Game Plan Forum Provides Wealth Of B2B Insight

Game Plan 2014, hosted Nov. 4-5 by Hybris in Schaumburg, IL, provided distributors and manufacturers of all sizes with a clear vision of what an effective e-commerce platform should look like.

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With the need for a high-quality e-commerce platform growing and growing for distributors, the 2014 Game Plan B2B E-Commerce Forum was the place to be for a hotbed of information and thought leadership.

The two-day event, hosted Nov. 4-5 by Hybris Software, a SAP Company, brought together dozens of leading B2B companies, distributor and manufacturer CEOs looking to define a successful B2B e-commerce plan for the evolving B2B customer.

At the beautiful venue of Schaumburg, Illinois’ Renaissance Convention Center, attendees were able to hear from business visionaries, industry analysts and e-commerce innovators from a number of top B2B companies. In-between speaking sessions, attendees had plenty of time to network and share ideas with each other.

Industrial distributors were well-represented at Game Plan, with representatives in attendance from Grainger, Anixter, BDI, Graybar, United Stationers, Schneider Electric, and Steel and Pipe Supply, among others.

Industrial Distribution was there as well, taking in the wealth of information on everything e-commerce.

Both days began with keynote presentations — day 1 from Erik Brynjolfsson, director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, while day 2 featured Andy Hoar, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research.

Day one then got rolling with 3M’s Raj Rao presenting the company’s digital transformation. Right away, it set the stage for why Game Plan was essential to attend: it wasn’t just telling and explaining, it was showing. Companies presented case studies and the step-by-step procedures they followed to either build or revamp their e-commerce platform.

The final presentation of day 1 was Damon Childress and Bryan LiBrandi of Heritage, who showed a case study of how Heritage, a foodservice group, built their e-commerce service completely from scratch. It went live Aug. 8 of this year. After one month, e-commerce was 1 percent of Heritage’s net sales. End of the year projections have that mark forecasted 4 percent.

Earlier in the day, Rob Howl presented an interesting model for how Aviall, a Boeing company, prepared itself for digital transformation. Fittingly, he used an analogy model how a jet engine works, relating the Intake -> Compression -> Combustion -> Exhaust to explain all the nuances involved in establishing an effective e-commerce platform.

At one of the presenter tracks, “3 Secrets B2B Companies Can Take From B2C,” SAP’s Lindsay Moore stressed the importance of personalizing your e-commerce website for the consumer, as well as making a good impression on multiple devices. At the same time, down the hall in the main ballroom, Medtronic’s Nancy Beirsdorf and Melissa Flicek presented their company’s digital commerce transformation.

This was the second annual Game Plan forum, with last year’s held at downtown Chicago’s Venue Six10 building. The move to Schaumburg’s convention center gave it much more room and a bigger feel, and judging by its success, the event will continue to grow in attendance.

For more information about Game Plan 2014 and its presenters, visit its website here.

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