Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Can Distributors Win as “The Experience Store”? – Distributors in the Digital Era #51

As distributors look for ways to fend off disruption, many are considering how to repurpose legacy brick-and-mortar facilities. The general idea is that two or more people interacting in a physical space can create compelling and differentiated value. Some concepts include a food service equipment distributor building out a fully functional restaurant and dining facility, or a plumbing [...]

Chairman’s Column: It’s the Experience Baby!

At the NAW Executive Summit in January of 2016, Richard Balaban, formerly of Oliver Wyman, contributed a thought provoking presentation entitled, “Future Challenges for Wholesaler-Distributors to Focus on Today.” Early in that presentation he described how the role of the distributor is changing from being “a logistician of product” to becoming “the purveyor of quick and accurate [...]

September 11, 2018  |  By  Joseph Nettemeyer
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Take Employee Engagement Seriously! – Developing Your Workforce #3

Imagine your workplace where employees are passionate about coming to work and feel energized by what they do. They go beyond expectations to provide quality service. They persevere in times of challenges and adapt to change quickly. They take initiatives in recommending areas for improvement. They extend themselves to help others. Isn’t this the ideal state your organization hopes to [...]

What Is Your Employee Value Proposition? – Developing Your Workforce #2

Whenever I interact with a CEO or a senior manager, I ask, “Who in your organization do you think is worth developing?” The consistent response is “All of my employees.” When I speak with employees, however, the responses are far from the same. They include: “I don’t feel valued.” “My opinion does not matter here.” “My supervisor could care less about [...]

Why Employees Leave You – Developing Your Workforce #1

A CFO asks a CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?” The CEO responds: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?” These seem to be catch-22 questions. Do employees stay because employers invest in their development, or do employers invest in employee development because employees have committed to stay? Each party is looking for a [...]

Distributors Must Become Brand Value Creators – Distributors in the Digital Era #50

There is a growing realization in today’s hypercompetitive and disrupted markets that the only brand value that counts is the one that is created through intentional interactions between humans, either online or in person. Brands are created through experiences, and experiences are created by two or more humans doing something together. Experiences are unique and flexible, since feedback is [...]

Five Key Elements for Your Omnichannel Strategy – Distributors in the Digital Era #49

A fundamental shift is underway in what it means to be a distributor and the core strengths required to compete with excellence. Traditionally, distributors competed on operational excellence — managing inventory, taking orders and delivering products. Distributors focused on the back end of their business. Operational excellence remains very important, but the greatest opportunity for [...]

Reinvent Your Supplier Partnerships – Distributors in the Digital Era #48

It’s time to kick-start collaboration between distributors and suppliers. The premise is that the traditional value chain is under attack and any solution must involve new and intensive collaboration between these long-standing partners. Many initiatives fall short, however. They fall short not because of a lack of willingness by either party, but because the conversations go too quickly to [...]

Channeling Amazon and Best Buy’s Innovations – Distributors in the Digital Era #47

You may remember that Amazon was in the news a couple months back regarding its new partnering arrangements with Best Buy. Are there ideas or lessons for distributors in this new arrangement? Amazon and Best Buy are members of competing channels. Amazon is an online marketplace and hyper-aggressive disruptor. Best Buy is an incumbent retailer operating a big-box format. One might think [...]

Channel: What Is in a Word? – Distributors in the Digital Era #46

Distributors are a channel. So are dealers, retailers, grocery stores, coffee shops and contractors. Technically, a channel is any business that provides an assortment of products, adds services and makes a sale. Some channels sell primarily to businesses (B2B), while others sell primarily to consumers (B2C). All channels strive to create a unique customer experience, leverage products and [...]