A CEO’s playbook: more synergy, more growth

At Memphis, Tenn.-based distributor Orgill Inc., some things will remain the same with Boyden Moore at the helm. Some things will change.

Moore, president of Orgill since January 2019, replaced Ron Beal as CEO on Jan 1. Beal led the company for 15 years and will remain Orgill’s chairman of the board.

Chief among those things that Moore intends to continue is the distributor’s emphasis on growth. “We've been the fastest growing distributor for over 20 years,” Moore told HBSDealer. “And I can tell you I'm expected to keep that going.”

Moore has a track record of growth. He was the retail innovator behind CNRG, which came into existence in 2011 under Orgill’s Tyndale Advisors group which he led. The collection of retail brands has grown from one brand to 16, including Alabama-based Marvin’s, where Moore was president and CEO prior to 2011.

Moore spoke with HBSDealer just before officially taking the reins as CEO. Here’s the edited report:

HBSDealer: You’ve said that some things will stay the same. What will change?
Moore: There are few things. One is tightening the integration of the way that Tyndale Advisors and CNRG work with Orgill in the service of our overall mission to help our customers be successful. That kind of synergy has been increasing over the years. Our customers have found ways to help each other. But getting these teams more formally integrated and sharing opportunities – that will strengthen Orgill and our customers overall.

Boyden Moore

HBSDealer: Can you give an example?
Moore: For instance, CNRG has 16 different brands across many different geographies. So you have a rich retail laboratory for our buyers to use to improve the programs that we have for all of our dealers. When they are evaluating vendors or programs, our buyers inside of distribution haven’t been aware of all the information and tools available to them when it comes to learning from CNRG. We want to be more intentional about giving them access to that data and leveraging that information.

HBSDealer: One of the big challenges facing the independent is online competition – specifically Amazon. What do your customers expect from Orgill in this arena?
Moore: A couple years ago at CNRG, we got together to talk about how we could solve this for the independent dealer and avoid duplicating and wasting our efforts. We studied Home Depot, Lowe’s and Tractor Supply and they all have a high frequency of buy-online, pick-up-in-store. And we saw the big opportunity for the independent dealer as having a shoppable website that allows you to express your full brand.
And I think it’s important to define success with e-commerce. To me, it’s not where the sale is reported or what percentage is driven by e-commerce. Success is focused on: “is it building business?”

HBSDealer: What will your solution look like?
Moore: One part of the solution is an industry PIM – product information management system. Everyone would share in that data pool. And local pricing and local inventory integrated with the local POS vendors are also part of it. And then another big component is custom promotions and custom policies. So it needs to be customizable, but easy to roll out. We get an opportunity to test that, develop it and refine it in a very transparent way. And then our customers can plug into it in a very affordable way. We think this is an important part of our business going forward. And we feel a responsibility to solve this for the independent channel.

HBSDealer: What makes Orgill management excited about 2020?
Moore: At this time last year, a lot of people were wondering about when the recession would hit in 2019 or 2020. You don’t hear as much of that anymore. I think the economy will drive growth, and the weather has a good chance to drive a little growth – especially since the first half of 2019 was the wettest first half in the last 125 years. Also, we just launched a new relationship with Scotts Miracle-Gro that we are very excited about. We have not been distributing them in the last few years, and we will start doing so in 2020. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s are expected to do better in 2020 than they did in 2019, and we expect that growth in the independent channel as well.

HBSDealer: You’re replacing Ron Beal. Can you tell us what it’s been like working with him?
Moore: It’s been great working with Ron. He’s the reason I’m here. My first conversation about Tyndale Advisors and CNRG was with Ron. He's been a big advocate of that entire strategy and how it could make a positive impact on all of Orgill’s dealers. He’s had a lot of success here, and he’s been a huge mentor to me and many others here.