Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

What Is AI? – Leveraging the Power of AI #2

Businesses succeed by using AI in many ways. Whether that is Amazon growing revenue with personalized product pitches, or UPS routing drivers efficiently to minimize costs, the bottom line is that AI gives users a competitive advantage. My previous post explains why distributors are primed to benefit from AI. In this post I’ll go further to explain what this technology really is, how it [...]

Distributors: Listen Up If You Want to Beat Amazon – Value Creation Strategy #6

Most distributors think they know their customers, until they actually talk to those customers. That is because wholesaler-distributors often operate in an echo chamber, talking to their sales team, but not to their customers. Distributors in an echo chamber don't measure anything, so they don't understand what is working and what isn't. They also focus a lot on the day-to-day minutia [...]

How AI Will Impact Distribution – Leveraging the Power of AI #1

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have used cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to drive growth and disrupt business-to-consumer (B2C) markets. Business-to-business (B2B) distributors have been slow to adapt this technology, however. This will soon change. B2B distributors that leverage the power of AI technology have the potential to turbocharge revenue and disrupt their own [...]

Can You Innovate If Your Employees Don’t Believe You Can? – Distributors in the Digital Era #66

In my research for Innovate to Dominate, the next edition of the Facing the Forces of Change® series to be published in November, I found that distributor leaders understand that culture plays an essential role in determining a distributor’s ability to innovate. Active innovation cultures support innovation efforts by generating new ideas and embracing change as innovation plans are [...]

Do You Have an Inclusive Business Environment?

How do you enhance your company culture? I believe that developing a culture is the most significant effort a business leader can do to grow his or her business. Coming from a sales guy, an operations manager or a financial mind, each may have differing answers. The conclusion each would have is that nothing can happen, and customers can’t be well served without a committed and included [...]

What Will Suppliers Want in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #65

In my research for Innovate to Dominate, the 12th edition in NAW's Facing the Forces of Change® series that will be published in November, I had many conversations with distributors about what suppliers will want from distributors in the digital age. I also asked suppliers. For the most part, I found that suppliers want what they have always wanted — coverage, clout and a return on channel [...]

Doing Business as Humans for Humans – Distributors in the Digital Era #64

As business goes virtual in the digital age, distributors can carve out a dominant, differentiated position by redefining what it means "to do business as humans for humans." It's not that distributors should refuse to do business online. Distributors must embrace offering virtual service for customers. But, the most potent roles for distributors going forward are not about doing "what's left [...]

Is It Time to Rename and Rebrand Distribution? – Distributors in the Digital Era #63

In our research for NAW’s next Facing the Forces of Change® report, which will be published in November (sign up here to be notified when you can preorder it), we reveal that distributors are responding to the threat of disruption by offering more and more services to customers and suppliers. As they do so, distributors are adding new capabilities that go to creating powerful and [...]

Thriving in the Age of AI – Developing Your Workforce #16

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has existed for more than 20 years and its impact on the workplace has received more attention in this digital era. Because AI promotes deep learning and predicts human accuracy, it has drastically transformed the way we work and accelerated growth in ways humans could not. Take Airbnb as an example. Thanks to technology, in less than a decade with fewer than [...]

Why Respect Matters at Work – Developing Your Workforce #15

These days, incivility is spreading like an epidemic in the workplace. Research shows that during the past 18 years, tens of thousands of workers worldwide have reported being treated rudely at work at least once a month. And, the number of "victims" has been steadily increasing from 49% in 1998 to 55% in 2011 and to 62% in 2016 (Porath, 2016). How about you? As a member of your organization, [...]