 years and I’ve been always buying my clippers from there. That’s what I do.
It was like, okay, But wouldn’t it be simpler if it’s a local industry that saves you, you know, than the one you got one invoice from. You submitted the thing once in your internal black song, And you all received it in one box or the same day. That would be life changing, But, I don’t know what all of the fires that you sell yourself to me in progress. I don’t know all of them.
And that is where I feel like, you know, making the customer journey too easy is also not good from a financial perspective, right? You’re obviously one to help them out of spite, responsible, but bigger picture. Help is if you can show them things that they didn’t think they needed, right? They didn’t know that you had one where the entire arena card recommendations. Compliments come in at the right time without being too pushy.
You insert living products into the customer journey so that they can. They can actually not only educate themselves on what the company does, they could actually save time by, you know, not having all of us have done that going back to Home Depot three times. It’s surprising because you know, we had no clue you needed that thing.
That’s what we need to solve. But that’s how you get more from existing customers.
Agree with it, we got five minutes left. So I’ve got three take away So far. Maybe we could find the key takeaways. But my point is that it’s gonna be a business priority across the organization. It is people’s process and technology and I had to see the positive thinking for me. A lesson learned. Maybe some, in some cases the hard way, but
Number one thing is so many or existing customers. Great finding new customers can come later. But it’s often a missed opportunity. And as I say you get more calls out of the wallet. Still some $1 that was spent, uh, hired you.
I think maybe just saying a little bit about what you’ve seen is the right kind of person to tell him, just kind of run the site. I’m thinking about marketing sales. What kind of background would you say B2B distributor release or think of bringing into the teeth.
I think marketing and sales but also generally working for a big company. The mistake that I see people making on board and over again mistaking their experience to what the customer wants. Right. So, uh, you being human?. The people see context in a bid to be work and they are very different. Yes.
We are both Homo SAPIENs. But then that’s pretty much where the difference is. That’s that’s what the command the ends right like because, like I’m buying diapers.
My customer is in, facility where the noise is so definite that they need headphones which is like I don’t know 5000. Right. So when you think about building a website such, you’re probably having your products he had on because you’re thinking you’re sitting in a quiet office environment and you’re ordering some dough. That’s enough from the Dunkin Donuts website. But if you’re in a facility where it was so loud, this is not gonna work. So it’s just a simple, silly example to say that. Yes, we’re both humans. But the needs are very different if you think about the B2C my friend, the more you think about the B2C customer, the farther you’re gonna be in terms of, you know, helping your crew business customers s. Oh, that’s especially true from a market against his perspective.
Look at whether they’re coming from right there coming from me to see whether it was coming from me to see what it’s okay.
But it’s important to ask the questions in the interview, which is how would you sell? My customer, right?
Dave: By the way, just for everybody listening. We didn’t rehearse anything here. But it is the number one thing I’ve seen. God run. A lot of times B2B customers are hired to see experienced people to run that good to be scared, and it is not bold. It’s boring, some really smart thinking off the B2C person. It’s not gonna be the right person and I’m passionate about the idea that it’s procurement shopping right in the heat of the space.
And it is different and the folk features and functions. It’s like a lot of repeat orders. Maybe a subscription or this, Then in a big company the procurement team and they want, you know, sign off on orders over a certain value or track track that purchases against the budget on the website.
So, Yeah, it’s very different procurement scenarios and business of very different, so it’s a difficult I think it’s actually very difficult higher. It’s finding somebody who is in B2B, but ideally has got that digital experience and really, probably from somebody you’re looking up at saying they seem to be doing this pretty well. I don’t know. It’s tough because I guess all we can say is you don’t want people to come by your team, right?
What do you expect?
Yeah, but it e think it’s a great point, But it’s not an easy thing. But I would say generally don’t go higher to see experienced people. If you’re in B2B. It isn’t right. They got a theater.
I’m going to focus on finding new customers and SEO and simple marketing campaigns. I didn’t insult anybody but someone hopefully, hopefully that no, you user experience designer. So on this understanding, but all we get, then forget the regular kicked out. We’re getting the oversight warning from a teacher. I guess I don’t have open questions in the Q and A. But we can, at least, I think we can hang on a minute or two here if there are questions
Wrap up (31:36-37:37)
Ateesh V: Yeah, but i think it’s a great point, But it’s not an easy thing. But I would say generally don’t go higher to see experienced people. If you’re in B2B. It isn’t right. They got a theater. It
I’m going to focus on finding new customers and as CEO and simple marketing campaigns. I didn’t insult anybody but someone hopefully, that no, you user experience designer.
But all we get, then forget the regular kicked out. We’re getting an oversight warning from a teacher. I guess I don’t have open questions in the Q and A. But we can, at least, I think we can hang on a minute or two here if there are questions
Tim Diep: Yes. Have a very good report. I can’t believe this is the first time you guys man, This is good. Just wait. We didn’t want to say that.
Get the gun in my hand.
Because everybody would have turned off the stop. I don’t think we share similar experiences. You guys were talking about staples so that’s actually where I bought all the gift cards for the door dash, and it just didn’t go through. It wouldn’t seem list for me with a piece of crap, not just the events, planning and all that stuff, but I also do a lot
But other people, But the whole stable thing was so relevant to me. Talk about Don’t hire somebody more on the BBC side of things. So just you know what? I was talking about placing an order yesterday. I was just waiting for all the 10 days so I could buy you guys a gift card, And there’s nothing like a portal for xme that inputs all the email address and everything. So I got a call. Actually, I gotta call exactly during lunchtime for you something today.
Are you Tim deep? Well, I just wanna make sure that you place an order because it was under $2000.
Yeah, I should need that right now for all of Marr attending, so they have lunch and everything, and then she’s okay. We’re great. Confirms almost sent it to your email. And now I have 125 emails with the cars. I don’t know how to distribute it to you guys. I’m gonna find a way. But just really, That’s the biggest seaside right. That’s not going to be at all and
If they could make us so I just have the card or whatever. Maybe I could just, you know, for all the 10 years of making it much more similar, but I’m really looking at it. It’s a binding as a B2B customer. So it’s uh, if you guys are with their website, everything, make sure it’s good. Because your mind has multiple part numbers. You’re just buying a part.
Four months apart not from a picture or visual, right? So, um, I just I just want to look, you know that, you know, But Dave and I completely see how you later excuse it or not getting his lunch. You know it Z. You know, you’re not as big as you think You are. Totally. You know, Coach caught you, huh? You’re right. So, uh,
Worrisome in November, though, make sure I got everything all my ducks went for. Good. Yeah. So many teachers. I gotta invite you to something. So we run a podcast.
It’s like what would I just do there? Okay? I’m funny. Yes. Yeah, well, it’s kind of a pressure and I didn’t come up with it. Matt Johnson came up with the podcast name. We thought that having e ticket’s cool, But yeah, we could continue the topic somewhat. We can share it with you, you know. Oh, I’ll get back to you, but it would be fun.
Like I could do the U ex ex designer bashing in their podcast. That’s true that let’s take that on lets you wait after the beat to see people will better designers should take Take three is battering sdo consultants.
Oh, way Better in Tim’s gonna cut us off to teach you guys really great. You know this, uh, distributors broadcast so and then teach wee drink. I believe there’s a drink for that one, too. So if you want to get more, David does this is amazing, like a stable, saying this is not real. This is the first time we actually convincing over voice and not or emails and
Uh, this business goes to show you that you know, there’s not too many very good opinions on what is right and what works and what doesn’t work. It’s just about like learning that for yourself and then applying a top hand sport
I think I think then you’ve got a new line of business. It’s called B2B e-commerce dating website.So, as we promised We’re gonna stop now. We’ll let you end it. I really enjoyed the conversation and does it have such a great closing for the summit? So thank you guys again every time and just wonderful conversations.
So, looking forward to the second round of conversations from you guys. All right, thanks to see you. Bye bye, E that zaara wrapped for the discount at the summit, So thank you guys. So much for just being a part of our journey. And just now you saw the collaboration between all the different tech partners and customers and just bringing everybody together for the ecosystem, So hopefully you learned a lot from this.
Again. Thank you to all of our sponsors Avalara as the platinum sponsors. APS payments as the gold sponsors and dot digital as the silver sponsors.
So thank you so much for that. That’s all we have for now, and hopefully you get to stay tuned for the next DCKAP esummit in November. We do have these sessions on a monthly basis. Specific case study examples, I think the one for June will be more on the Jan San industry. Thank you guys so much for your time, and you guys get to stay safe out there.