ERA Conference Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

Sessions are listed in alphabetical order by title. Please see the schedule for the list of breakouts by day and time.

Best Practices in Creating Goals and Managing Your Team to Exceed Them

Moderator: Scott Lindberg, Vice President, Quell Corporation
Panelists: Matt Cohen, CPMR, Vice President of Sales, CC Electro; Bill Stewart, Managing Director, North America, E-T-A Circuit Breakers; Tom Vandeheyden, Senior Vice President Americas Sales, TTI Inc.

Monday, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Ampitheater 204, Level 2
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Ampitheater 204, Level 2

Is goal setting for a team and managing them an art, a science, or a combination of both? Either way, as leaders we all have a management style that we have developed over time to get others to exceed goals, but how effective is your style? There is a very good chance that your goals have changed over time, and so too has your team, but has your style?

It also goes without saying that typically leaders manage relative to established goals, but how relative are your goals from both your vantage point and your team’s? What is your process for setting goals? Is it inclusive or exclusive, and how well are they communicated and monitored? Many books have been written on management styles and goal setting; some good – some not so good, but what are some of your industry peers doing in this area?

This interactive breakout session is designed to facilitate a group dialog with input from representatives, distributors, and manufacturers on what best practices exist around goal setting and the management styles that can be vital to these goals. Although this session will have a moderator with a panel of your peers, it is really designed to generate thought provoking ideas from all participants in order that you may take away new ideas on how to successfully set individual and collective goals and to discover from your peers some new management styles to help you exceed them.

Best Practices in Rep Compensation: Driving Behavior to Achieve Mutual Success

Presenter: Cesare Giammarco, Consultant, Cesare Giammarco Sales Management Consulting

Monday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Room 301, Level 3
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Room 103, Level 1

In this session, attendees will be provided a view of what are considered “best practice” approaches to a mutually beneficial rep compensation plan. The session will touch on the key elements of manufacturers’ rep compensation, such as commission rate determination, distribution sales, splits, special incentives and others. The second half of the session will give attendees the opportunity to share ideas and successful approaches in the form of round-table discussions. The goal of the session is to provide attendees with a template that can be used as a foundation for manufacturers and reps to build on when establishing or revising rep compensation programs.

Blockchain Update: What Does It Mean to You and Your Company?

Presenter: Hannah Rosenberg, Managing Director, The Blockchain Institute

Monday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Room 203, Level 2
Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 201, Level 2

Attend this year’s blockchain update, presented by Hannah Rosenberg of the Blockchain Institute, to experience an interactive transaction demo (bring your mobile devices to participate).

You will also learn about about:

• How a blockchain networks makes decisions
• Blockchains, cryptocurrency and commerce
• What blockchains do well and what they don’t do well
• When a blockchain makes sense
• How blockchain can help supply chains
• Immutability and auditability
• The Walmart Hyperledger case study
• The difference between public and private blockchains
• Keeping business data private and other blockchain concerns
• Other business blockchain projects and case studies to be aware of

Data Analytics: Converting Information to Revenue

Moderator: Alan Ahern, President, Crowley Associates
Panelists: Toby Lasley, Director of Sales – Latin America, ION Associates; Troy Daugherty, Global Channel Director, Laird Thermal Systems

Monday, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Room 203, Level 2
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Ampitheater 204, Level 2

With the abundance of information being collected and distributed throughout the industry, are you using all the tools at your disposal to convert data into new business opportunities?

This session will provide insight from a panel of industry peers as to what tools exist and what best practices can be utilized to create a successful process for data conversion. Survey results also will be shared to facilitate interactive dialog that is sure to be valuable for experienced and inexperienced data miners alike.

Get in on the Design Conversation or Miss Opportunities: Learn How to Use the Right Content to Build Your Brand and Your Sales

Moderator: Graham Kilshaw, CEO, Lectrix
Panelists: Chris Beeson, Chief Development Officer, Master Electronics; Dave Foster, Director of Sales, Ohmite Manufacturing; Steve Karr, President, ArKco Sales Inc.; Maryellen Stack, Director of Marketing Communications, Sager Electronics

Monday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Ampitheater 204, Level 2
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Room 203, Level 2

Today’s buyer requires a different type of sell. It is no longer good enough to be a great source of product information; Google took that job away from you long ago. Office visits and cold calls have been overtaken by your customers’ new preference: digital interactions. And if you’re not positioning yourself as a true educational resource, those interactions won’t involve you.

With the speed and convenience of the internet at hand (and in the pocket), the new buyer’s journey has become heavily self-service. But the internet has its limits, and just like those of us that may toss the instruction manual aside, your customers are likely spending more time arriving at the end-result than they realize. Now, the most successful brands and salespeople are winning with a value proposition even greater than Google’s: personal assistance solving design and application challenges.

Enter content. Build trust with a toolbox of educational content and resources that helps solve these customer challenges, and the opportunities will follow.

Intended for small, medium and large rep firms; manufacturers; and distributors; join this interactive session concluding with a Q&A panel to learn how to use content to not only develop relationships and opportunities but also position your company and personal brand in today’s content-driven world.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Line Conflicts: Optimizing the Integrated Sales Organization

Moderator: Cesare Giammarco, Consultant, Cesare Giammarco Sales Management Consulting
Panelists: Joel Levine, President, RFMW Ltd.; Phil Meiss, Sales Engineer, President, Victory Sales; Bob Rathsburg, Managing Partner, Rathsburg Associates; Mark Robinson, Vice President Sales Americas II-VI Incorporated

Monday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 301, Level 3
Tuesday, 9:45 a.m.. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 203, Level 2

The proliferation of M&A in the electronics industry is at an unprecedented pace. This breakout is designed to provide attendees insights from a panel of industry peers who have significant experience working through the challenges of M&A-related channel integration and line conflicts. The session will be interactive to ensure all present can share their experiences and concerns. The goal of this breakout is to provide manufacturers’ reps, manufacturers and distributors general guidelines to ensure a fair and optimum channel integration process while offering some objective considerations to resolving possible line conflicts.

On-Boarding a New Distributor and Manufacturers’ Rep: Establishing the Foundation for Success

Moderator: Travis Erpenbach, District Manager, Carlton Bates Company
Panelists: Roy Kell, Sales Director, DNA Group; Patrick Powell, President, Spectrum Sales Inc.; Jeffrey Ray, Vice President Corporate Product Management & Supplier Marketing, TTI Inc.

Monday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 103, Level 1
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Room 103, Level 1

Effectively on-boarding a new sales relationship is critical to the ultimate long-term success of that relationship. Whether it be a manufacturer bringing on a new distributor or a new manufacturers’ rep, it is critical to have an effective on-boarding process in place. This breakout will provide attendees a look at the process one manufacturer developed and successfully implemented to on-board a major distributor and the benefits of that effort. A panel representing a manufacturer, manufacturers’ rep and distributor will discuss how a manufacturer can best on-board a new manufacturers’ rep. The session will be interactive encouraging attendee input on this important subject. The goal will be to develop best practice on-boarding guidelines for attendees.

Profile of the Successful Rep-Manufacturer Relationship

Moderator: Bob Evans, CPMR, President, EK Micro
Panelists: Ken Bellero, President, Schaffner EMC Inc.; Darryl Revenew, Director, Americas Sales, Eaton; David Fitzgerald, Managing Director, WESCO Sales Group; Jeff May, President, Logix Sales & Marketing Inc.

Monday, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Room 301, Level 3
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Room 301, Level 3

What unique things are manufacturers and reps doing to make their relationship work? What are the most successful people doing? Who is doing it best? Why? How?

Get viewpoints during this interactive session featuring a panel of four accomplished and respected manufacturer and representative executives who will explore the characteristics of world-class representative/manufacturer relationships, today and in the future. This solutions-based session will focus on best practices by profiling a panel of reps and manufacturers who have experience developing successful relationships and the attributes of those relations and how that has resulted in better business for both sides. The moderator-led discussion will examine the elements of a manufacturer that give a rep confidence that they will have a long-term, productive relationship and provide takeaways where relationships have succeeded the most. What does it look like now, more importantly, what will it look like in the next few years? What’s been successful in the past, how have they gotten to this point and what will it take to be successful in the future? Change is coming! Both reps and manufacturers will find this session useful to get best-practices to figure out the path to the highest rate of success and learn how to keep advancing these relationships so everyone wins.

RDM (Rep, Distributor, Manufacturer) Pulse Check

Manufacturers’ Rep Sessions Lead Facilitator: Joe Braun, CPMR, Partner & Field Sales Representative, EK Micro
Manufacturer Sessions Lead Facilitator: John Simari, Simari Consulting, ERA Consultant
Distributor Sessions Lead Facilitator: Craig Sanderson, Vice President of Supplier Marketing & Product Management, Sager Electronics

Monday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Grand Ballroom, Level 3
Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Grand Ballroom, Level 3

In these first-of-their-kind sessions, manufacturers’ reps, distributors and manufacturers will meet separately to “take the pulse” of each group. These facilitator-led breakouts are intended to extract the opportunities, challenges, ideas and frustrations from each group in a safe environment among peers. The point of having these micro breakouts is to allow attendees to speak freely and feel comfortable exchanging ideas. Feedback from the discussions will be captured by table facilitators. Then the confidential highlights of the groups will be shared with the entire conference audience prior to the last General Session on Tuesday afternoon.

Sales Intelligence Secrets to Find More Leads, Provide More Value and Make More Money

Presenter: Sam Richter, Founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More

Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Ampitheater 204, Level 2
(session offered only once)

In Sam Richter’s general session, you’ll have learned web search secrets that you can use every day to find information on prospects and clients. In this perfect workshop complement, you’ll learn the inside techniques that many professional intelligence experts don’t even know including:

• Advanced search algorithms for finding existing lead lists, membership directories, competitor proposals, price lists, past and current RFPs, and more.

• How to mine social media to identify ideal prospects, generate strong referrals, and follow-up with others in ways that they care about.

• Hidden websites and tools that reveal the inside information on companies and people, and that can even help you create a pipeline of leads before the lead even exists.

• How to leverage information to ensure relevancy, gain permission to ask challenging questions, and provide ongoing value to both prospects and clients.

Most important, you’ll learn how to quickly find and leverage the right information, so your time is spent meeting with prospects and clients, winning more business, and making more money.

Attention: Bring your mobile device for an interactive demo!

Tales From the Front (Of the Courtroom)

Presenters: ERA Legal Counsels,  Adam Glazer, Schoenberg, Finkel, Newman & Rosenberg, LLC

Monday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Room 201, Level 2
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. 2:15 p.m. – Room 201, Level 2

The rep contract says commissions are earned upon receipt of the order, but also says they’re payable when the principal gets paid. Termination comes in between the order and payment. Are the commissions owed? The terminated rep is from Massachusetts and wants to invoke its favorable sales rep statute. The principal is now based in Delaware, which has no rep statute. Meanwhile, the rep contract states Minnesota law applies. Which state’s law governs, and what are the consequences? In California, unpaid reps can recover three times the amount of unpaid commissions only when the manufacturer “willfully” fails to pay. The principal’s U.S. director tells his regional sales manager: “I’m not paying those guys!” Is this enough to meet that undefined standard?

These and other vexing yet true rep-principal conflicts have been litigated across the country and been decided by judges, juries or arbitrators. This seminar will feature enough real-life war stories to prove of value — and of concern — to reps and principals alike.

Technology Swap Shop Update 2020: What Are You Doing Differently?

Presenters: John Hutson, CPMR, President, MacInnis Group; Holly Myers, CPMR, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Genie Group

Monday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 203, Level 2
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Room 203, Level 2

Back by popular demand! This year’s swap shop session will identify technological trends that have taken place the past 3 – 5 years focusing on a few key topics, tools and best practices that surround them. To stimulate a collaborative discussion on how technology can help make you and your team more efficient, this breakout session will review the results of a recent ERA member survey. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn what technical tools your industry peers are utilizing today: what’s working, what’s not – what’s new, what’s hot!

The Disruption Opportunity

Moderator: Steve Cholas, VP Business Development, Big Zeta
Panelists: Heather Fulara, Head of Supplier Management – Electronic Components, Newark element14; Alex Gabbi (Tuesday only) Lecturer, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin; Chris Rooney, Principal, Tecumseh Consulting; Ali Sebt (Monday only) IoT Consultant; Mark Zack, Vice President, Business Development of the TTI Semiconductor Group

Monday, 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. – Room 103, Level 1
Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Grand Ballroom, Level 3

Disruption is already here, so learn how to seize the opportunities it brings! It is all about what we do to confront the inevitable forces ahead of us. Don’t wait for disruption to come to you — disrupt yourself!

Companies who seize the disruption opportunity don’t wait until performance declines force them to change — they transform themselves preemptively. Unless you’re constantly innovating, and innovating in a way that customers care about, you’re going to be left in the dust. How you identify and respond to disruption not only has implications for your business but also your future viability and bottom line. “Take it to the Streets” with this session for a frank discussion with a group of seasoned panelists who will have a focused and nuanced discussion on the following disruptors:

• application programming interfaces;
• robotic process automation;
• the obsolescence of the traditional field sales position;
• the Amazon effect; and
• e-commerce.

Learn how these disruptors are affecting the electronics industry today, how to embrace the opportunity those disruptors can offer, and how to navigate these disruptors to continue to show value to your customer.

Thriving in the 2020s: Progressive Strategies for Talent Recruitment, Retention and Development

Moderator: Jackie Mattox, Founder and President of Women in Electronics
Panelists: Don Akery, President, TTI Americas; Alma Arroyo, Regional Sales Manager, Ohmite Manufacturing; Mallerie Merchant, Account Manager, R.C. Merchant & Co.; Chris Rooney, Principal, Tecumseh Consulting

Monday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 202, Level 2
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – Room 301, Level 3

This session will highlight the importance of evolving our human capital strategies as the “face of the industry” drastically changes over the next five years. Discover ways to bring more diverse talent into your organization, adapt your business to the needs and interests of a new generation of workers, and bridge the leadership gap between your mature talent and the rising stars. Our panel will provide insights and key takeaways to aid in the workforce transformation progress within your own organizations and collectively as an industry. We are at a major turning point in the electronic components industry, and to thrive in this new decade our organizations will have to look and act very differently than they do now. We look forward to a very open and honest discussion that opens the lines of communication and helps break through barriers.

Want to Grow Your Company? Get Your Company Culture Right!

Presenter: Joel Swanson, Certified EOS Implementer, Mile One Teams

Monday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Room 103, Level 1
Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 301, Level 3

It’s no secret that achieving your growth goals for your company requires surrounding yourself with the right people. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Good news — it’s easier than you might think! Through this interactive session, come learn simple tools from EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System, from the book “Traction”) to zero in on the unique culture of your company, and gain valuable takeaways to help surround yourself with people who both embrace and embody that culture.

Website Development for Reps: What Your Digital Image Says About You and Your Products

Presenters: Emma Gaedeke, Co-Founder, Upright; Danielle Gaglioti, Co-Founder, Upright

Monday, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Room 201, Level 2
Tuesday, 9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Room 202, Level 2

Do you currently have a website, but have been wondering how to make it better? Are you interested in learning how to use your website to engage new manufacturers or products? In 2020, it’s more important than ever for manufacturers’ reps to have a strong digital presence. If executed properly, a website can be an incredible tool for not only marketing, but for company growth, thought leadership and industry innovation.

Do you want to learn about new ways to represent your image effectively? Are you interested in learning how you can easily maintain your website day-to-day? Attend this session, presented by two experts from Upright, ERA’s newest recognized resource that helps businesses through web design, branding, and content strategy, to learn how to create a website presence that is beneficial to your business and will help you stand out from your competitors.

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software