Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
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 [...]

Distributor Leaders: Who Do You Keep Up at Night?

Distributor Leaders: Who Do You Keep Up at Night? – Distributors in the Digital Era #42

When asked what keeps him up at night, Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis responded, “Nothing. I keep other people up at night.”  Hmmm. Secretary Mattis’ answer throws down a gauntlet for distributor leaders—a challenge about what they offer as individual businesses, and importantly, how distributors act together as a channel. Who do distributors keep up at night? Do [...]

What Is Your Approach to Distributor-led Innovation?

What Is Your Approach to Distributor-led Innovation? – Distributors in the Digital Era #41

In my ongoing conversations with distributor leaders, I find that there is a growing need for a new mindset for competing in the digital age. One aspect of that mindset is to adopt and apply the principles of business model innovation. In my latest NAW Institute report, CEO Insights on Innovating the Distributor in the Digital Age, I offer four future business models that distributors can [...]

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 business innovation, fending off disruption and [...]

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 post, I will discuss the evolving [...]

Are You Ready for the Millennial Invasion? Here Is One Distributor’s Approach

By the year 2025, 75% of the workforce will consist of Millennials. With this rapidly growing demographic, many employers are finding themselves face to face with an evolving work culture: What once motivated Baby Boomers and Gen Xers doesn’t quite fit the bill for today’s working Millennials. Across many industries, employers are finding challenges in innovative and effective ways for both [...]

December 22, 2017  |  By  Patricia Lilly
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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 to higher productivity, a new and improved [...]

Chairman’s Column: Talent and Culture Have to Be a Competitive Advantage

I can’t imagine a situation where a company would not say that the key to its business is its talent, and that culture is a real company strength. This would be a little like any of us starting our conversation by saying that our service is bad. The reality is that no matter what the real facts are or what our customers really think, all of us who run distribution businesses generally feel [...]

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 employ people with new knowledge and [...]

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 findings and others push my understanding deeper or in new [...]

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