Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

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 [...]

Are You Taking Advantage of NAW’s Value Proposition?

Hope your personal summer season went well and your fall business season has started successfully. For me and Parksite, I’ve always loved this time of year. Our business, though seasonal, is usually quite strong and we are sprinting to an exciting finish. Planning meetings for the coming year are in full swing, supplier sessions, trade associations and conferences bring an air of excitement [...]

Nix Data Silos to Cash In on AI – Leveraging the Power of AI #7

Data silos have always been bad for business. They limit employee performance and sow dysfunction among different teams by restricting access to information. As Big Data and AI become major forces in business, the negative effects of data silos will become even more severe. Distributors should integrate databases now and employ comprehensive AI to avoid the data silo trap. Although AI [...]

How Is Your HiPo Program Working For You? – Developing Your Workforce #18

Many distributors have initiatives aimed at developing high-potential employees. However, identifying the employees with high potential (HiPo) can be challenging and is highly subjective. This is partially because different organizations may define high potentials differently. As a result, the characteristics and abilities that an employee must possess to be classified as a “HiPo” is [...]

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 emerge.” This prediction is consistent with [...]

5 Questions to Ask Your AI Vendor – Leveraging the Power of AI #6

AI will create trillions in business value within the next few years, but that cash won’t be distributed evenly. Not all AI is equal, and only distributors who invest in the right AI will profit. Knowing what questions to ask your AI vendor will put you in the position to capitalize on the AI value boom. AI is predicted to create $2.9 trillion of business value in 2021. Yet, many [...]

The Key to Defensibility in the Digital Age – Leveraging the Power of AI #5

The problem with most new technologies is that they quickly become obsolete. This is frustrating for distributors who are always trying to keep up with the newest thing. But AI should be viewed differently. Unlike other developments, it won’t be swept away by accelerating waves of innovation. AI does not merely endure: it adapts and becomes better over time. Using AI is an investment in the [...]

How to Unlock Profitable Growth in Today’s Market – Value Creation Strategy #7

For many distributors, growth has been stagnant. The question is — why? Partly because of their sales-oriented mentality, a senior executive may hear responses such as “we need to hire more sales reps” or “increase sales calls.” However, the real solution to market access is understanding what’s occurring in your markets and responding appropriately. It’s about running [...]

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 is published and ready to order from NAW here. For more than a year, our research has gathered insights from hundreds of distributor leaders, thought leaders, suppliers and customers. We were guided by our primary goal: to help distributors connect the dots between the [...]

AI Makes Customer Service Profitable and Here Is How – Leveraging the Power of AI #4

Customer service is a big cost center for distributors. It doesn’t have to be. Customer service (CS) reps speak with buyers and decision makers every day. Each conversation is a sales opportunity, but one that CS reps aren’t equipped to take advantage of. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can change this by empowering customer service to make orders, instead of just taking [...]