Manufacturing and Distribution is a dynamic industry. Countless factors impact trends regionally, nationally, and globally: Trade changes, market exposure, artificial intelligence, tariffs, and fuel costs are but a sampling of variables that shape the category.

Elliott Davis’s annual Manufacturing and Distribution (M&D) conference – held August 14-16 in Greenville, South Carolina ­– was abuzz with analysis of the year and insights into the year ahead. More than 100 of the firm’s key M&D professionals attended the event, representing nine offices and all core practices and technical specialties.

Best Practices and Trends

Eric Schmid, Shareholder and M&D Specialty Group leader, kicked off the event with a look-back at the group’s major accomplishments over the past year, as well as current and ongoing initiatives and goals. This session featured a highly focused discussion and emphasis on “always getting better,” one of Elliott Davis’s core values.

This high-energy conference also provided attendees with extensive industry-focused training. Technical breakout sessions, all of which were tailored to highlight relevance and application to businesses operating in the M&D sector, addressed topics including revenue recognition, transfer pricing, state and local tax, operational excellence, and numerous others.“It was exciting to experience the great things going on in the M&D group,” said Melody Horton, a Shareholder in the firm’s Tax practice who specializes in international business. “It was energizing, encouraging, and made me proud to be a part of the group.”

CFOs Offer Insights

One of the key objectives of the multi-day conference was to expand the group’s collective business and technical acumen. A panel discussion with chief financial officers (CFOs) from leading manufacturing companies offered insight into several areas and trends.

Panelists shared their perspectives on multiple topics such as: key attributes of high-performing CFOs, tariff impacts, best practices in forecasting, opportunities and risks for ERP implementations, the importance of vetting assumptions behind capex requests, and conducting subsequent look-back ROI reviews.

Mergers and Acquisition Updates

The conference also included a session on merger and acquisition (M&A) trends specific to the M&D industry. It was highlighted by presentations from Melinda Davis Lux, a partner in the M&A practice of law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, and Livingston Moyd, a valuation director in the Forensics, Valuation and Litigation Support practice of Elliott Davis.

“The high energy, eagerness to learn, enthusiasm to serve our clients, and teamwork at the conference was truly motivating,” said Schmid. “I look forward to seeing the growth in our group over the next year as we continue to deliver exceptional industry-smart client service while providing outstanding career development opportunities for our people.”

About Elliott Davis

Elliott Davis LLC is a leading business solutions firm offering a full spectrum of tax, comprehensive assurance, and consulting services to diverse businesses, organizations, and individuals. The firm, which has been providing innovative solutions since its founding in 1920, leverages a network of nearly 800 forward-thinking professionals in major domestic markets and allied resources across the globe. Visit for more information.

The information provided in this communication is of a general nature and should not be considered professional advice. You should not act upon the information provided without obtaining specific professional advice. The information above is subject to change.