Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

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 flexible, since feedback is [...]

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 [...]

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 go too quickly to [...]

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? Amazon and Best Buy are members of competing channels. Amazon is an online marketplace and hyper-aggressive disruptor. Best Buy is an incumbent retailer operating a big-box format. One might think [...]

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, leverage products and [...]

Chairman’s Column: Digital Transformation Begins with Data

The digital revolution is sweeping the wholesale distribution community. What’s more, the world is doubling the amount of data generated by all humans across all time about every five years. Which means that every song ever written and every poem, photograph and film created in human history is going to double over the next five years. These waves of change, which some of us have gotten used [...]

June 14, 2018  |  By  Joseph Nettemeyer
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Chairman’s Column: Transform or Be Left Behind

You may be asking, “Why is it important to innovate?” Let’s go back 40 years and look at a company that was at the top of its game. I was just entering the workforce, and one of the premier companies to land a sales trainee position with was Eastman Kodak. The company had its choice of who to hire, and making the cut was difficult. One of my classmates made the cut and we collectively [...]

April 5, 2018  |  By  Joseph Nettemeyer
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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 tee up important questions for all distributors, large and [...]

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. Our session, Leading Through Transformational Channels, explored a wide range of topics from defining [...]

Are Craft and Artisanal Channels on Your Radar?

Are Craft and Artisanal Channels on Your Radar? – Distributors in the Digital Era #43

You may be aware of the emergence of craft beer and the local craft breweries that serve up a unique customer experience. You may have noticed other craft businesses, some of which are positioned as artisanal. Examples include craft or artisanal coffee shops, bakers, distilleries, healthy food restaurants, vintage barbershops and even hardware stores. Combined, these businesses represent an [...]

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