What is the Future of Independents in Distribution?

I moderated a panel discussion on the future of the independent distributor in the electrical channel at this week’s National Association of Electrical Distributors National Meeting in Boston.

The expert group included Dan Gray, president and CEO of Independent Electric Supply; Bob Smith, president and CEO of IMARK; John Spoor, president and COO of State Electric Supply; George Vorwick, president and CEO of United Electric Supply; and Bill Weisberg, chairman and CEO of Affiliated Distributors.

The overall feeling was hopeful for independents, despite some of the challenges they face. “Business with independents grows at about 1.5 times the rate of others in this industry,” Weisberg said. “Why is that? I think it’s because there are challenges related to size. It’s great to be big, but it’s tough to be big too. Independents have challenges associated with being small, but they also have tremendous advantages associated with being that size, too.”

Read the full summary of my panel from NAED’s TED Mag here. You can also watch Part 1 of the panel below.

Read my thoughts on moving from a lifestyle business to professional management: Crossing the Chasm