Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
SPA Large Company Operations Roundtable Sponsor

 November 1-2, 2017 at the O’Hare Hilton

Download Content from this Roundtable

“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

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 learn more, please contact Adam Isenberg at

Eligibility: Companies with $100M to $1B 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.

NAW Large Company Operations Roundtable Agenda

Day 1 - November 1, 2017

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Opening Session & Discussion
Linking KPIs to Operational Cash Flow and Profitability

Bill Albert, President – Business Methodologies International, Ltd.


KPIs are something that distribution professionals have come to lean on. They are invaluable in measuring the value that demonstrates how efficiently a company is achieving critical business objectives. Distribution firms today use KPIs to evaluate their success at reaching targets. But how do you know if your KPIs are “meaningful” and moving the needle?


  • To share some quantifiable measures, Key Performance Indicators ‘KPI’s’ that can be applied to determine their own organization’s progress in achieving key strategic or operational goals.
  • Identify those Key Performance Indicators ‘KPI’s’ that can be applied to defined business processes; setting requirements for those business processes and have qualitative and quantitative analytics of results for those participating in the session
  • The ability for those participating to share with their workforce and organization to appreciate the roles, responsibilities, and impact they have on those Key Performance Indicators “KPI’s’ in determining the success or failure of their organizations.

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
Linking KPIs to Operational Cash Flow and Profitability

Jade West, SVP-Government Relations, NAW

For over 20 years, Jade West was a staple in the U.S. Senate. For the past 10 years, Jade has helped educate lawmakers on how certain legislative policies could impact true economic engines such as wholesaler-distributors. From stopping the repeal of LIFO, to tax and labor initiatives, Jade has been out front and leading the charge on Capitol Hill to benefit the entire $5.6 trillion industry that is wholesale distribution.

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.

Day 2 - November 2, 2017

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Opening Session & Discussion
Vendor Relations Management

Shari Schlau, Resin Gelcoat Supply Chain Manager, Composites One

Shari Schlau-Composites One

Wikipedia defines Vendor relationship management (VRM) as “a category of business activity made possible by software tools that aim to provide customers with both independence from vendors and better means for engaging with vendors. These same tools can also apply to individuals’ relations with other institutions and organizations.” But really, what does that mean? How are distributors supposed to know which VRM is right for them? In this session, lead by a distribution executive, participants will be able to uncover the secrets to what a good VRM is, how to make your buyers more knowledgeable, see trends/managing inventories between locations and maximize freight.


  • Discuss best practices in selecting VRMs
  • Hear how one of your own went through a VRM selection process and what ROIs they came out with
  • Understand how distributors can negotiate better quality, lead times, etc…from their suppliers

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM

General Session & Discussion
What’s the Weather Today?” – Specific Forecasting Tools for Distributors

Tim Howard, Reinforcement Supply Chain Manager, Composites One

Tim Howard - Composites One

When most of us think of Forecasting, wouldn’t it be nice to say, “Hey Siri…What’s the forecast for today? That said, distributors are in a tight spot when it comes to forecasting. Does your ERP system perform this function? A CRM perhaps? Neither? Both? During this session, members of the Roundtable will be hearing from a distribution executive who has gone through this very exercise and live to tell about it.


  • Understand key elements of forecasting and how this intelligence can help manage and replenish inventory, purchase history, customer intel, and supplier knowledge
  • Receive best practices in what solutions distributors are coming away with from accurate forecasting

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 & Discussion
Tech Platforms for Distributors

David Panitch, President, Results Technology Group

David Panitch - Results Tech Group

When it comes to tech…distributors have EVERYTHING figured out. Right? During this interactive session we will explore ERP systems and their impact on your operation. You will hear about the good, the bad, and the ugly of ERP implementations. With technology evolving exponentially, it is difficult to keep up with all of the changes and more importantly, determining which technology should be pursued and which ignored.


  • Learn what you must ask your current or future ERP software solution provider before signing contracts.
  • Gain a better understanding of the risks and rewards of deploying your next ERP system in the “cloud”.
  • Understand how to identify the critical path tasks in your ERP project to increase the odds of a successful implementation.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for May 1-2, 2018

2:30 PM

NAW Large Company Operations Roundtable Participants, Fall 2017

The following wholesale distribution companies attended the Large Company Operations Fall 2017 Roundtable:

  • Composites One LLC
  • Etna Supply Co
  • Pacesetter
  • Palmer Donavin Mfg Co (The)
  • Polymershapes
  • U S Lumber Group
  • United Electric Supply Co Inc

The following wholesale distribution companies have attended previous Large Company Operations Roundtables:

  • Benco Dental
  • Boelter Companies
  • Composites One
  • Curbell Plastics
  • ETNA Supply
  • Gustave A Larson
  • Horner Xpress
  • Hub Construction Specialties
  • Inline Distribution
  • Kennicott Brothers
  • McNaughton McKay Electric Co
  • Munchs Supply Co Inc
  • Pacesetter Steel
  • Palmer Donavin Mfg Co
  • Seal Rite Door
  • T&A Supply Company
  • United Electric Supply Co
  • United Pipe & Steel
  • US Lumber Group

Meeting Location:
Chicago Hilton O’Hare
10000 W O’Hare Ave.               Hotel Accommodations
Chicago, IL 60666
(773) 686-8000