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

Can “Gig Technician” Services Pay Distributors for Value? – Distributors in the Digital Era #53

When it comes to getting compensated for value, there is a massive elephant in the room — distributors are in the wrong business. Or, more accurately, they have the wrong business model. Distributors are service companies built around a business model designed to sell products. Customers buy products and reap value created by distributor services [...]

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What Is the Purpose of Distribution in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #52

Recently I attended The World Innovation Network’s TWIN GLOBAL 2018 conference, led by Professor Robert C. Wolcott, Professor of Innovation at Kellogg School of Management. Readers of my research for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence may recognize Professor Wolcott’s name. He introduced me to the Innovation Radar framework, a tool which helped advance our [...]

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Can Distributors Win as “The Experience Store”? – Distributors in the Digital Era #51

As distributors look for ways to fend off disruption, many are considering how to repurpose legacy brick-and-mortar facilities. The general idea is that two or more people interacting in a physical space can create compelling and differentiated value. Some concepts include a food service equipment distributor building out a fully functional restaurant and dining facility, [...]

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Distributors Must Become Brand Value Creators – Distributors in the Digital Era #50

There is a growing realization in today’s hypercompetitive and disrupted markets that the only brand value that counts is the one that is created through intentional interactions between humans, either online or in person. Brands are created through experiences, and experiences are created by two or more humans doing something together. Experiences are unique and [...]

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Five Key Elements for Your Omnichannel Strategy – Distributors in the Digital Era #49

A fundamental shift is underway in what it means to be a distributor and the core strengths required to compete with excellence. Traditionally, distributors competed on operational excellence — managing inventory, taking orders and delivering products. Distributors focused on the back end of their business. Operational excellence remains very important, but the greatest opportunity for [...]

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Reinvent Your Supplier Partnerships – Distributors in the Digital Era #48

It’s time to kick-start collaboration between distributors and suppliers. The premise is that the traditional value chain is under attack and any solution must involve new and intensive collaboration between these long-standing partners. Many initiatives fall short, however. They fall short not because of a lack of willingness by either party, but because the conversations [...]

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Channeling Amazon and Best Buy’s Innovations – Distributors in the Digital Era #47

You may remember that Amazon was in the news a couple months back regarding its new partnering arrangements with Best Buy. Are there ideas or lessons for distributors in this new arrangement? hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "474413", formId: "6981f1fd-8ca8-4071-9214-23714a1e3d4e" }); Amazon and Best Buy are members of competing channels. Amazon is an online marketplace and hyper-aggressive disruptor. [...]

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Channel: What Is in a Word? – Distributors in the Digital Era #46

Distributors are a channel. So are dealers, retailers, grocery stores, coffee shops and contractors. Technically, a channel is any business that provides an assortment of products, adds services and makes a sale. Some channels sell primarily to businesses (B2B), while others sell primarily to consumers (B2C). All channels strive to create a unique customer experience, [...]

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Are You More Than a Bump in the Road? – Distributors in the Digital Era #45

The battle for distribution of health care supplies is in the news these days. Amazon is courting buyers, attempting to grab share and potentially disrupt current buying practices. Health care is a huge market with unique dynamics. How all of this will shake out is anybody’s guess. However, an analysis from a channel perspective can [...]

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Distributors in the Digital Era #44

What Do Sharks Have to Do with Channel Innovation? – Distributors in the Digital Era #44

A digital vision and a proactive approach to developing new capabilities are absolutely essential for channel innovation. I was reminded of these critical requirements as I answered questions for Dr. Mathew Allen Woolsey, host of the Transformational Energy Leadership internet radio show. hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "474413", formId: "6981f1fd-8ca8-4071-9214-23714a1e3d4e" }); Our session, Leading Through Transformational Channels, explored [...]

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