LOCKPORT, NY — NetPlus Alliance, a buying group with more than 385 industrial and contractor supplies distributor members, hosted its third annual meeting Oct. 2-4 in San Antonio, TX. The theme, “Plan & Grow,” set the tone for an event centered on proactive growth in today’s increasingly competitive markets.
“We’ve done so much this year, and I am excited about what NetPlus can accomplish in the coming year together,” NetPlus Alliance President Jennifer Murphy said. “We wanted our members and suppliers to use this meeting as an opportunity to say yes to new channel relationships, to reigniting old ones, or to a new technology or business process — all critical to moving forward and growing together as a group.”
In this spirit, the Growth Plus sales planning program was launched at the meeting. Growth Plus brings key channel partners to the table to talk about challenges and opportunities they are facing and build a joint plan for growth in 2017.
“You can’t always control what’s happening outside of your business — and you certainly can’t control the economy — but you can choose how you will respond. Choose to be proactive rather than reactive. Say yes to new opportunities that will strengthen your business and bolster your position, whatever comes your way,” Murphy told attendees at the event’s business luncheon.
Continuing this theme, the event’s keynote speaker Seth Mattison shared how the more traditional top-down leadership typically practiced by the Baby Boomer generation is giving way to a more collaborative and flexible approach to managing people and performance — more commonly embraced by Millennials. His advice: Take action now to recognize and bridge the differences between generations in your work force. Opening your mind to a new style of management and work may bring new ideas and leaders to the forefront. In turn, that could boost your bottom line, he told members.
In an educational session, Brian Gardner, founder of SalesProcess360, also encouraged NetPlus members to be proactive rather than reactive to improve their sales processes for a true competitive edge. He provided a framework for focusing on the front end of the sales process to uncover and convert more sales opportunities.
Over two days, more than 1,500 booth session meetings were held between distributors and manufacturers; members also attended educational sessions hosted by manufacturers, NetPlus Alliance and industry experts. Attendees connected with old friends and established new relationships at the opening party on day one, a Western-themed happy hour that closed out day two and other social events over the course of two days, continuing the conversations they started during their business meetings. The event concluded with an afternoon of distributor networking, where members shared with and learned from their peers.
The event also featured the first-ever NetPlus Women in the Industry Reception, bringing more than two dozen NetPlus members together to network. NetPlus members spoke about their experience in the Industrial Supply Association’s networking group Women Industrial Supply Executives (WISE) and made plans to connect after the annual meeting for ongoing support within the NetPlus organization. New ISA President and CEO Ed Gerber attended the reception and the rest of the annual meeting as a special guest.
The 2017 NetPlus Alliance Annual Meeting will be Oct. 8-10 in Orlando, FL.