Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
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.

Reboot the Real World and Win by Being Human – Distributors in the Digital Era #70

Over the last many years, distributors have faced down one challenge after another including the emergence of big-box retailers, disintermediation by manufacturers, the financial crisis of 2008 and more. Distribution survived because of the strength of their customer relationships and an ongoing commitment to gain efficiencies by investing in business systems and information technology. Faced [...]

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Do Your Customers Trust You to Provide Real-time Service? – Distributors in the Digital Era #69

In a recent Forbes article, “Moving Beyond On-Demand To The Real-Time Economy,” Kyle Jackson predicts, “In the near future, we’ll see the demand for instant gratification and access to information intensify even more. On-demand is no longer just a gimmick; it’s a reality. As the dust settles on these changes, a new real-time economy will […]

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NAW’s “Innovate to Dominate” Is Your Essential Roadmap for Innovation – Distributors in the Digital Era #68

I am very excited to announce that Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series will soon be ready to preorder from NAW. If you want to be at the head of the line to preorder Innovate to Dominate, submit this form. For more than a year, our research [...]

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Winning with Artificial Intelligence Requires the Right Knowledge – Distributors in the Digital Era #67

In my research for Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series, which is coming to you in November, many of my conversations with distributors were about one of the hottest forces of change — artificial intelligence. Often, distribution leaders talked about artificial intelligence as a software solution that distributors [...]

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Can You Innovate If Your Employees Don’t Believe You Can? – Distributors in the Digital Era #66

In my research for Innovate to Dominate, the next edition of the Facing the Forces of Change® series to be published in November, I found that distributor leaders understand that culture plays an essential role in determining a distributor’s ability to innovate. Active innovation cultures support innovation efforts by generating new ideas and embracing change [...]

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What Will Suppliers Want in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #65

In my research for Innovate to Dominate, the 12th edition in NAW's Facing the Forces of Change® series that will be published in November, I had many conversations with distributors about what suppliers will want from distributors in the digital age. I also asked suppliers. For the most part, I found that suppliers want what [...]

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Doing Business as Humans for Humans – Distributors in the Digital Era #64

As business goes virtual in the digital age, distributors can carve out a dominant, differentiated position by redefining what it means "to do business as humans for humans." It's not that distributors should refuse to do business online. Distributors must embrace offering virtual service for customers. But, the most potent roles for distributors going forward [...]

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Is It Time to Rename and Rebrand Distribution? – Distributors in the Digital Era #63

In our research for NAW’s next Facing the Forces of Change® report, which will be published in November (sign up here to be notified when you can preorder it), we reveal that distributors are responding to the threat of disruption by offering more and more services to customers and suppliers. As they do so, distributors [...]

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3 Steps to Help You Brainstorm for Breakthrough Innovations – Distributors in the Digital Era #62

Innovating the distributor business model requires identifying and considering options that are a break with the past, and a move toward offering new and different customer experiences, reinvented supplier partnerships or breakthrough operational productivity. Brainstorming is a useful tool for generating new ideas, but one that is poorly understood and often misused. Rather than aiding [...]

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Why Manufacturing-as-a-Service Is an Opportunity for Distributors – Distributors in the Digital Era #61

A primary goal for the next Facing the Forces of Change® report, which will be published in November (sign up here to be notified when you can preorder it), is to help distributors get out in front of market trends with innovations that help customers transform their business for the digital age. Just as every [...]

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