The Middle Market — The Critical Supply Chain Link

9:00 am - 9:45 am, Conference Room (Ballroom A)

Panelists: Debbra Rogers, Thomas W. Derry, Mike McNamara, Jerome Dubois

Middle-market industrial companies are a critical link in supply chains, often serving as a vendor and a consumer in both domestic and global industries. Managing, understanding and streamlining supply chains can be a huge competitive advantage and never has there been a time where there are more complexities and opportunities. According to a study by the National Center for the Middle Market, middle market manufacturers who embrace the opportunity to collaborate with customers and along supply chains showed faster revenue growth than their counterparts who did not opt for an open and transparent role. Supply chains are becoming more integrated, delivery times are shrinking due to customer demands and e-commerce is changing the nature of sales and distribution channels. At the same time, digitalization is offering increased productivity, ways to improve freight costs and enhanced transparency but it is also forcing companies to embrace new working practices. These changes are all taking place against a backdrop of uncertainty in global trade policies and tariffs.

Additionally, private equity owners face their own set of issues. Roll-up strategies and bolt-on acquisitions that have successfully enabled PE firms to bundle middle-market companies in a particular industry vertical to reduce costs and increase efficiency can also come with a hidden cost. These strategies can often concentrate supply chain risks. This panel will bring together experts who understand how to create the flexibility, competence and vision necessary to thrive in a competitive global marketplace.