Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Why Distributors Can Make Millions with Messy Data – Leveraging the Power of AI #21

One of the most valuable resources distributors have is their data. Data can reveal what your customers are likely to buy, what growth opportunities you’re missing out on and where you can cut costs. Distributors with the right data can meet customer needs and dominate competitors. But acquiring and handling data properly is no easy task. In 2016, Harvard Business Review estimated that bad [...]

Holiday Classic: An Open Letter to the Sons and Daughters of Distribution – Distributors in the Digital Era #91

Last year, I suggested a holiday conversation about the future of distribution as distributor families gather for Thanksgiving. Our idea was that distributors' sons and daughters, whether they work in distribution or elsewhere, can share vital insights. With the ongoing pandemic, this year's conversations are even more critical. If you would like to share your conversations, please reach out [...]

Ensure Your Contracts Are Profitable in the New Year – Intelligent Sales & Profit Acceleration #2

It’s no secret that contracts are a great way to secure valuable business for distributors. For many companies, they account for a significant portion of annual revenue and are critical in bringing in key customers. Unfortunately, if they are not managed carefully, contracts can become an area of business where profit leaks or slips through the cracks. There are two main culprits [...]

Entering Our Next Chapter

During these past few weeks, the idea of transition has been top of mind. As I mentioned in my last column, there are great opportunities when we are in a state of transition. We have opportunities to try new things, embrace new ideas and find innovation in charging forward. As we embark on these transitions, I want to ask you, how do we as an association, as wholesaler-distributors and as [...]

3 Analytics Myths Holding Distributors Back – Driving Performance with Analytics #7

If you’re considering analytics as a means to drive profitable growth in 2021, you’re on the right track. The distribution industry is facing an uncertain market, digital acceleration and a changed landscape. Analytics can help distributors make data-driven decisions to stay on course and be successful. Yet many still hesitate to invest in analytics. Or they aren’t putting the full [...]

4 Foundations of a Successful Sales Transformation – Value Creation Strategy #15

When was the last time you saw an ad for FedEx? Yet their brand remains synonymous with fast shipping. As Peter Drucker says, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.” No effective sales transformation happens without also building a business model where products and services begin to sell themselves. [...]

Viva la revolución: A Movement for Distributor Dominance – Distributors in the Digital Era #90

By adopting a new mindset, distributors have the opportunity to break free of the chains that bind them to meager margins and feeble brands. That mindset is about believing that they can do more than survive. Distributors can dominate! To do so, they must master the forces of change that enable disruption and offer game-changing customer experiences. Distributors must act not as outsiders, [...]

Finding the Opportunity in Transitions

In this fourth quarter of one of the most tumultuous and unplanned years any of us has seen, I look at the next few months as an opportunity for transitions. Typically, this is the time of year we go into planning mode at Ewing, preparing for the transition into the next year. This year, we’re already in the planning cycle, but it’s looking and feeling different. We are working to [...]

Restructuring Distributor Sales Teams to Better Serve the Modern Buyer – Intelligent Sales & Profit Acceleration #1

As modern buyers have embraced self-service (via internet searches, social media and e-commerce platforms) for much of their buyer journey, the need for traditional sellers who provide product information — and even application insights — has dropped radically. Buyers complete 70 percent of their journey before they even engage with sellers. COVID-19 has accelerated the pressures to boost [...]

Do You Have a Plan to Dominate or Are You Just Catching Up? – Distributors in the Digital Era #89

More than ever before, distributors have the opportunity to break free of the chains that bind them to meager margins and feeble brands. But, there is a problem. The prevailing distribution mindset is that the forces of disruption and digital transformation highlight the weaknesses in the distributor's business model. Distribution is threatened, but distributors can do more. The forces of [...]