Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

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, [...]

3 Steps to Help You Brainstorm for Breakthrough Innovations – Distributors in the Digital Era #62

Innovating the distributor business model requires identifying and considering options that are a break with the past, and a move toward offering new and different customer experiences, reinvented supplier partnerships or breakthrough operational productivity. Brainstorming is a useful tool for generating new ideas, but one that is poorly understood and often misused. Rather than aiding the [...]

Why Manufacturing-as-a-Service Is an Opportunity for Distributors – Distributors in the Digital Era #61

A primary goal for the next Facing the Forces of Change® report, which will be published in November (sign up here to be notified when you can preorder it), is to help distributors get out in front of market trends with innovations that help customers transform their business for the digital age. Just as every distributor is considering how they will do business in the digital age, so is [...]

Do What You Love and Love What You Do – Developing Your Workforce #14

Perhaps one of the most frequently given bits of career advice is this: Do what you love and love what you do. In an ideal world, we all want this to be our work life. However, in the real world, most people don’t get to do what they love, or they don't always love what they do. The truth is: These goals are easier to verbalize than to achieve, because one must subsist in the process. It [...]

Your Channel Partners Are Talking. Are You Listening? – Value Creation Strategy #5

They may never share a romantic candlelight dinner, but distributors and manufacturers who are united in a supply chain are certainly in a relationship. And in channel relationships, as with any other kind, the key to success can be summed up in one word: communication. Sounds simple. But, as in any relationship, communication between distributors and manufacturers can be fraught [...]

Pay Attention to the Social Context of Your Performance Reviews – Developing Your Workforce #13

“Performance review” is the formal process of evaluating your employees by using a set of pre-developed criteria. To be effective, performance reviews must provide an honest, accurate, complete and fair evaluation of each employee’s performance, benefiting both the individual and the organization. To accomplish this goal, organizations have heavily focused on improving the technical aspects [...]

What Performance Are You Measuring? – Developing Your Workforce #12

Do you have employees who are hardworking but not productive, or who are your star performers but difficult to manage? Do you struggle to encourage your employees to take initiative in their existing role or go beyond their job description? What about those who demonstrate neither expected productivity nor pleasant citizenship behavior? How do you measure the performance of each group? As a [...]