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

Is Stress Impeding Your Ability to Drive Digital Change? – Distributors in the Digital Era #35

Competing in the digital age requires distributors to have the right mindset about technology, opportunities and threats. Leaders and their teams must be able to embrace change, push their companies forward and still remain faithful to their customers and employees. On one hand, if one pushes too hard, it is possible to drive change too fast and then negatively impact the business. On the other [...]

Do You Have a Digital Partnership with Your Suppliers? – Distributors in the Digital Era #34

Just as digital tools change the way that customers seek knowledge, make decisions and acquire products, so too will they change the way that manufacturers make plans to build awareness, strengthen their brands and design their channel programs and strategies. In my conversations with manufacturers, I find that their perception about the role of distributors in the marketplace and their [...]

Are You Ready to Lead in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #33

In my work with business leaders, I have found that success can be a trap. Leaders reach the top of their organizations by being successful, and they tend to equate the success of their business with their own knowledge and skills. This is undoubtedly true, but it is also a problem during periods when the factors that define a market and the business models that exist within it are undergoing [...]