T IS BOTH A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR TO BE THE NAED
chair and have the opportunity to represent this associa- tion. NAED has also been a significant part of my 35- year career in the electrical distribution industry. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to participate in commit- tees and task forces and serve as a two-term chair of the Finance Committee and as the South Central Region Coun- cil vice president. I began my career in this industry by working in the warehouse and counter sales at Springfield Electric Supply. From there, I moved to inside sales, outside sales, and in- dustrial automation management, and then upward to my current position as executive chairman. I truly have a passion for this industry— especially now as bold, smart, and inter- connected technology is transforming the world around us. As technology is influenc- ing our industry and organizations, electri- cal distributors still remain an integral part of the supply chain by providing the right set of products and solutions to the markets we serve. We’re able to create smart, con- nected spaces; help automate manufactur- ing; reduce energy consumption; and sup- port our customers to meet their goals. Technology is improving the products we sell—many products are now intelligent and connected. Products are frequently embedded with technology that has the ability to communicate with other devices. And while sometimes the software connectivity isn’t there yet, we can’t get hung up on that part. As long as the ability is there, the software technology will follow. This is going to be a huge growth area for the industry. Technology is also improving how we run our businesses —we can’t be afraid to digitize our processes. It’s critical to keep pace with technology when it comes to the day-to-day operation of our businesses. Forward-thinking distributors are adopting new technologies and platforms to modernize their operations by integrating new business intelligen
ools with their enterprise systems to optimize inventory management and demand forecasting, as well implement- ing e-commerce and mobile apps to drive sales and im- prove the customer service experience. According to a recent report on digitization by global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the biggest future impact on revenue and growth is set to occur by the digiti- zation of supply chains. Unfortunately, the report goes on to say that despite the supply chain’s potential growth opportu- nity, the survey respondents indicated that their companies aren’t investing much in this area. That’s why my theme this year will focus on three key components of tech- nology that improve our industry: “People. Process. Products.” As an industry, we must acknowledge the importance of digitizing our busi- nesses and take action by relying on real- time, multilevel data to make intelligent business decisions. If we are to continue to survive and thrive, we need to learn to embrace this new technology to leverage success in the marketplace. We need to look out- side our comfort zone and see how we can reinvent our business model to be more adaptable. Technology is making it easier to address our chal- lenges, become more efficient, and sell better products. We just need to use it to our advantage. I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you on this topic in the coming months. ;
is executive chairman of Springfield Electric Supply, Springfield, Ill. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELECTRICAL DISTRIBU TOR
• May 17
As an indus- try, we must acknowledge the importance of dig- itizing our businesses and take action by relying on real-time, multilevel data to make intelligent business decisions.
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