The Lawson Products Path to Differentiation, feat. Michael DeCata, CEO of Lawson Products
Over the past decade, Michael DeCata has overseen the revitalization of industrial distributor Lawson Products. In this episode, DeCata joins Wholesale Change hosts Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein to talk about how Lawson Products is differentiating in today’s market with an innovative approach to sales, a strong private-label strategy, and value-added services. DeCata has more than 20 years of experience leading industrial and distribution companies, including Grainger, General Electric and United Rentals. Join them March 17 at 12 ET.
Wednesdays at Noon ET / 9AM PT.
Register to attend live, ask the hosts questions, and join in the fray.
March 31 Noon ET / 9 PT: Breaking Tradition: A Fresh Take on a 100-Year-Old Business
After three generations of family ownership, Miller Industrial found itself in new hands just two years ago. Peter Jackson, the Chicago distributor’s new owner, not only was new to the century-old business – he was new to the distribution industry. That means he hasn’t been held hostage to traditional practices that have held some distributors back. But he’s also had his share of lessons learned. Hosts Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein welcome Peter to the Wholesale Change show to provide his novel perspective on running a distribution company today.
Registration coming soon
April 28 Noon ET / 9 PT: The Distributor’s Fee-Based Services Imperative
If distributors don’t change their revenue model, they’ll perish. That’s the message from Frank Hurtte, author of The Distributor’s Fee-Based Services Manifesto, who urges distributors to move away from value-added markups on products and start getting paid for the services they provide. Hurtte, of River Heights Consulting, joins Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein to talk about why, if distributors don’t have a plan for recouping the cost of their services, they will make less money, grow more slowly than the competition, and become less resilient.
Registration coming soon
In this episode, Ed Gerber, CEO of the Industrial Supply Association and distribution industry veteran, joined Distribution Strategy Group’s Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein for a look at how ISA is evolving to meet members’ needs in an unprecedented time.
The Wholesale Change hosts Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein dug into public distributors’ earnings reports from Amazon, Grainger, Applied Industrial and Avnet.
We had a frank conversation with Steve Ruane, Vice President of Marketing and Member Services for IMARK Electrical, about the role co-ops and marketing groups play in helping independent distributors compete in today’s fast-changing market.
We had a lively discussion about trends in the multifamily market, as well as the recent Home Depot-HD Supply acquisition.
Without buy-in from your entire team – including that salesperson that complains the most – a strategic pricing project will, simply put, not yield the results you need it to.
Debbie Paul joined Ian Heller and Jonathan Bein to talk about what’s in distributors’ way, and how emerging technologies are making it easier to grow wallet share with existing customers.
Founder & Senior Partner
Ian has more than 30 years of experience executing marketing and e-business strategy in the wholesale distribution industry. Ian has also written and spoken extensively on the impact of digital disruption on distributors. At Distribution Strategy Group, Ian works with distribution and manufacturing clients on developing strategic plans and is available for speaking engagements.
Ian entered the distribution industry as a truck unloader at a Grainger branch while in college. He eventually became Vice President of Marketing there and has since held senior executive roles at GE Capital, Corporate Express, Newark Electronics and HD Supply. Ian most recently served as President and COO for Modern Distribution Management, a specialized information and analytics firm serving the wholesale distribution industry.
Ian earned a BA in History from Roosevelt University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was elected commencement speaker by his classmates and won the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award.
Jonathan Bein, Ph.D.
Founder & Managing Partner
Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. is Managing Partner at Real Results Marketing where he has worked with many distributors to make their marketing a profit center. Specifically, he has developed and applied analytic approaches for customer segmentation, customer lifecycle management, positioning and messaging, pricing, and channel strategy for distributors. Jonathan’s periodic articles on distributor marketing published in Modern Distribution Management magazine have been extremely popular over the last two years.
Prior to Distribution Strategy Group, Bein has successfully led and been part of executive management for software product and services companies in information technology, healthcare, and communications. Bein has been CEO of several companies including:
- SkyeTek — grew revenues and valuation four-fold of RFID manufacturer in seven months.
- IGS, Inc. — delivered 100 software solutions for companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Lucent.
- Bolder Heuristics, Inc. — achieved Inc 500 ranking with software services for telecommunications, healthcare, and IT.
As VP Engineering at Informed Access, a provider of phone based healthcare triage, he drove development of core products and services and the company was subsequently sold for $300M. As VP, Engineering at Telwatch, Bein drove development of network management software that became the core platform for Objective Systems. At Martin Marietta, he applied artificial intelligence to perform automatic real-time fault handling of spacecraft hardware.
Bein earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Colorado with a focus in Data Intensive Expert Systems and a BA in Computer Science at Indiana University.
Wednesdays at Noon ET / 9AM PT.