DDI System, Sandy Hook, Conn., said its recent Inform Connects 2013 User Conference was a success as distributors using the company’s ERP systems came from across the country to gather in Orlando, Fla., at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn for three days of training, networking and brainstorming for the future.

Along with motivational and training sessions, DDI System President Adam Waller and COO Barbara Jagoe filled in users of the company’s Inform system about recent and future advancements in technology and how DDI System’s software solution is advancing with them.

Waller highlighted inform’s latest advancement — Real-time eCommerce. He began speaking about the ever changing world of eCommerce and how it is currently affecting wholesale distributors. He encouraged the mid-sized distributor to take a look at websites such as Amazon Supply and (janitorial distributor) Betty Mills as their future competition in addition to the brick and mortar operations around the corner. “There was a time when we thought we would never lose the local bookstore or the Border’s down the block,” Waller said. In response to the changes, he said, every distributor needs to think seriously about their web presence.

“Technology has changed today’s marketplace,” Jagoe said. “Our Inform users are successfully competing with companies many times their size. Some of the tools within the Inform software help companies make better purchasing decisions, some provide better customer service and others help organize and better manage sales teams through strong analytics and CRM. The Inform features and tools are part of the overall philosophy to help level the playing field and enable distributors to be service leaders rather than just a ‘cheap’ price leader. Technology levels the competitive playing field.”

Through roundtables and open discussions, Inform users shared ideas, workflows, and development desires for the future.