The Distributors set sail to ‘Tomorrow and Beyond’

The Distributors successfully held their 2024 mid-year conference last week, with three days of learning, networking, and fun.

The conference, which had the theme of ‘Tomorrow and Beyond’ kicked off in Sydney Harbour aboard The Jackson, a stunning three-levelled yacht.

Following a lunch of seafood and BBQ, George Tsapoutas, CEO of The Distributors, started the event with a brief introduction of what The Distributors have achieved over the past year, and their plans for the coming year.

“The Distributors are focused on delivering against our visions and our objectives. We’re listening to customer supplier feedback, and we are taking that on board. What we will continue to do is invest in our people’s development and we see that is the differential between us and who we compete against.

“Focusing on customer service because that is the key to our success. Delivering supplier strategies, because we need to maker sure we’re working closely and partnering with them and listening to what suppliers want to achieve in the marketplace.

“We’ve also now got our eye on looking forward, such as automation, robotics, and over the next few years you’ll see a lot of changes from how we operate and what we do.”

Theo Foukkare, CEO of the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), then delivered a high-level look at the 2023 State of Industry Report, providing an update on the performance of various categories in P&C and the challenges and opportunities that are presenting themselves.

Andrew Johnson, National Supplier and Customer Relationship Manager at The Distributors, provided a company update, including the impressive numbers of stock the company successfully deals with week-in-week-out, as well as an update on the ‘All Stars’ program.

Melanie Wishart from GS1 Australia gave us a unique look at the barcode and how it can improve business processes across the entire supply chain, from manufacturing, transport to online selling.

Adam Spencer, TV and radio personality, and self-confessed nerd, gave the audience a brief introduction to AI, outlining its capabilities and what businesses are currently using it for.

Day Two

The second day started bright and early with a motivation walk, sponsored by Superboost, alongside Sam Walker, Sydney Roosters halfback.

Then it was straight into business, with the reintroduction of the successful ‘speed dating’ style pitch deck sessions, in which suppliers had the chance to sit down with retailers one-on-one and explore potential deals in 20-minute sittings.

In the afternoon, Spencer rejoined the group to deliver a more in-depth look at AI and now businesses can effectively utilise its capabilities right now. Find out more about Adam Spencer’s AI presentation here.

The second day drew to a close with a Twisties Chicken vs Cheese dinner at Dockside, sponsored by PepsiCo, in which renowned magician Jack Black kept the audience captivated with his hilarious and impressive magic tricks.

Day Three

The Pitch Deck sessions continued at the Hyatt Regency, with suppliers and retailers working together to find best possible outcomes for their respective brands.

The conference was capped off with a black-tie Gala Dinner, which opened with an engaging light show and held host to The Distributors Excellence Award Winners 2024. Winners and more details can be found here.

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