Purchasing & Inventory Managers Conference

If you're responsible for your firm's purchasing or inventory department, the 2018 PEI Purchasing & Inventory Managers Conference is for you! This year's event is June 7-9 at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld in Florida. The two-day Conference offers a combination of general session and roundtable topics geared specifically to meet the needs of purchasing managers and inventory managers. Attendees will enjoy numerous networking opportunities, sponsors’ exhibits

Refer to the links below for more details.




Early Bird (thru April 15)



Non-Early Bird (April 16 and after)





Registration fees (less a $25 processing fee) are refundable if notification of cancellation is received in writing at PEI headquarters at least 30 days before the event.

General Session Speaker

Jason BaderJason Bader will be our General Session Speaker for this year's conference.  He is a  is distribution specialist. He educates wholesalers, suppliers, and distributors on the importance of seeing inventory as cash.  The Distribution Team has evolved from an operational management consulting firm to an executive advisory business focusing on privately held distribution companies. Our coaching and consulting services help small business owners move away from daily fire fighting activities so that they can become more strategic in their business development.


Click here to see a video of Jason speaking!

Hotel Information & Reservations

Host Hotel:  Book your hotel stay using this personalized link.

 Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
10100 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32821 


Conference Schedule

Thursday, June 7, 2018

3:00 p.m.
Registration Setup
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
3:00 p.m.
Sponsor Setup
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Reception/Sponsor Exhibits
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4


Friday, June 8, 2018

7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sponsor Exhibits Open
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Grand Ballrooms 2 & 3 
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
General Session I
Leadership Land Mines
Marty Clarke
Grand Ballroom 4
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Roundtable Session I
Grand Ballroom 5
11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
11:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.
Roundtable Session II
Grand Ballroom 5
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Grand Ballrooms 2 & 3
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Roundtable Session III
Grand Ballroom 5
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
General Session II
Creating A Standout Experience
Marty Clarke
Grand Ballroom 4
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Hospitality Reception
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4



Saturday, June 9, 2018

7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Sponsor Exhibits Open
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Grand Ballrooms 2 & 3
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Roundtable Session IV
Grand Ballroom 5
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Grand Ballroom Foyer 4 
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
General Session III
Making Good Decisions When The Heat Is On
Marty Clarke
Grand Ballroom 4
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Grand Ballroom 4 
11:45 a.m.
Grand Ballroom 4 
General Session Topics

General Session I

8:00 a.m., Friday, June 8, 2018


Turning Buyers into Investors

Who do you think spends the most money in your company? Every time one of your buyers generates a purchase order, they are essentially cutting a company check. The idea is to get the best return on that investment of company money. This session is designed to help buyers learn how to analyze the performance of inventory so that they can make more prudent investments in the future. Looking at the Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment provides a better understanding as to the success of our sales and purchasing efforts. Comparing gross margin analysis by supplier line gives us a good idea where we make and lose our net profit. Further exploration of the Turn and Earn ratio provides a basis for future purchasing dollars invested, giving us a more targeted net profit approach. The goal of the session is not only to buy smarter, but get a better return on the dollars we've already spent.


Learning Objectives:

• Change the focus of the buying team.

• Learn how to measure return on investment.

• Learn how to discover and improve low performance lines.

• Use return on investment as a tool in vendor negotiations.



General Session II

3:00 p.m., Friday, June 8, 2018


Finding the Balance:

Inventory Turns and Customer Service

Everyone is looking for ways to shore up their cash flow. While some may turn toward reducing headcount, others will look for reductions in inventory. Why not? Inventory is typically the largest asset in a wholesale distribution company.  While prudent inventory reductions are always beneficial, we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must recognize that we are sales organizations first and foremost. If we slash our inventory levels, for short term financial gain, we will jeopardize our ability to serve our customers. Unfortunately, their memories last longer than economic swings. In this presentation, participants will learn how to reduce inventory without alienating their loyal customer base. Distributors will learn how to analyze customer needs and make adjustments to their inventory investment. Even in tough economic conditions, we can provide superior customer service through prudent inventory management decisions.


Learning Objectives:

• Understand how to calculate pure inventory turns

• Measure customer service levels

• Improve turns without damaging customer service

• Use distribution software package to stay on track


General Session III

9:30 a.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018


Gross Sales is for Vanity, Profit is for Sanity

As we walk around conventions and industry gatherings, we hear all sorts of commentary on top line revenues. Big sales and big numbers rule the cocktail hour, but where does the rubber really meet the road? We pay our bills and line our pockets with profit, not sales. If you are person responsible for setting pricing direction, this event is for you. In this session, we will talk about driving a culture of profit in your organization. It starts with educating the team about how money works and continues with proven margin enhancement strategies. From raising prices to reducing expenses, this session will give you the tools you need to unlock significant improvements in gross margin and ultimately net profit.  Now let’s go hunt some cash.


Learning objectives:

• Teach employees how to become cash hunters

• Reduce expense without jeopardizing customer service

• Use data to discover gross margin opportunities

• Expand penetration in high net profit accounts

Roundtable Topics

Compensation Plans

• Incentives

• Profit Sharing

• Commissions

• What are the metrics that trigger incentives, profit sharing and/or commissions?

• Employee vs. employer expectations

• Should you incentivize all employees? If so, how far should you go?


Cores & Warranty Management

• Making sure the distributor gets credit

• Handling customer disputes on warranty issues

• Accounting issues

• Handling invalid warranty claims

• Core Nightmares

• What to do with obsolete cores

• Is Cores & Warranty Management a loss center for distributors?

• How do you avoid the losses associated with cores?

• Tracking the cores; ledger, software or spreadsheet?


Customer Freight Policies

• Inbound

• Outbound

• Sample Policy

• Managing shipping and handling fees

• How do you ensure incoming freight is charged to the customer?


Cycle Counts

• How often

o Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly

• How does cycle counting affect annual inventory?

• Random mini counts to keep track of accuracy

• Responsibility

o Vendor

o Employee

• Service Vehicles


Inventory Control with Bar Codes

• What to bar code

• Must PEI suppliers bar code before distributors bar code?

• Advantages and disadvantages to “house numbers.”

• Interface with present and future inventory systems

• Hardware and software requirements

• In-house procedure changes to implement

• How to handle usage off of mobile warehouses

• Is there a standard in our industry?

• Should we have a standard in our industry?

• If you use barcode generating software, what software do you use?


Service Management Software

• Software Vendors

• What’s new?

• How to evaluate a software package before you buy

• How to deal with service technicians and inventory control

• What packages work and why?

• What features/capabilities should you demand, i.e. reorder program, stock reports, financial reports and follow-up reports?

• Which is the most user friendly?

• What packages have not been beneficial to typical PEI Distributor firms and why?



Open Discussion

• Anything!


Cancellations must be submitted in writing no later than 30 days before the event to info@pei.org. Please include registration confirmation number if possible.

All cancellations will be assessed a $25 administrative fee. Cancellations received within 30 days of the event are not eligible for refunds. Transfers of registration to another person within your company can be made without penalty at any time. To transfer a registration after badges have been mailed, please bring the badge to the on-site PEI registration counter. 


PEI would like to thank the following 2018 sponsors for their continuous support of the association.

For more information about sponsoring and exhibiting at PEI conferences, please contact Bob Young at byoung@pei.org.