Simpactful’s David Friedler, a Founding Partner in the firm and current Chief Client Officer shares how his upbringing shaped a career in Consumer Package Goods, where he believes companies should focus next to “Win in Today’s Marketplace,” and why he is excited for the future of Simpactful.
What led you to the Consumer-Packaged Goods Industry? “My dad worked in the industry at rack jobbers and wholesalers before moving into retail (with Ahold). His passion for the industry inspired me to work in a grocery store through high school, and then take summer jobs with Unified Grocers and J&J (sold a lot of J&J Band-Aid brand that summer). After college, I worked at Procter & Gamble, Clorox, and Diamond Foods where I had the chance to work with many great people in field and headquarters in sales, brand marketing, and shopper marketing across multiple markets. These combined experiences, along with those of my peers at Simpactful, give us the insights and experiences that are important in diagnosing the common challenges faced by companies today. It’s energizing to work with our diverse Simpactful team to build creative solutions that truly benefit our clients and address their challenges.”
What have you enjoyed the most about working with Simpactful? “In my role at Simpactful for the past 9+ years, I always enjoyed assembling project teams of practitioners from various functional and company backgrounds who have often never worked together to come together and solve client’s needs. Often these teams included individuals who worked at competitive organizations or who had worked or negotiated across the desk from one another! It is incredibly gratifying to watch these project teams roll up their sleeves together with our clients to develop practical solutions and execute great results. As I work with clients today, I always know we can staff incredibly challenging projects and deliver great results.”
What are the 3 best pieces of coaching advice you were given throughout your career? “I know this may surprise a lot of people, but the best advice I was given happened on a single plane flight when I sat next to the Chief HR Officer of one of the biggest and best run companies in the world (Thank goodness we started talking!). We had an incredible conversation that left me with 3 key learnings I have carried with me ever since:
- Hire for attitude before aptitude (attitude is harder to teach and coach).
- All employees ultimately have the same job: exceeding the expectations of the company’s end user – the consumer. Of course, there are different roles and responsibilities, but a leader’s role is to help everyone see they all have a job and purpose.
- The most important responsibility of a leader is creating an inclusive environment so everyone can maximize their contributions and take risks.”
Where do you live, and what makes you tick? “I live in New Orleans, Louisiana, with my partner, Michele. While we sometimes take up residence in other locales like Denver for the summer, it’s hard to beat the culture, food, music, and sports scene in NOLA! Our lives center around parenting our collective six kids, traveling, eating, and enjoying sporting events and concerts. If you are ever in New Orleans looking for a good restaurant or activity, just let me know!”
What new strategies, trends, or capabilities do you feel have the most potential for Consumer Product companies? “We are finding companies and executives need to look beyond their current org structures and functional siloes to truly meet consumer, shopper, and retailer needs. It is truly time to rebuild go-to-market models from the outside in, taking into account all that is required to win in today’s marketplace. This includes capabilities, processes, scorecards, decision rights, culture, etc. Importantly, the solution can no longer be a “one size fits all” model. With new requirements for demand creation (like Retailer Media), along with supply and execution hurdles, historical organizational and go-to-market models are no longer working. The companies who figure out how to be externally focused and not functionally siloed are going to win, and Simpactful has the experience and techniques to accelerate the journey for those who need to pivot.”
What makes you excited for the future? “At Simpactful, we continually invest in benchmarking studies across a variety of topics to ensure we are in-touch with market dynamics and the evolving requirements for marketplace success. We are leveraging these learnings across our projects, practice areas, and identifying the practitioners needed to exceed client needs. We are excited to keep expanding our talent base to include practitioners with deep expertise in M&A, Digital Marketing, Innovation and eCommerce Operations, Supply Chain and Retail, and more. By remaining in touch with the marketplace, client needs, and holding true to our practitioner business model, we continue to strengthen Simpactful, which makes me excited to see what lies ahead!”
Have a critical business challenge or fractional staffing need? Simpactful can help! Contact our team today at email@example.com or 925-234-6384.