Program Offers Credits Toward a Professional Certificate from Purdue

After holding a virtual event in 2021, the University of Innovative Distribution (UID) is returning to an in-person educational program and will be held March 21-24, 2022 at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Attendees will have a chance to again connect face-to-face as they learn strategies to drive organizational initiatives and further their professional growth.

The UID is a four-day intensive and cost-effective educational program focused on the unique needs of the wholesale distribution industry. Founded in 1994, the UID is sponsored by the Association Education Alliance, a consortium of more than 40 distribution professional associations, and is offered in cooperation with Purdue University’s Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation. Those who attend the UID earn three continuing education units (30 hours) that may be applied toward a Professional Certificate in Innovative Distribution from Purdue. Participants need 9 CEUs (90 hours) of approved coursework to complete the certificate, including at least 30 hours earned through the UID.

This year’s program consists of curriculum based upon six education tracks:

  • Distribution Strategy: Course topics tied directly to distribution including analytics, strategic pricing and marketplace disruption.
  • Leadership/Professional Development: Topics include tactics to strategic leadership; drawing out talent in others; better communication; creating a safety culture; working smarter.
  • Management: Courses covering long-range planning; exploring best practices; building safe and collaborative work environments; process-redesign; goal setting; technology adoption; workforce recruitment; development and retention.
  • Marketing: Courses about leveraging social media to drive traffic to your products and services; developing baselines and calculating inbound marketing ROI; defining key performance indicators; auditing content; staying ahead of industry trends.
  • Operations: Topics include supply chain, warehouse and asset management; remaining profitable in a competitive market; effective branch operations; inventory replenishment.
  • Sales: Courses covering strategies to increase sales performance; maintaining strong client relationships; sales team leadership; negotiation skills; defining and delivering value-added services.

Attendees are encouraged to use the tracks as a guide to determine which courses are right for their needs and interests.

Courses will be taught by university professors, industry experts, authors and consultants. This year’s instructor list includes Dirk Beveridge, entrepreneur and founder of UnleashWD; Tom Cook, managing director for Bluer Tiger International, a global business consultant for supply chain management; and Kathryne Newton, a professor of supply chain and sales engineering technology at Purdue Polytechnic Institute, as well as many others. Also appearing at UID is Jeff Havens, a professional keynote speaker and business growth expert with a reputation for entertaining audiences as he educates them with actionable answers to today’s challenges.

UID is offering an early bird rate to those who register for UID before Jan. 2, 2022. The cost is $1,095 for AEA association members and $1,295 for non-members. The price will increase by $200 for both groups once the early bird period is over.

To learn more about this year’s program and to register, visit