EAST GRANBY, CT — IBC hosted its annual national conference on Oct. 15 - Nov. 13 for its distributor members and supplier partners. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, IBC stakeholders gathered virtually for networking, educational sessions, relationship-building and sharing of best practices for growing their businesses.
Ron Nuñez, IBC’s President & COO, said the theme of this year’s meeting – Looking Forward to Tomorrow – underscored IBC’s mission to help its members build successful businesses by providing the scale, resources, and innovation they need to compete in these turbulent times, and more importantly, the uncertainties of “tomorrow.” Nuñez went on to say, “I am in awe of the challenges that businesses throughout our country have endured. What really comes to mind is the resilience, strength and creativity of our members and supplier partners. Never before has a time come when working closer together has become more important.”
In the kickoff address, Nuñez outlined the group’s latest initiatives including IBC Connects and Product Information Management (PIM). IBC Connects, IBC’s central billing platform, now supports electronic purchase orders and acknowledgements in addition to invoices and payments. “IBC is the first group in our space to offer a true end-to-end, 100 percent electronic purchase order to payment system. We are making it easier to conduct business while reducing transactional cost within our network,” Nuñez explained. PIM is IBC’s initiative to build a centralized database of rich-content, imaged, digital supplier data. “This is the perfect project for a group’s involvement. Instead of multiple distributors harvesting and managing the same data, IBC does the heavy lifting, streamlining the effort and making it more efficient for all,” Nuñez added.
Following the kickoff, Ian Heller of Distribution Strategy Group delivered a keynote on critical trends in industrial distribution where he discussed the typical independent distributor’s preparedness for the end-user’s evolving e-commerce and website expectations, third party e-commerce sites, the need for evolution of the traditional distributor field sales force and what is happening to a distributor’s traditional value proposition to end-users and manufacturers in a market being infiltrated by online retailers.
Each week throughout the conference, IBC recognized distributors and suppliers who represented outstanding growth and engagement within the group. IBC proudly acknowledged the following distributors and suppliers:
2020 IBC Distributor of the Year
- Geisler Company
2020 IBC Supplier of the Year
- JPW Industries, Inc.
Purchase Power Awards
- Haggard & Stocking
- Productivity, Inc.
- Aronson-Campbell Industrial Supply Inc.
Sales Excellence Awards
- YG-1 Tool Company JPW Industries, Inc. ORS Nasco
- McAuliffe's Industrial LLC
Pedal to the Metal Award
- Tech Service Products, Inc.
Knowledge is Power Award
- Ryan Rhoads, Haggard & Stocking
Knowledge is Power Award
- Haggard & Stocking
The conference also featured “Round Robin” business-building meetings between IBC members and suppliers, a series of learning tracks including Product Information Management (PIM), automating supplier PO’s & payables, effective supplier recruitment & retention, IBC’s National Contract program, and IBC members buying together through bulk buys & importing. The conference also included a panel discussion, “Navigating the Next Normal”, featuring an IBC distributor, supplier, and staff member discussing how well are distributors positioned to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business environment.
About IBC IBC is an industrial buying group and provider of MROP supply chain solutions. Our members are independent distributors with locations in the U.S. plus parts of Mexico and the Caribbean. Ensuring independent distributors' perpetual value to the industrial supply chain is the core of our mission. We vigorously pursue and create cost-effective, innovative solutions that streamline our members’ operational efficiencies, nurture their supplier relationships and foster enduring customer satisfaction. Our channel partners are leading suppliers of brand name industrial products. In addition to providing a full complement of buying group services to our distributor members and supplier partners, IBC negotiates and manages national procurement contracts with end-user manufacturers. IBC is a Hispanic Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).