Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
December 7, 2016  |  ByMark Dancer, NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow
NAW-9 Questions Wholesaler-Distributors Should Ask About Their Digital Journey

Digital tools are changing the way you and other wholesaler-distributors leverage information, run your operations, and create value.

More than that, digital tools are changing the way your value chain works and how your competitors operate. Customers prefer to go online for all kinds of information because it is convenient. New online competitors are emerging – seeking to take advantage of new customer buying preferences. Their new models of business can compete because of their sophisticated data analytics and e-marketing know-how. Your own suppliers are also adopting digital tools, seeking to reach and influence customers. And, they are looking for data-based collaboration with distributor partners.

As an industry, wholesaler-distributors are working through a period of change brought on by new digital solutions for just about everything from delivering your services to managing your business. This is the beginning of a digital journey, and your ultimate success will be in reinvigorated business models and the financial rewards — for your company, as well as for your customers and suppliers.

Here are several essential questions to ask yourself about your company’s digital journey:

  1. Does our company have a focus on finding and using the right digital tools?
  2. Where can we get practical recommendations for our short- and long-term digital tool needs?
  3. Do we have a defined plan of action for improving our customer experience?
  4. Is our company’s competitive advantage strong enough?
  5. Are there collaborative opportunities for working with suppliers that will benefit everyone?
  6. Is our business model actively innovating?
  7. Do we have a vision for driving organizational change?
  8. Are we improving the productivity and service of our customer-facing employees?
  9. Can we transition from an inventory-driven business model to one based on harnessing the power of information and using real data?

Adapted from Becoming a Digital Distributor: Strategies and Tools That Create Value.

The full study shares data, analyses, tools, recommendations, and more than 250 direct quotes from distributors who provide expert advice for creating a vision and driving your wholesale distribution business forward.

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Mark Dancer, NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow

Mark Dancer, NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow

Mark Dancer founded the Network for Business Innovation to drive awareness, advocacy and excellence for B2B innovation, and to enable an exchange of ideas between leaders on business transformation, technology adoption, social impact and community engagement. For more than 30 years, Mark has worked with leading companies to achieve go-to-market excellence across a wide range of industries in developed and emerging markets.

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