Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Try Crafting Meaningful Jobs with Your Employees . . . Especially Millennials – Developing Your Workforce #11

Wholesale distribution is perceived by some as not such a sexy industry. What then can you do to engage your employees in tasks that are not interesting or may seem insignificant in nature? What can you do to prevent them from leaving your company simply because they don’t feel excited about their jobs? What can you do to help them make the most of their current jobs? These questions are [...]

Are You Innovating on Genius Knowledge? – Distributors in the Digital Era #60

To survive and thrive in the digital age, every distributor must act on its genius knowledge — that is, knowledge that already exists as well as new knowledge collected from customers. Disruptors, like Amazon, do not have a monopoly on ideas, nor do they have unbeatable competitive advantages. Winning is about having good ideas that resonate with customers, and relentlessly iterating new [...]

Employees . . . Our Greatest Asset

On October 10, 1972, I unloaded my first truckload of material at my first job at Parksite. Fast forward (a very quick) 47 years and I’m happy to say that I’m still at Parksite, the company that gave me a start, believed in me from the beginning and provided thousands of opportunities for me. Parksite is an employee-owned wholesaler-distributor of Specialty Building Products and [...]

The Best Strategy for Staying Competitive: Be Proactive – Value Creation Strategy #4

Rumors of wholesale distribution’s death have been greatly exaggerated for quite a while. A decade ago, it was the Internet that was going to kill distribution. Now, it’s Amazon. If you’ve been in the business for a while, you know there will always be something hanging over the industry like a big dark cloud. But the truth is, the wholesale distribution industry is thriving, and [...]

Are Suppliers Your Most Important Customers? – Distributors in the Digital Era #59

In our recent Facing the Forces of Change® challenge paper, Creating Innovations and Shaping the Future of Business, we identified a growing movement in wholesale distribution, in which leading distributors are innovating business services as a means of fighting disruption. Since the publication of our challenge paper, our continuing research has revealed evidence of distributors striving to [...]

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Disruption Survivor? – Distributors in the Digital Era #58

Retail isn’t distribution, but lessons from Best Buy as a “disruption survivor” offer essential insights for distributor leaders. As reported recently on, Best Buy was nearly killed by losing business to Amazon, but turned things around through a combination of corporate strategy and emotional intelligence. Best Buy was terminally ill, but has become healthy through smart, [...]

Are You Using Talent Analytics to Drive Your HR and Business Results? – Developing Your Workforce #10

In this era of constant digital disruptions, wholesale distribution companies are trying to stay current and relevant by incorporating various technologies into their daily business operations and HR practices. The good news: Distributors now have more data than ever available at their fingertips. The challenge: As big data increases, so does the demand for sophisticated analysis. The [...]

PUH-LEASE …. Can We Stop Talking About Amazon? – Distributors in the Digital Era #57

Amazon seems to dominate every conversation about the future of distribution in the digital age. This is a huge problem, because there needs to be an industry-wide conversation about innovation and change by distributors for the betterment of their customers. If distributors let Amazon dominate conversations, the distribution industry will have little chance to survive on its own [...]

Use Technology to Optimize Your Talent Practices – Developing Your Workforce #9

One of the greatest disruptors in today’s world is technology. Rapid and continuous technological innovations have fundamentally changed the way we work, forcing organizations to evaluate the way they think about and manage their businesses. As technology continues to automate jobs, and technologically savvy younger generations of employees enter the workplace, the entire process of people [...]

5 Ways to Be More Valuable to Customers Without Cutting Prices – Value Creation Strategy #3

Ask your customers how you can provide more value, and most of them will automatically think of price cuts and discounts. But distributors are increasingly realizing there are other ways, from service to cost savings, that provide value but don’t chip away at margins. What’s more, I would argue that these alternatives provide greater value to both distributor and customer. And [...]