The North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) is looking forward to hosting the 2023 NHPA Independents Conference Aug. 2-3 in Dallas, an industrywide event that brings together retailers, wholesaler representatives, vendors and other channel supporters, regardless of affiliation. Over the course of two days, the event will champion retailer success stories, provide opportunities to share solutions for common challenges and help members of the independent channel expand their networks.
“We are counting down the days until we can gather with exceptional members of the channel who are committed to the continued growth and evolution of the independent home improvement industry,” says NHPA president and CEO Bob Cutter. “We are honored to be the place where the industry’s most innovative, progressive minds come together to learn from each other and choose to excel.”
In addition to opportunities to network with like-minded peers and partners, the conference also features keynote addresses from former executives of Amazon and Google, and panel discussions with the industry’s leading retailers who will discuss how they have used technology to solve some of their toughest operational challenges.
“We have business problems, and we have to leverage technology to combat those problems because consumers are engaging with businesses through technology,” says keynote speaker Chris Hood, former head of business innovation and strategy for Google. “It’s no longer about trying to adapt. It’s about accelerating your digital outcomes so you can keep up with consumer demands.”
“I’m going to share a little bit of an innovation playbook to complement the operating playbook,” says John Rossman, keynote speaker and former Amazon executive and author. “It really does start with leadership and the willingness to add some new perspectives and try some new methods in order to get different results.”
Retailers from nearly a dozen operations representing over 300 stores will take the stage in panel discussions to share their challenges and solutions in areas such as inventory management, internal systems, customer experience and more.
Panelist Dalton Meny, operations manager of three Meny’s True Value locations in southwest Indiana, developed an automated inventory transfer computer program to help align inventory management and product transfers across his stores.
“We are not only saving money, but our stores are better stocked,” Meny says. “The program is becoming more efficient the longer we use it, offering long-term positive results.”
When The Aubuchon Company closed its warehouse, it needed an effective way to manage inventory strategies across its more than 100 store locations and navigate supply chain issues. Panelist Jared Brown, director of business intelligence for Aubuchon, identified a vendor that helped him streamline inventory operations and add time back into his day.
“When it comes to inventory levels and management, so many people want it to be set and forget it, but the reality is—whether you’re actively working on your inventory levels or even letting somebody else do it—it’s always dynamic,” Brown says. “Everything is constantly in flux. You have to be intentional.”
With 62 stores and more than 500 employees, maintaining a consistent customer experience across the board is a necessity for JC Licht. Panelist and director of IT Tom Petrou says maintaining connectivity makes the difference between a good customer experience and a great one.
“The customer experience is all about avoiding downtime,” Petrou says. “You can have all the bells and whistles, but if you don’t have the infrastructure, you’re going to have customer satisfaction issues.”
In between sessions, attendees can explore service provider exhibitors in the Retail Solutions Hall where vendors will be available for retailers to explore technology and service resources.
Each day of the conference concludes with an award reception. On Tuesday, Aug. 2, celebrate the next generation of retail with the 2023 Young Retailer of the Year honorees. And on Wednesday, Aug. 3, following the Top Guns panel discussion, recognize the industry’s leading retailers at the 2023 Top Guns Award reception, which is graciously sponsored by STIHL and the National Hardware Show.
A limited number of tickets remain for the industry event of the year. For the best rate, go to YourNHPA.org/conference to purchase an individual ticket before July 1. Tables for 6 or 8 are also available for purchase so you can make the 2023 NHPA Independents Conference a learning opportunity for your whole team.