Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Disruption Survivor? – Distributors in the Digital Era #58

Retail isn’t distribution, but lessons from Best Buy as a “disruption survivor” offer essential insights for distributor leaders. As reported recently on Inc.com, Best Buy was nearly killed by losing business to Amazon, but turned things around through a combination of corporate strategy and emotional intelligence. Best Buy was terminally ill, but has become healthy [...]

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PUH-LEASE …. Can We Stop Talking About Amazon? – Distributors in the Digital Era #57

Amazon seems to dominate every conversation about the future of distribution in the digital age. This is a huge problem, because there needs to be an industry-wide conversation about innovation and change by distributors for the betterment of their customers. If distributors let Amazon dominate conversations, the distribution industry will have little chance to survive [...]

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Why Distributors Must Become Strategic Marketers – Distributors in the Digital Era #56

Looking ahead to the coming connected world, consider a scenario in which all transactions are digital. Orders are received from a variety of virtual channels including a distributor’s online store and mobile apps, as well as customer e-procurement platforms and online marketplaces. Data transparency is nearly ubiquitous. Suppliers, distributors and customers succeed on what they [...]

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Is Your Webstore an Imitation or an Innovation? – Distributors in the Digital Era #55

In my last post, Invent Zero-step Distribution to Save the Value Chain, I argued that distributors must invent "zero-step" distribution to save their value chains. My logic is that out-of-the-box innovations are essential if incumbent value chains are to remain a viable and valued source for customers. This is true, because the business model of [...]

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Invent Zero-step Distribution to Save the Value Chain – Distributors in the Digital Era #54

Many distributors are striving to transform their business to fend off the threat of disruption by virtual marketplaces and other new players. In doing so, distributor leaders are looking to the future as they leverage digital tools to offer new customer experiences and dramatically improve their operating efficiencies, sales productivity and marketing effectiveness. These efforts [...]

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Can Gig Technician Services Pay Distributors for Value? – Distributors in the Digital Era #53

When it comes to getting compensated for value, there is a massive elephant in the room — distributors are in the wrong business. Or, more accurately, they have the wrong business model. Distributors are service companies built around a business model designed to sell products. Customers buy products and reap value created by distributor services [...]

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What Is the Purpose of Distribution in the Digital Age? – Distributors in the Digital Era #52

Recently I attended The World Innovation Network’s TWIN GLOBAL 2018 conference, led by Professor Robert C. Wolcott, Professor of Innovation at Kellogg School of Management. Readers of my research for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence may recognize Professor Wolcott’s name. He introduced me to the Innovation Radar framework, a tool which helped advance our [...]

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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, [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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