Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
Mark Dancer, President of Channelvation, Inc., is a channel strategist and leading authority on digital transformation. He is also an NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow. You may reach Mark at
The Key Word for 2018 Is Community

The Key Word for 2018 Is Community – Distributors in the Digital Era #40

What’s in a word? This is an essential question that often surfaces in discussions about Shakespeare and the modern contributions of his long-ago work. It is also a phrase that may have new meaning for distributors as they think about transitioning their business from long-standing traditions to competing through the use of digital tools and […]

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Striving to Become the Indispensable Partner

Striving to Become the Indispensable Partner – Distributors in the Digital Era #39

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been looking for threads and themes in my conversations with distributor leaders. In this post, I discuss new mindsets around partnering and becoming indispensable as a challenge for distributor leaders to think deeply about—a challenge that can help your business move forward in today’s changing markets. In the next […]

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Involve Your Staff in Creating a Culture of Innovation

Involve Your Staff in Creating a Culture of Innovation – Distributors in the Digital Era #38

Digital success requires leadership to recognize that the acquisition of technology is not a magic bullet. Achieving significant growth of sales and profits requires an inspired strategy enabled by technology. But more is needed. New results require new behaviors. One test of an effective strategy is the clear articulation of new behaviors that will lead […]

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Success Requires New Digitally Enabled Behaviors – Distributors in the Digital Era #37

More and more, I find that developing a capability plan for new digital competencies and business processes is a critical responsibility for distributor leaders. Many leaders still have much to learn about digital technology and the advantages it can create for their business. To reach the ultimate success from using digital tools requires that distributors […]

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Going Beyond the Basics of Digital Innovation – Distributors in the Digital Era #36

I am having many new conversations with distributor leaders now that my new research report, CEO Insights on Innovating the Distributor in the Digital Age, is published. This is always the case. I gather insights from many distributors as I research and write a new report, and then the report creates new discussions—some confirm my [...]

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Is Stress Impeding Your Ability to Drive Digital Change? – Distributors in the Digital Era #35

Competing in the digital age requires distributors to have the right mindset about technology, opportunities and threats. Leaders and their teams must be able to embrace change, push their companies forward and still remain faithful to their customers and employees. On one hand, if one pushes too hard, it is possible to drive change too [...]

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Do You Have a Digital Partnership with Your Suppliers? – Distributors in the Digital Era #34

Just as digital tools change the way that customers seek knowledge, make decisions and acquire products, so too will they change the way that manufacturers make plans to build awareness, strengthen their brands and design their channel programs and strategies. In my conversations with manufacturers, I find that their perception about the role of distributors [...]

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Are You Ready to Lead in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #33

In my work with business leaders, I have found that success can be a trap. Leaders reach the top of their organizations by being successful, and they tend to equate the success of their business with their own knowledge and skills. This is undoubtedly true, but it is also a problem during periods when the [...]

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The Top Measure of CEO Success Is Developing Capabilities – Distributors in the Digital Era #32

Building strong digital capabilities is the best result that distributor CEOs can accomplish for their companies. While the future of customer buying habits, the impact of disruption in distribution-intensive value chains, and the actions of manufacturers cannot be predicted with certainty, distributor CEOs can put concrete programs in place to strengthen their digital capabilities. Combined [...]

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What Do Customers Want from a Digital Distributor? – Distributors in the Digital Era #31

Since my last blog post, I’ve had a few conversations with contractors that buy building products from distributors. They’ve yielded insights that resonated with my ongoing research as a Fellow with the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence. They point to a few questions that all distributors should be asking of their customers as an input [...]

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