Welcome to the Thomas & Joan Read Center for Distribution Research & Education
MESSAGE FROM THE ID PROGRAM
& READ CENTER DIRECTOR
Howdy to All the Supporters of the Industrial Distribution Program,
Best wishes from Texas A&M. The Industrial Distribution Program has two roles: The first is the dissemination of knowledge to our students and industry partners which we carry out through our famous Undergraduate Program, Masters of Industrial Distribution Program, and the Thomas and Joan Read Center for Distribution Research and Education. The second role is the creation and advancement of the distribution knowledge base that is conducted by the Read Center’s Global Supply Chain Laboratory (GSCL) and the Talent Incubator Program. Many of our partners know the academic programs well. I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce you to the Read Center.
The Read Center was created over 30 years ago and quickly established itself as the leading source for codifying distribution best practices, knowledge generation and for providing education programs for industry professionals. In 2000, the GSCL was created to conduct research and consulting projects for the industry. For the past 20 years, the GSCL’s research professionals, whose only role is to work with our industry partners, have conducted hundreds of projects that generate new best practices and innovative competitive processes. The Talent Incubator Program (TIP) was formed over 10 years ago with the mission to bring undergraduate students into industry-applied projects. In 2018, the Talent Incubator became one of a very select group of research organizations to receive an endowment and is now named the TTI Electronics Talent Incubator Program. In 2021, the Read Center received another endowment to name the Vanessa and John Lindsley Ruth’92 Global Supply Chain Laboratory.
For the past 10 years, the Read Center has been in an alliance with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) Institute that conducts major research consortia where many firms join with our research team to solve and build a knowledge base around critical and challenging industry issues. Consortia have addressed Optimizing Distributor Profitability, Sales and Marketing Optimization, Optimizing Growth and Market Share, Optimizing Channel Value, Optimizing Human Capital Development, Optimizing Value Added Services, Pricing Optimization, Optimizing Business Analytics, and our most recent Digitizing the Sales Process.
The many projects and consortia conducted by the Read Center have created a massive body of knowledge that we publish in books through the NAW and seek to deliver to our students on campus, online, and in custom industry programs. The Read Center has taken many of these competitive advantage best practices, built powerful implementation processes around them, and developed educational programs that can be delivered in support of change management or organizational capability development.
Thank you for your continuous support of our students, faculty, and researchers. The Industrial Distribution Program and Read Center were created by industry, serves the industry, and succeeds through its industry supporters.
F. Barry Lawrence, Ph.D.
Leonard and Valerie Bruce Chair Program Coordinator, Industrial Distribution Director, Thomas and Joan Read Center for Distribution Research & Education
Industrial Distribution Program |READ Center| Texas A&M University
3367 TAMU | College Station, Texas 77843-3367
email@example.com | http://id.tamu.edu | https://readcenter.tamu.ed
MESSAGE FROM THE TALENT INCUBATOR
PROGRAM & GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN LAB
Hello to our Industry Partners,
The Talent Incubator Program (TIP) was formed in 2010 with the mission to bring undergraduate students into learning about industry and execute real projects. The Talent Incubator Program is an undergraduate research organization that embodies the synthesis of industry and academics.
Every Fall, Texas A&M’s most promising Industrial Distribution majors are hired at the Talent Incubator and sponsored directly by major industries to work on applied projects located on the cutting edge of the science of industrial distribution. For nine months, the students complete an extended on-Campus internship working at the Talent Incubator alongside with the company sponsor, which is often followed by a professional internship or even full-time employment by these corporate sponsors.
The Talent Incubator has matched nearly 320 promising students with over 120 industrial sponsors, to produce and complete more than 180 projects. The areas of focus are: sales and marketing, market intelligence, digital strategies and e-commerce, pricing, supplier and channel alignment, disruptive innovation and new technologies, customer experience, operations and supply chain, M&A financial analysis, among others.
“Since its origins the Talent Incubator has defined its mission as a prime research program focused on developing undergraduate student talent. The Talent Incubator is a real-world learning experience where knowledge is applied and created, and the students are fostering creative thinking, generating assertive answers, encouraging solutions and providing value to the sponsors. The Talent Incubator is a platform that leverages education, expands individual capacities, industry relationships and forms the future leaders.”
In 2018, the Talent Incubator became one of a very select group of research organizations to receive an endowment and is now named the TTI Electronics Talent Incubator Program. The Talent Incubator’s role in the creation and advancement of knowledge has been fundamental in the study of industry trends, generation of new best practices and assessment of innovative competitive processes.
During our Digitizing the Sales Process Consortium, the Talent Incubator students, working with corporate sponsors and under the guidance of full-time researchers, conducted analysis, provided input and were challenged on digital and technological capabilities. The Digitizing the Sales Process (DSP) Consortium, has allowed more than 18 companies to leverage the Read Center’s extensive research in this area in order to revolutionize the way firms operate, sell, and interact with customers.
Recent research and projects the Talent Incubator has completed include those related to sales force enablement, talent capabilities for competitive advantage, qualification of sales leads for new market segments, assessment of branch profitability, value chain analysis in smart factories, effective purchasing processes, value-added manufacturing, growth initiatives for solution selling, optimization of cost-to-serve, supplier alliances beyond the gross margin, utilization of AI for customer behavior analysis, and many others.
The Global Supply Chain Lab core objective is to create and codify knowledge in distribution. Our professional research team has worked over two decades on addressing challenges and providing solutions, models and methodologies in our different Consortia. The body of knowledge that has been built has resulted in different publications in alliance with the NAW.
The Global Supply Chain team has been conducting research projects with industry partners and has created some of the most significant and broadly implemented distribution focused best practices such as Customer Stratification, Inventory Management, Pricing and Network Optimization, along with many specialized, high tailored projects.
Recently, our professional researchers have been working with our industry partners on projects on a variety of topics that had led the way in exploring the potential of new trends and technologies, such as Industry 4.0, IIoT, AI, Machine Leaning, Big Data and Analytics, Smart environments and Web-based solutions.
The GSCL has also pioneered advanced analytics research to optimize inventory, customer and pricing functions, new distributor-supplier alignment index, as well as software research for use in lucrative Value-Added Services and has made strides to develop knowledge for digital enablement, and organizational capabilities for value creation.
The GSCL conducts the projects and at the end, designs educational programs to explain and train company specialist on findings, solutions, new processes and models, in a business workshop that facilitates change and teaches teams how lo leverage new practices.
Thank you to our industry sponsors and partners, researchers and students, as these projects represent the value that the Talent Incubator and Global Supply Chain Lab generates for companies around the globe.
Dr. Esther Rodriguez Silva, Ph.D.
Talent Incubator Program, Director
Global Supply Chain Laboratory, Director
TEES Assistant Research Professor
READ Center| Texas A&M University 3367 TAMU | College Station, Texas 77843-3367
Direct: 979 845 3146 | firstname.lastname@example.org | https://readcenter.tamu.edu