NAW Large Company Operations Roundtable

April 26-27, 2016 at the O’Hare Hilton

“NAW’s Large Company Operations Roundtable lets me network with other wholesale operations professionals, across different industries. Regardless of the industry we serve, as a wholesale distributor, we face the same challenges, opportunities and changing technologies. Learning from one another’s successes and failures-turned-successes, and sharing this information is extremely valuable. I enjoy the size and dynamics of the group and plan on attending future meetings.”
Anonymously submitted by the VP of Operations of a $794 Million Distributor

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Eligibility: Companies with $100M to $999M in annual revenue
The NAW Large Company Roundtable is the only opportunity that provides networking and benchmarking exclusively with other top executives of non competing, like-sized Wholesale-Distribution companies.

Epicor is a valued NAW Roundtable Sponsor

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

This by invitation roundtable is composed of executives from large companies that meet in Chicago two times per year and is highly interactive. The annual fee is $1,500 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 a senior level alternate who can take the place of the operations executive, should that person be unable to attend the scheduled meeting.

If you would like to join the group please go to this link:

Become a Large 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 Large Company Operations Roundtable Agenda

April 26th, 2016 – Day 1

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Opening Session – “Remaining Relevant in the Face of Amazon”

Speaker: Mark A. Matthews of NuVision Strategies, LLC

There are many industry forces working hard to marginalize the role and effectiveness of your front line team. New competitors, e-commerce channels, Amazon Business, and many more. The role of the sales professional is under more scrutiny than ever before with customers having global insights to local challenges. Front line teams must think like business owners and identify new ways to bring real value to customer relationships if they are to remain relevant in customer conversations.

In this session, we will explore ideas and strategies that front line teams can use to help them elevate towards partner status.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

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

7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Large Company Executive Dinner

Speaker: Jade West of NAW

Make sure to reserve your seat for 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.


April 27th, 2016 – Day 2

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Session as Joint Session with Large Company CFO Roundtable – “New Service Models and Human Capital Development”

Speaker: Dr. Barry Lawrence of Texas A&M University

This session explores the changing distributor service model and the importance of human capital to the change process. Based on research from two recent Texas A&M consortium studies, Optimizing Human Capital Development and Optimizing Value Added Services, Dr. Lawrence will use case studies to illustrate how distributors are developing and monetizing service offerings. Human Capital Development is key and central to success. As Dr. Lawrence will demonstrate, convergence of technology, a new generation, and rapidly commoditizing products and services are all driving and key to new distributor models.


  • Review case studies of strategies distributors are using and developing to monetize service offerings.

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
General Session – “The Impact of SKU Proliferation on Wholesale Distributors”

Speakers: Helgi Thor Leja & Matt Moyer of Fortna

As companies compete to be the “one stop shop” for customers, the need to offer a broader, more diverse selection of SKU’s is adding complexity and cost to operations. Slow-moving and obsolete inventory clogs storage space and decreases operational efficiency, stressing operational, building, and throughput capacity, and negatively impacting company profits.

As a wholesale distributor, how do you communicate the full impact of rising SKU counts on the entire organization? How do you decide which SKUs to locate at each distribution center/branch/counter and how much inventory to hold across the network to optimize fulfillment and speed? How can you gain efficiencies by intelligently storing, locating, picking, and transporting various SKU’s through the distribution center? Answers to questions like these and more will be shared in this session.


  • Understand the organizational impact of growing SKU count and provide fact-based information to business leaders to drive strategic change.
  • Develop the right strategy for rationalizing SKUs across the network to drive efficiency, reduce obsolescence, and improve operating costs within distribution operations.
  • Deploy slotting tools/approaches that reduce travel time, improve productivity, and reduce operating costs

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 Lunch & Networking Discussion with CFO Roundtable
This is the “halftime” period where you meet up with all of the Large Company senior executives at this week’s Roundtable to compare ideas and benchmark across disciplines. Both the CFO and Operations executives will attend this joint lunch.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Closing Session -“Compensation Next Practices”

Speakers: Tom McMullen & Dustin Ogden of Korn Ferry/Hay Group

As a result of significant economic, demographic, cultural, and organizational changes, everyone is in search of best practices. However, exceptional organizations and their compensation professionals do not wait for best practices; they are in search of “next practices.” Leading-edge organizations focus on evolving new practices to stay ahead of the curve and keep their employees engaged and motivated. Hay Group in a study conducted with Loyola University Chicago and WorldatWork will share what these organizations have realized. Hear how the future of compensation strategies, programs, and practices are changing, given the economic backdrop and increased competition for talent. Client examples will be shared in this interactive presentation.

Hear how the future of compensation strategies, programs, and practices are changing, given the economic backdrop and increased competition for talent. Client examples will be shared in this interactive presentation.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for November 15-16, 2016

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