Mahre: Why I'm Running for PPAI Board
The election period for the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) board of directors is open now through Sept. 17. Bill Mahre, president of ADG Promotional Products, is up for a spot on the board. Here, he shares why he's running.
Why am I running for the PPAI Board?
I’m at a legacy point in my career, and am more interested in asking the question and spending time figuring out how I can help the next generation be more successful. I see the PPAI Board election as a unique opportunity to share what I have learned over a number of years in different challenges, and business experiences and structures, and to provide meaningful value to the membership.
My hope is that the future leadership of PPAI can work together to identify and implement a supply chain structure that ensures a sustainable business model that works for the majority of our membership. Sometimes our association tries to be everything to everyone, which is not feasible when you consider the thousands of independent members all having different needs and wants. We should be focusing on quality over quantity!
The promotional products industry has unique business model that has been successful for years. As we look forward, it is clear we face significant challenges that we have not encountered during the past few decades. Navigating this uncertainty will require PPAI leadership to have more diverse experiences in their makeup with a willingness to make real change and consider different approaches.
Technology improvements, equity firms, industry consolidation and major disrupters like Amazon and Walmart are entering the promotional products supply cycle and will impact distributors and suppliers in many ways. The challenge is for PPAI members each day to crystalize and communicate our industry’s value proposition with a total focus on meeting end-buyer needs.
Are we asking, “How can we make our industry quicker, easier and better for end-buyers to work with?” That fundamental question should be in our supply chain’s focus, but I'm not sure it is. Today, many suppliers don’t even see end-buyers as the "true customer,” but rather each individual distributor, which is too bad.
Moving forward, PPAI needs to help individual members develop more impactful and efficient processes that create better experiences for end-buyers. That will mean shifting away from traditional selling approaches (catalogs, trade shows, etc.), and identifying new strategies and tactics that make our ordering, ideation and quoting processes simpler and less complicated for everyone involved.