On Wednesday, PPAI headquarters in Irving, Texas, was the site of a discussion with nine of the industry’s top business services firms—a “digital dialogue.”

The Meeting

Discussions covered issues facing suppliers, distributors, and end buyers, opportunities for collaboration, as well as what digital transformations need to happen within the promotional products industry to avoid inefficiency as technology and customer expectations evolve.

  • The meeting was led by PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+.
  • It also included PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds, MAS, PPAI Director of Digital Transformation Edwin Gonzalez and Mike Pfeiffer, vice president of information technology at American Solutions for Business and chair of PPAI’s Technology Committee.

Digital Transformation

“There’s a lot of power in business services that I think we can unlock for this industry,” Denham said as the session got underway. “We want to encourage the success of everyone in this room. We are looking to support solving problems.”

Having traveled to Irving from all over the U.S., present for the meeting were Rick Peters (Antera Software USA); Josh Nylund (Bright Stores); David Shultz (commonsku); Chris Schlemmer and Tiffany Tarr (DistributorCentral); Dino Bangiorno (eXtendTech); Dustin Downing (OrderMyGear); Robert Guler (PromoLink); Blake Bozeman, MAS, Dana Porter, MAS, and Jarod Thorndike (SAGE); and Bryony Zasman (ZOOMcatalog).

Denham described the proceedings as an open discussion meant to gather diverse perspectives, allowing everyone present to voice ideas and concerns relating to PPAI’s strategic initiatives to support digital transformation.

  • PPAI hopes to expand the access and impact of business services firms’ membership in the Association.

What They’re Saying

“To a large extent, I think a lot of these conversations happen between distributors and suppliers,” said Shultz, commonsku’s vice president of supplier partnerships. “So it’s kind of fascinating to bring together the technology service providers in the industry to collaborate and see where we’re impacted and where our value lies.”

Attending firm representatives agreed on the upside of creating a “frictionless” process for suppliers, distributors and end buyers.

Guler, the president of PromoLink, said, “It’s in the interest of everyone, whether or not they realize it, to be on the same page.”