2013 Harmonizing Assortment – “A Holistic, Consumer-focused, Data Driven Category Management Framework”

Harmonizing Assortment: A Holistic, Consumer-focused, Data Driven Category Management Framework
June 25 – 27, 2013
New Orleans, Louisiana

This state-of-the-art two-day executive education program will focus on category management, sales and data management. Designed by distributors for distributors, Harmonizing Assortment provides a new perspective on the importance of integrating your category management and sales functions.  

Hear from consumer insight teams, category management and data experts as they demonstrate how to analyze inventories, explore the root causes of an excessive number of SKUs, and rationalize product placement to capitalize on consumer shopping behavior.

Program topics include:

  • Communicating and implementing category plans
  • How the consumer shops the c-store
  • Rationalizing assortment
  • Building consultative selling skills
  • Building from the core out
  • Making informed decisions through the use of data
  • SKU analysis and distribution voids
  • How video mining tells us about traffic, time and spending in c-stores
  • Merchandising new items
  • Driving center store sales
  • Training the sales force to sell category management to retailers

Testimonials from Previous Harmonizing Assortment (HA) Participants:

“This was a great meeting. I learned much more than I expected.  This meeting opened my eyes to new avenues, new directions and surprisingly new discussions that should be had at all levels of the supply chain.  I had not considered nor expected to be opened up to so much at this meeting. Thank you to AWMA and the supporting manufacturers for taking this leadership role in our education with such a focus on helping the distributors gain profitability in this industry.”

“Great to see the open discussion and collaboration between the three arms of the business.”

 “A very informative way of discussing the reasons why with our retailers regarding sku choices.”

“Great learning event….wish they were all so interactive!”

“Thank you and everyone involved to present this conference – very enlightening! We are excited to move forward.”

Who should attend?

The category management portion should include wholesale distribution company executive decision-makers responsible for overseeing product categories, specifically, the candy/snack category:

  • Owners/Presidents/COOs
  • Category Management Team Leader
  • Buyers
  • The sales portion should include a sales leader who oversees sales representatives.

Schedule at a Glance:

Tuesday, June 25
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm             Joint Networking Reception For Both Outlook Forum and Harmonizing Assortment Attendees

Wednesday, June 26
7:00 am – 8:00 am             Breakfast
8:00 am – 12:00 pm          General Session/Breakouts
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm           Luncheon
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm            Program/Breakouts
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm             Reception
Dinner on Own

Thursday, June 27
7:00 am – 8:00 am             Breakfast
8:00 am – 12:00 pm          Program/Breakouts
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm           Luncheon
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm          Closing General Session

Program Facilitators:

Kit Dietz, Principal, Dietz Consulting
Kit is the Principal of Dietz Consulting LLC. Dietz Consulting focuses exclusively on improving the convenience industry supply chain.  Kit is an industry thought leader.  His vision is to enhance the performance and profitability of all trading partners in the convenience channel by leveraging collaborative opportunities to more effectively serve the consumer.  Kit’s recommended strategies and tactics are framed in category management driven from a deep understanding of supply chain costs and margin opportunities.  Kit is the lead consultant to the AWMA’s Warehouse-Delivered Snacks Committee and provides support for AWMA education programs.

His broad-based experience includes providing the leadership/vision for the convenience industry’s largest supply chain optimization project, C/SCAPE, (sponsored by NACS, AWMA, and major manufacturers across a broad range of categories), which defined the cost to handle products at item level from the distributor to the consumer. A significant portion of his time is dedicated to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the convenience channel, by providing key insights and fostering collaborative improvement opportunities for retailers, distributors and manufacturer partners.

Kit’s numerous industry studies have been published broadly in industry trade publications and he shares his insights regularly at national convenience industry events.

Kit also serves as a Director of Lorillard, Inc., the third largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer.

Doug MacKay, President, The Glen Douglas  Group
A professional trainer and group facilitator, Doug MacKay is one of the top-rated business instructors in the country.  With his energy and unique style, Doug has taught a range of management, sales and leadership courses to distributors, manufacturers, retailers and other convenience industry members in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for more than 20 years — always stressing the critical roles of team-building, personal motivation and individual growth.

Doug developed three exceptional Systems to Enhance Professional Selling (STEPS) programs for distributor managers, sales people and key account personnel funded by The Hershey Company. His other industry credits for AWMA include developing the Distributors Education Foundation’s Performance Management Series seminars and sales training videos; developing and teaching Leadership Programs for AWMA and NACS; teaching at AWMA management conferences; serving as a moderator for AWMA’s Summit Business Exchange; teaching negotiation skills for buyers; and training manufacturer sales representatives to build partnerships with distributors.

Doug’s innovative approach to problem-solving and the quality of his many contributions to the marketing, distribution and training efforts of organizations have made him a popular speaker, seminar leader and consultant by many associations and Fortune 500 companies.

Registration is open. Click – https://awmahaforum.expotracker.net  to register online.

Registration Fees: $1,995 for two attendees (one sales leader/one category management team leader) from each distribution company.

Don’t miss out on the chance to join your fellow AWMA distributor members at this exciting program! For more information, please contact Meredith Kimbrell.


Hotel Reservations
Loews Hotel, New Orleans is centrally located within walking distance of Bourbon Street and adjacent to the warehouse district and Harrah’s Casino. Loews is an award winning luxury hotel earning dining accolates from Esquire Magazine to AAA’s Four Diamond Award of Excellence.

Loews New Orleans
300 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 595-3300
Reservations: (866) 211-6411

AWMA has reserved a block of rooms at the Loews New Orleans Hotel with a special discounted room rate of $169 single or double occupancy. Be sure to secure your accommodations by Friday, May 17th in order to receive the discounted room rate. Be sure to reference that you are attending AWMA’s meeting.


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