NAW Billion Dollar Operations Roundtable, Spring 2017

May 16-17, 2017 at the O’Hare Hilton

“NAW enables a free-flow of ideas and answers to Questions for Operations executives from large companies and different industries. The Roundtable is a “great-value-add” since it allows you to discuss tactical issues with counterparts facing the same challenges.”
Submitted Anonymously by the Senior Vice President of Operations of a $7 Billion Dollar Distribution Company

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Eligibility: Companies with $1B+ in annual revenue.

The NAW Billion Dollar Roundtable is the only opportunity that provides networking and benchmarking exclusively with other top executives of non competing, like-sized Wholesale-Distribution companies.

Strategic Pricing Associates is a valued NAW sponsor

The NAW Billion Dollar Company Operations Roundtable for direct members was created as a new mechanism for the Operations Executives of large distribution enterprises to network with non-competing peers in multiple lines of trade on key operations issues.

Similar to other billion dollar roundtables NAW has created for the CIO, CFO, Chief Legal Officer, and Human Resource executive, this by invitation roundtable is composed of executives from billion dollar companies that meet in Chicago two times per year. This highly interactive group consists of the SENIOR-MOST operations executives. The annual fee is $1,800 per member, which covers meeting costs for two events in a twelve month cycle. Participants are expected to cover the cost of their hotel and travel. Once the annual fee is paid, there are no additional fees to attend the meetings, which will last one day beginning with a reception and dinner the evening before.

The participating companies can also name an alternate who can take the place of the Operations Executive, should that person be unable to attend the scheduled meeting.

Become a Billion Dollar Company Operations Roundtable member. Click here.

If you would like to learn more please contact John Peter or Tamela Blalock at 202.872.0885.

NAW Billion Dollar Operations Roundtable Agenda

May 16, 2017 – Day 1

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Drinks & Dialogue Reception
Come prepared to meet and mingle with your fellow participants from the largest firms in the industry.


7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Billion Dollar Executive Dinner

Make sure to attend the most exclusive executive supper club in Chicago this evening! This dinner is your opportunity to pick the brains of the senior executives for the top wholesale distribution companies in the industry. This is a joint dinner that will include the CLO, HR and Operations executives attending the spring Roundtable.

May 17, 2017 – Day 2

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
“Converting Ideas into Actions – Innovation/Idea/Collaboration Management”

Many organizations are facing an urgent need to exploit new ideas and opportunities to meet increasing competitive pressure and changing customer demands. The recent economic recession has further accelerated the urgency of innovation across industries and globally. But from where do you get those much needed breakthrough ideas to drive growth, productivity and value creation? When innovation is more important than ever, collaborative idea management can help organizations to surface new ideas, improve them and make sure they reach the right people. It is also a way to empower and recognize innovative employees, to measure and stimulate creative activity and to promote a more open and collaborative innovation culture in the organization.

This session will discuss case studies of billion dollar companies that have successfully navigated collaborative idea management. These examples include:

  • Implementing an idea management system
  • Prioritizing the diverse innovation needs of a multi-billion dollar enterprise
  • Designing and executing a collaborative idea management that captures, tracks and further develops promising ideas
  • Transitioning the idea management system to a collaboration workflow

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM


9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
“Reinventing with Suppliers and Customers to Create a Digital Partnership”

Manufacturers work with one or more distributors, often maintaining close, long-term relationships. In recent years, these same manufacturers are now reevaluating their distribution partnerships. During the same time, the customer base has consolidated, costs have soared, and margins have shown limited growth. In response, manufacturers have been closely analyzing all expenses and revenue streams, and many have concluded that they are not capturing full value from distribution. Some problems arise because manufacturers do not fully understand their customers and thus do not deploy resources appropriately. Other issues occur because manufacturers fail to provide distributors with appropriate support and incentives.

To improve the situation, distributors should take the lead to create a more analytical, collaborative approach to their relationships with their manufacturer partners. They should closely examine all distribution data, including detailed sales information for individual regions, products, and customers. They must also reexamine their working relationships to determine if the current agreements with manufacturers are providing the distributors with appropriate incentives and support.

This session will develop a framework for distributors to achieve these goals by discussing strategies that can lead to more fact-based decision making and stronger working relationships with manufacturers. This session will review the evolving distribution landscape to provide context and then discuss various improvement levers.


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Open Discussion
This session is set aside for you to raise any issue you would like and have the group provide their thoughts. This is an open forum to further discuss any item on the agenda or to bring up topics that are not on the agenda. Make sure to take notes during this session, you may find a perfect topic to suggest for the next NAW Roundtable.


12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Joint Networking Lunch with CLO and HR Executives
This is the “halftime” period where you meet up with all of the Billion Dollar Company senior executives at this week’s Roundtable to compare ideas and benchmark across disciplines. All 3 groups: Operations, HR and CLO executives will attend this joint lunch.


1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Closing Session & Discussion
“Incentive Compensation Strategies for Billion Dollar COOs”

In an ideal world, every billion dollar distribution company’s compensation strategy would reflect its business strategy and support clearly defined goals. But in today’s business world, many companies have created/or inherited incentive compensation plans that neither motivate their sales reps nor support their business strategies. Because the billion dollar operations executives are charged to defend the bottom line, it is imperative to make sure that sales reps, operations staff, and truck drivers are properly incentivized to support strategy, and making sure they are correctly paid in accordance with a clear compensation strategy, to represent substantial financial risks, and opportunities, to the company. In addition, operations executives care that a correctly incentivized sales/operations/logistics team creates results that better support efficient working capital management.

A consultant will review case studies where billion dollar COOs have successfully utilized incentive compensation technology solutions to improve the processes of managing incentive compensation and provide sales and operations leadership with the tools they need to motivate the sales/operations/driver teams strategically – via a streamlined and simplified incentive compensation process.


2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for November 14-15, 2017


2:30 PM

Registration is open to the Billion Dollar Operations Roundtable:Register Now



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