Have You Registered for the PBA’s Distributor Executive Conference Yet?

PBA Distributor Executive Conference Graphic

You have to absolutely love what the Professional Beauty Association is doing with its first-ever Distributor Executive Conference in the Seattle area on April 3-4.

If you haven’t heard yet, this is a conference for professional-beauty independent distributors. No loud music, no suppliers, no manufacturers reps, no beauty-service professionals, no selling. It’s designed for indie distributors to talk among themselves in a business environment. What a fabulous idea!

For this inaugural DEC, organizers have assembled an excellent lineup of speakers: Max Wexler, Terri Cowan, Josh Hafetz, Jon Shakour, Renee Shakour, Bob Peel Jr., Edwin Neill III, Jim Marshall, John Maly and Steve Cowan. And the five “talking points” are superb. Here’s the agenda:

  1. Manufacturer Relations, Diversion & Contracts. Develop two-way, mutually beneficial relationships with your most strategic supply partners that deliver greater levels of innovation and competitive advantage than could be achieved by operating independently. Discuss additional ways that distributors can help in the fight against diversion. Finally, talk about ways that we can work toward better and more specific contracts with our manufacturers.
  2. New Ideas/Partners/Practices From Other Industries. What are distributors in other industries doing that could be beneficial to professional beauty-product distributors? This topic will focus on the best practices, technologies and processes of other industries, and how they could be relevant to our industry.
  3. Best Practices & Technology in Distribution. Technology is changing faster than we can install it, and it is used in every aspect of our business (stores, distributor sales consultants, warehousing, offices, etc.). So how do we determine which products/software are going to fulfill our needs while still providing us with the most up-to-date and efficient technology for the longest period of time? What are the best practices in each of the different segments of distribution? And how can we implement them into our own business models?
  4. Leadership Training for CEOs & Management. We all take time to train our store managers, distributor sales consultants, customer-service staff and warehouse team members, but rarely do we take the time to train ourselves or our managers. We will discuss what training is available, as well as which options are the most beneficial and would have the most impact.
  5. Trends “Evolution” in Distribution. The traditional model of third-party distribution has changed dramatically over the past several years. The business model that has worked for so many years needs to evolve. We will focus on how distributors can modify their business strategies to accommodate the new world of distribution.

The conference will start with a two-hour welcome reception on Tuesday, April 3, at 5 p.m. in the headquarters hotel, Best Western Rivers Edge (15901 W Valley Highway, Tukwila, WA, 98188, 425.226.1812).

The main event is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, at Salon Services & Supplies (740 SW 34th St., Renton, WA 98057, 425.251.8840), Sydney Berry’s and George Learned’s very progressive and wildly successful salon-products distributorship. A shuttle will be provided to Salon Services from the hotel.

The PBA has provided distributor education before at Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas. (Note: No other current industry trade association or industry trade show that I know of has provided distributor education anywhere.) I have a feeling about this event that "it’s the right thing for what’s happening in salon-products distribution now." I know that many distributor readers of Beauty Store Business welcome this conference! And kudos to the PBA, to its staff members, its industry leaders and especially its Distributor Leadership Council.

Oh, did I mention another really great thing about all this? Indie distributors can still register through next Monday. It’s $99 for PBA members; $199 for nonmembers. To register, click here or call Jessi Marshall, PBA's director of industry programs & education, 480.455.3424.

The plan is to make this an annual event. The PBA will be asking for 2013 locations at the end of this year’s program.

Marc Birenbaum

[Image: Courtesy of the Professional Beauty Association]