The Golbon Fall Buying Show in Boise, ID was a great event and we are thankful for the opportunity to attend. The Golbon team put on a fabulous show in their hometown and the members came prepared to do business. AFS had the opportunity to meet with distributors of all sizes to discuss their pains and opportunities.
I had some time to reflect on the long airplane ride back to the East Coast. One of the first thoughts centered around visions of the past and how I sat in the same booth as a kid 30 years ago with my father talking to many of the same great people about their challenges. It was very encouraging to see some up and coming companies and many 3rd and 4th generations in the family businesses bringing new ideas and thirst for growth.
While many distributors are leading their respective markets with innovative thinking, it’s obvious many distributors are still enlisting processes and software from decades ago. Whether it’s home-grown solutions built on myopic introversion or static and often unsupported systems from days past, the industry and technology have advanced. Moore’s Law says that the number of transistor per square inch on a computer chip will continue to double every 18 months. It seems crazy to me that a multimillion dollar company could be running computers and software that are 20+ years old. I know what my computer looked like 20 years ago. While many continue to run green-screen terminals, others are outfitting employees with mobile devices throughout the organization.
Many of the conversations I had with the distributors revolved around partnership and the relationships they have with their software providers. In the age of consolidation, expansion, and compliance, now more than ever, the need for a progressive and innovative technology partner is needed to compete. A company is only as good as its people. A strategic and mutually beneficial partnership needs people on the other side that understand your company’s needs. At the same time, they need to be focused on the things you can’t to add value to your operation.
Some items of deep importance discussed at the show revolved around traceability, integrated deal tracking, proof of delivery, e-logs, suggested purchasing, operations (either to optimize warehouse space or drive efficiency), sales order management, margin management and analytics.
As promised, AFS pledged to give out a new Amazon Echo to a company that spent some time with us at the show or took our pre-show survey. Without further delay, the winner is:
Peter Miceli of Miceli and Oldfield, Inc.
Congratulations to Peter and thank you all for sharing information about your company with us. We look forward to speaking with you in the near future. Please reach out to AFS should you want to talk to our team.