COLUMBUS, Ohio  Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) recently held its Operations & Logistics Focus Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, hosting more than 100 attendees seeking ways to advance their operations and six speakers providing insights into increasing profitability, minimizing and mitigating risk and discovering emerging trends in the industry.

“The largest, most sophisticated companies in wholesale distribution have recognized and capitalized on the science of distributor operations and logistics, and our leadership sees this area as one of the greatest opportunities for all HARDI distributors to improve their bottom lines, customer service, and scalability,” said Talbot Gee, CEO, HARDI. 

One of the most well-received speakers, Barry Brandman, provided information on how an undercover operation can uncover theft and other crimes occurring at distributors’ businesses. Among his insights, Brandman discussed how employees don’t typically start a job with intentions of stealing and there’s no profile to identify someone who will. However, at some point the employee feels wronged by the employer and rationalizes stealing something. It starts small, but once the employee gets away with it, the problem often grows. Without an undercover operation, employers might never discover it.

Other highly rated speakers included Frank Hurtte, who discussed streamlining the supplier/distributor transaction to preserve long-term sustainability; Mark Richards, who provided information on reducing costs by outsourcing elements of an operation – or even generating new revenue by becoming an outsourced service provider yourself; and HARDI’s own Jon Melchi, who provided key updates on the latest in regulatory affairs.

This was the last of four Focus Conferences in 2015. The Focus Conference series returns in 2016, beginning with the Marketing & Sales Focus Conference, March 20-22, 2016, in San Diego.