CoNEXTions 2012 - DHIndustry Convention: Forum for the Future

Forum for the Future

The Market Convergence Action Plan: Predator or Prey?

DHI members attending the 2009 and 2010 Forums saw research on the accelerating convergence of markets between traditional contract hardware, building automation, and building security distribution channels. This research is clearly being validated by ongoing events, and the trend is growing in strength.

DHI members have a strong starting position to benefit from this convergence, but it represents only an opportunity, not an entitlement. Capturing these new revenue streams will require doing new things, not just doing the same things better. In the typical business model, the sale ends with the GC, along with any relationship with the building’s life cycle going forward. However, there exists a great opportunity to increase the value added to this process, along with additional profits, with a new business model designed to sustain your business through future economic downturns. The new market opportunities include:

  • New construction product supply and installation
  • Aftermarket sales and service
  • Electronic access control supply, installation and service
  • Fire and egress door inspection and remediation

The previous years’ research demonstrated how our markets are merging. But merging doesn’t make a market larger in total size; only economic expansion and consumption can do that. The challenge in any merger is coming through it on the winning side. Some firms will choose to make the investments and take the actions to capture new revenue streams, while others will focus solely on protecting their traditional business.

DHI has partnered with Indian River Consulting Group (IRCG), which conducted the 2009 industry research and Forum presentation to build a practical action plan for DHI members interested in the growth opportunities offered by this convergence. This past summer, IRCG dove into these markets to provide us with a solid foundation of how end users are changing in their sourcing preferences. The market convergence is being driven by changes in the needs and interests of end users, as well as the construction and design communities. Channel members who understand these changing forces will be able to realign their business model, particularly their selling and marketing resources, to create new and compelling value propositions to grow their businesses, as well as to better sustain them during difficult economic times.

The 2012 Forum will provide the first detailed view of what these new things should be. The Forum will provide two different venues to share this new market insight: a keynote findings presentation, and a hands-on workshop in which participants can examine the implications for their own organization. This research effort will be foundational, supporting ongoing DHI programs well into the future.

Forum for the Future Kick-Off Luncheon
Wednesday, October 17
11:00am – 1:00pm
Grand Ballroom South

As a courtesy reminder, due to limited seating, please bring your lunch ticket to the Forum Kick-Off Luncheon.  If you do not have one, please pick one up from the Registration Desk.
Based on his strong reviews and industry understanding, we have asked Mike Marks, founding partner of IRCG, back to present the results from IRCG’s research. This research is about understanding the non-traditional growth opportunities and how to capture them. IRCG has an extensive background in helping distributors craft strategies that create a competitive advantage. Mike will take the findings and provide a practical description and toolset that members can use to access this market. Forum participants will receive copies of all documents and presentation materials. 

Forum Workshop
Thursday, October 18
9:00am -12:00pm
Grand Ballroom South

Mike Marks will provide a quick guide to first steps for those members who are considering growth in these new markets. The session will provide significant time for questions, answers, and general discussion on both the research and how to exploit it. All attendees are welcome, but this session will have a very strong focus on providing value to distributors.

These presentations are the first critical step in gaining insight into industry-focused research on your customers’ changing buying behaviors. They will provide you with actionable recommendations to address the challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities. The next step is to attend a DHI Executive Summit, the first of which is planned in conjunction with the ISC West Show in Las Vegas in April 2013. Here you can build on the learning gained at the Forum; the Summits will include even more structure for participants to increase actionable outcomes.

About Indian River Consulting Group

Mike Marks

Mike Marks co-founded the Indian River Consulting Group in April 1987. Mike began his consulting practice after working in distribution management for more than 20 years. He has written extensively and is frequently quoted on many industry issues.

In February of 2001, the Distribution Research and Education Foundation (DREF) of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) named Mike its second Research Fellow. In 2005, he accepted their invitation to serve another four-year term. The Fellow program recognizes individuals who have made and continue to make significant intellectual contributions to the field of wholesale distribution.

Mike is the co-author of DREF’s book What’s Your Plan? Smart Salesforce Compensation in Wholesale Distribution. He developed DREF’s audio-CD series Profiles in Wholesale Distribution Leadership. In June 2006, Mike, along with co-writers Tim Horan and Mike Emerson, published a new research project on distributor/supplier relationships through NAW. The book is titled ,"Working at Cross-Purposes: How Distributors and Manufacturers Can Manage Conflict Successfully.

Mike is recognized for his expertise in one- and two-step distribution channel strategies, supply chain management, and the practical application of real-world technology. In addition to consulting, his experience includes sitting on the boards of several public and private distribution firms, being an expert witness, and being an arbitrator.