Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

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 C. 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 [...]

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 [...]

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