Education to Evolve Profitable Distribution

    General Session Speakers



    Jim Pancero, Distribution Sales and Service Expert
    "How to Lead Your Sales and Service Teams to a Competitive Advantage"
    Tuesday, November 14, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    Are your sales and service teams functioning as a collection of independent gun fighters each choosing their own targets and selling message? Does your inside sales/service team even know what your outside sales people are doing and why specific customers chose to do business with you? This one-day advanced leadership training program will show you, step-by-step, how to become a stronger and more effective leader of your sales and service teams. This I not just a “motivational day” meant to pump you up and to confirm what you already knew. This information-intensive program will change your thinking about sales and service leadership and show you how to become a more proactive coach and leader of your team.

    Key Learnings :

    • The latest proven sales and service leadership "best practices" that can most impact your team's market share and profitability
    • How to improve your sales/service leadership coaching focus and language
    • How to provide your team with a stronger competitive advantage and profitability
    • How to measure, and improve your customer service experience
    • How to better connecte your outside sales and inside sales/service teams
    • How to strengthen the selling and customer support skills of your team
    • How to get into "The Coaching Zone"


    Keynote Speaker

    Gene Marks, Columnist, Author and Small Business Owner
    The Latest Political, Technological, Economic and Management Trends That Will Dominate Your Business Through the Next Two Years
    Wednesday, November 15, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

    There are political, economic and technology trends and events occurring right now that will impact your business over the next 3–5 years. Do you know what they are? And if you do, have you thought about what your actions will be? There are so many who rely on you—your customers, your suppliers, your employees, your partners, your family. How will you respond so that you lead your organization forward? As an owner and executive it is your responsibility to know what’s coming down the road and to be prepared for any surprises.

    This keynote will cover the three most important power trands that will impact your business through 2018:

    • Washington and the Economy: How will President Trump's administration affect your business. What rules and regulations will be relaxed, and which ones will remain? How will potential rewrites of healthcare, taxes and financing laws impact your growth and profitability? How will the federal government’s budget deficit, spending and taxes impact your operations? What actions should you be taking now to navigate these changes in Washington?
    • Your People:What new trends in employee management will you need to know so that you can find and keep the best people working as productively as possible over the next few years? What new legislation will impact your human resources activities? What tools can help you and your employees better collaborate, communicate and service your customers?
    • Your Technology: What new applications are hitting the market that you will need to invest in to keep your company ahead of the competition and positioned for future growth? Where is technology going for your business over the next few years?

    Gene writes every day on business, politics and public policy for the Washington Post and weekly for Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post. Gene has written 5 books on business management, specifically geared towards small and medium sized companies. His most recent is The Manufacturer’s Book of Lists. Nationally, Gene frequently appears on Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC discussing matters affecting the business community. Gene owns and operates the Marks Group PC, a highly successful ten-person firm that provides technology and consulting services to small and medium sized businesses.


    General Sessions

    Jaynie Smith, Founder and CEO of Smart Advantage, Inc.
    "Think You Know Your Competitive Advantage? THINK AGAIN!
    Wednesday, November 15, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    Jaynie ’s influential keynotes and workshop-style presentations have inspired thousands of business owners to uncover the riches that have been neglected within their companies! Her presentation will demonstrate how to discover the Competitive Advantages which you did not even know you had, as well as how to dynamically communicate those statements to your customers and prospects.


    Attendees will walk away with the backbone of a new “sales and marketing campaign.” They will learn new ways to uncover competitive advantage opportunities and return to their companies armed to make substantive business decisions. Gaining a new understanding of ways to communicate, the value of efficient metrics, and the proper alignment method will arm your sales force with the ammunition needed to effectively answer the question...

    Jaynie L. Smith is the Founder & CEO of Smart Advantage, Inc., a Fort Lauderdale-based consultancy whose clients range from mid-sized to Fortune 100 companies. Her company has taught CEOs in over 400 industries, both nationally and internationally, how to gain market share by uncovering and touting their relevant competitive advantages. Jaynie’s 40,000+ hours of consulting experience & 15 Top Performer Awards for CEO coaching are reflected in the results achieved by her clients.


    Brian Beaulieu, CEO, ITR Economics
    A Bend in the Road
    Thursday, November 16, 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

    Changes are occurring in Europe, the UK, China, commodity prices, oil prices and in other key sectors of the US and global economy. This session will look at these changes with an eye to what they will mean to the US economy and to your business. Attendees will be empowered to outperform the economy in the year ahead. There are good days coming – the key will be to ready for them. Alan will review the negatives in the world, but also discuss the positive economic realities, too. Attendees will leave with a solid, positive outlook for their future.


    Key Learnings:

    • The US elections – how much does that matter?
    • What is happening in China, the UK and Europe – what does that mean for us?
    • Will consumers keep spending?
    • What is the future of business-to-business activity?
    • What is happening with oil prices?
    • What are the key leading indicators telling us?
    • What is the outlook for some of our top markets?
    • What are the megatrends we will all have to contend with?
    • When will interest rates start to rise?
    • Will those forecasts directly impact your company?
    • Should you be concerned about the proposed increase in the minimum wage?
    • Which of ITR’s Phase Management Objectives TM apply to your company at this time in the business cycle?

    One of the country’s most informed economists, Brian Beaulieu has served as CEO of ITR Economics™ since 1987 where he researches the use of business cycle analysis and economic forecasts to increase profitability. Brian has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars in 7 countries to thousands of business owners and executives for the last 35 years.


    Concurrent Sessions

    Jim Pancero, Distribution Sales and Service Expert

    "We Need Arsonists...Not Firefighters!" Shifting Your Sales Team From Reactive Supporters Into Proactive Initiators
    Wednesday, November 15, 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

    How many sales reps on your team are still just functioning as reactive “Order takers” to your customers instead of selling as “Trusted Advisors?” Successful selling in today's competitive markets is no longer founded on just servicing and supporting a customer. Learn how you can lead even your experienced reps to sell more (and at higher margins) by showing them how to bring your best customers new solutions and challenging the way your buyers have done business in the past. A detailed workbook and action guide will be provided to all attendees.

    Jim Pancero (Dallas, TX) is one of today’s top distribution sales and service experts in the building materials industry. For over 35 years Jim has been successfully helping distributors increase their competitive advantage and profitability. The last eleven years Jim has been one of the top-rated instructors at the annual University of Innovative Distribution co-sponsored by NBMDA & NAFCD. You can learn more about Jim at or on YouTube


    Mark Herbek, Sr. Analyst, Cleveland Research Company
    A New World of Commerce: How are Resellers Going to Sell in the Future?
    Wednesday, November 15, 2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

    Join Mark for detailed overview and new insights on key customers including home improvement, homebuilders, and distribution. Attendees will receive analysis of the growing influence of e-Commerce within floorcovering and building product supply chain. Key takeaways from the NAFCD and NBMDA 2017 Quarterly Sales Trend Reports will be explored.






    Concurrent Sessions

    Paul Gillin, TSL Marketing
    "Tech Trends That Will Rock Your World"
    Wednesday, November 15, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    Information technology is changing our world at a speed that is unprecedented in human history. The world’s collective knowledge is now at our fingertips via our mobile devices. Mobile access is changing the nature of relationships between consumers and producers. Data analytics is not only yielding fascinating insights into ourselves and the world around us but beginning to predict our preferences and behaviors. Computers are writing news stories, driving cars and buying products before we even know we want them. The latest generation of robots can clean house, serve drinks, climb stairs and make 300 custom hamburgers an hour. For small business owners, this rapid pace of change can seem overwhelming, but small businesses are some of the greatest beneficiaries. Cloud computing is making capabilities that were once available only to the largest corporations accessible to businesses of all sizes. Small business owners can now gain unprecedented insights about their customers and markets and target their services and promotions more cost-effectively. They can even transform their businesses by using data to enhance customer relationships and create new revenue streams. This fast-moving presentation covers some of the major technology forces that are reshaping our world and the paths they are paving to new growth opportunities for small and midsize companies

    Paul was previously founding editor-in-chief of TechTarget, one of the most successful new media entities to emerge on the internet. Prior to that, he was editor-in-chief and executive editor of th technology weekly COmputerworld for 15 years. Married with four children, he lives in Westborough, Mass., where is lives and dies by the fortunes of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.


    Trevor J. Shylock, M.S. Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, Research and Development, Caliper Management Inc.
    Hiring Trends, Best Practices, and Cautions in today’s World of WorkWednesday, November 15, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    This session is designed to provide management guidance in today’s very competitive and ever-changing world. Overall, there is decreased loyalty to a company, more contract positions, different working environments due to technological enhancements, and an “always on” and instant gratification society that leads to more distractions. We will discuss trends, best practices, and cautions in order to put participants’ organizations in the most favorable situation possible to attract, retain, and get the best performance out of their employees.

    Learning Objectives

    • Participants will understand what types of working environments top performers are looking for in today’s world of work.
    • Participants will understand some of the best hiring practices and have some actionable takeaways in order to implement them into their own organizations
    • Participants will learn about the importance of company culture; how it leads to retention or voluntary turnover.
    • Participants will learn about cautions such as filling a role too quickly or hiring or promoting people based on criteria other than one’s ability to do the job.

    Trevor, M.S., is an Industrial/Organizational Psycology Consultant with over 15 years of collective experience in consulting, strategic problem solving, coaching, training and development, sales, recruiting, survey design, leadership and organizational development and statistical analysis.


    Optional Information Sessions

    Yuki Conlon, President, JAST Media
    B2B Marketing in a B2C World: 5 Effective StrategiesThursday, November 16, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

    You hear about new marketing trends all the time - new technology, must-do tactics, updated industry standards - it's a nonstop moving target. For B2B organizations, there's an added layer of complexity when faced with measuring ROI. The marketing landscape is almost entirely geared to engaging end consumers which is expensive, aggressively competitive, and ultimately the wrong fit for most distributors and manufacturers. And to top it all off, big box stores and eCommerce giants are scooping up market share selling direct to consumer while slashing into your margins. If you've ever told a marketer or sales rep "That's great, but you haven't shown me how that's relevant to our customer base or how it will affect our bottom line," this workshop is for you!

    We'll be looking at:

    • Strategies uniquely suited to meet objectives of B2B organizations
    • Messaging that's effective all the way down the supply chain
    • Simple tools to measure marketing performance and effectiveness
    • Closing the gap between data insights and action
    • Hidden competitive advantages against eCommerce and big box stores

    Yuki has worked with hundreds of businesses and brands at every level of the supply chain. She specializes in top-down marketing strategies and tracking KPIs to measure effectiveness at each level. Her work includes marketing and campaign management for household brands like Harley-Davidson, Honda and Polaris Industries and consulting for Inc. 500 companies, and she’s given talks at dealer conferences, trade shows, corporate sales trainings and more.


    Santo Torcivia, President, Market Insights LLC
    Financial Analysis of Direct Distribution for Flooring
    Thursday, November 16, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

    Santo will review his recent research which analyzed flooring distribution costs to service independent retailers comparing the independent flooring model to the manufacturer direction distribution channel. His presentation will focus on looking at key ratios of both models including gross margin, general and sales expenses, and operating profit. Additionally, the presentation will outline the advantages and disadvantages of each channel.

    In 1981 Santo began work at Mannington Mills, a major U.S. flooring manufacturer, where he held management positions over his 16 years with the firm, rising to Vice-President of Business Analysis & Planning. Santo is currently a Contributing Editor & Chief Economist with Floor Focus magazine and publishes the U.S. FLOOReport jointly with Floor Focus.

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