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NAED FUTURES GROUP

Exploring the Future of the Industry

 

NAED has convened a group of committed leaders to explore the future of the industry. Known as the Futures Group, its mission is to support NAED’s strategic plan by investigating emerging opportunities and threats in our industry. The Futures Group will fulfill its mission by curating discussions and creating content about the future of electrical distribution. Visit this page and subscribe to our email list below to stay informed about upcoming discussions and how you can participate.

The Futures Group looks at the future through the lens of major societal and economic trends:

Technological    •    Demographic    •     Political    •     Channel

The Futures Group endeavors to learn about the impact of emerging trends not only on distributors, but on our supplier and customer partners.

 

 

Each month, the Futures Group will host what we call Office Hours (see below). These are one-hour Zoom-based discussions with thought leaders where you can participate. Office Hours are open to NAED members and the public at no cost.

 

futures-group-column-1For more information about the purpose of the Futures Group and to find out how to get connected, read this article.

 

 

 

 

 

UPCOMING OFFICE HOURS

FUTURE OF SUPPLIER
GO-TO-MARKET (G2M) STRATEGY

October 6, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 PM CT

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Our suppliers have more options for taking their products to market than at any point in our history. What can we learn about their investments and strategies that will help distributors maintain our position as the channel of choice? We hear a lot of talk about digital transformation and how we need to evolve. Some experts say that digital capabilities will be THE determining factor in distributors’ abilities to maintain their positions with key suppliers. Some say it’s all hype and whoever owns the customer keeps the business.

One thing is certain: as suppliers become more sophisticated at all things digital, our partnership will change. Some manufacturers will go it alone, disintermediating distributors or diminishing their role. Others may want a closer partnership, sharing data, integrating processes, and coordinating activities. Some relationships will die and others will become more interconnected than ever. Where you end up may depend on the decisions you’re making right now.

Building on our discussion with United Electric Supply CEO George Vorwick, we’ll dig deeper into how supplier strategies are evolving and how distributors need to evolve to maximize the value they provide downstream and upstream.

Bring your ideas and questions. Here are two articles from Mark Dancer, Distribution Futurist and advisor to the NAED Futures Group, to get you thinking:

→Creating a value chain for the digital age
→Manufacturer channel strategies for the digital age

 

 

MARKETPLACES AS
COMPETITORS OR COLLABORATORS

November 10, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 PM CT

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Our industry’s competitive landscape is becoming more complex every day. Not only do we compete with our traditional competitors, but online sellers have also emerged to further erode the electrical wholesale channel’s market share. This threat emerges at the same time as a demographic changeover in so many of our customers’ purchasing teams. The next generation buyer has been conditioned to expect a sophisticated online procurement process.

Many distributors are challenged by the notion of selling online. Our customers’ bid packages and procurement systems limit the usefulness of distributor “shopping carts.” However, if buyers are accustomed to shopping online, we can’t cede that space. How should a distributor’s e-commerce strategy differ from a B2C marketplace? Can third party marketplaces act as an alternate channel for distributors to leverage?

Building on our conversation with DigiKey’s Eric Wendt, join NAED’s Ed Orlet and the Network for Business Innovation’s Mark Dancer for an open dialog on how we can compete with and/or leverage marketplaces to offer the next generation of our customers the purchasing experience they expect.

Bring your ideas and questions. Here are two articles from Mark Dancer, Distribution Futurist and advisor to the NAED Futures Group, to get you thinking:

→Platforms, networks, and the future of distribution
→Digital Platforms - Your newest opportunity

 

 

 

ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE:
POTENTIAL AND ROADBLOCKS

December 8, 2022
1:00 - 2:00 PM CT

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The Federal Government has plans to invest $369 billion in clean energy programs over the next decade. At least $20 billion will be spent promoting electric vehicle adoption. Many of our key suppliers are making sizable bets on the Electric Vehicle Supply Infrastructure (EVSI) market. What are the opportunities for distributors

Building on a conversation with Global Geopolitical Strategist Peter Zeihan, NAED’s Ed Orlet and the Network for Business Innovation’s Mark Dancer will facilitate an open industry discussion on the EVSI market and what it means for distributors. Questions we will discuss include:

  • What role do distributors play in major public EVSI projects?
  • Can the EV supply chain and our electric grid support the scale of EV adoption envisioned by policy makers?
  • What should my EVSI strategy be?
  • How “green” are EVs? How “green” are the processes inherent in manufacturing EVs?

Bring your ideas and questions. Here are two articles from Mark Dancer, Distribution Futurist and advisor to the NAED Futures Group, to get you thinking:

→Powering the future of business
→A new business model for a new age

 

 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:
INSIGHTS FROM SUPERUSERS

January 12, 2023
1:00 - 2:00 PM CT

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Distributors are making their initial forays into artificial intelligence, but very few have foresight for how artificial intelligence will reshape the way we conduct business and how distributors operate.

In this episode, we will share insights from the superusers — leaders and innovators — that are pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence. We will explore the best ideas for distribution and discuss how distributors can move forward. Whether your business is already implementing artificial intelligence or if you have done nothing at all, please join us. Your questions are essential if we are to move forward, leading our customers and suppliers into the future.

Join Ed Orlet and Mark Dancer for this critical Office Hours discussion. Every episode helps to move our work with the NAED Futures Group forward by reaching every electrical distributor, surfacing new ideas, and engaging our suppliers.

Bring your ideas and questions. Here are two articles from Mark Dancer, Distribution Futurist and advisor to the NAED Futures Group, to get you thinking:

→Reinventing the demand center for distribution
→AI for value chain partnerships

 

 

 

Futures Group members include:

Paul Kennedy, CEO, Dakota Supply Group
John Harman, CEO, Kendall Electric
John Kerkhove, President, Horizon Solutions
Franklin "Sully" Sullivan, EVP Electrification, ABB
Bill Waltz, President & CEO, Atkore
Darrell Smith, President, IAC Supply Solutions
Steve Blazer, President, Blazer Electric Supply Company
Scott Teerlinck, President & CEO, Crescent Electric Supply Company
David Rosenstein, President & CEO, Connexion