Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Offering Virtual over Human Services Is a False Choice – Distributors in the Digital Era #82

As distributors imagine business after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing consensus that the crisis will lock in a trend toward customer preferences for virtual experiences. While a sustained shift in buying habits is very likely, that outcome does not reflect the full impact on the future of business. Yes, social distancing has forced [...]

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Unbundle and Rebuild Your Sales Force – Distributors in the Digital Era #81

Many distributors are reporting that the Coronavirus crisis is leading to an increase in online ordering and virtual interactions with their customer service reps and inside salespeople. As this trend takes root, it may shift customer interactions away from a distributor’s field salespeople. As a result, salespeople may be defensive or uncomfortable. However, if customer [...]

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Distributors Must Lead to the New Normal – Distributors in the Digital Era #80

The conduct of business will change as the Coronavirus crisis recedes, but it’s too early to know the new normal with certainty. Just as first reporting in any emergency often proves to be inaccurate and wrong, so too may early predictions about a new normal for doing business miss the mark. It’s easy to accept [...]

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Empower Your First-Line Managers to Survive a Crisis – Distributors in the Digital Era #79

The defining characteristic of a crisis is uncertainty. First-line managers are a powerful force for surviving a crisis, but only if leaders help them embrace a new role. Every employee wonders how long the crisis will last, which work is most important and if their job is secure. Leaders don’t have all the answers, and [...]

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Risk Prediction and Mitigation Are the New Normal – Distributors in the Digital Era #78

The hard truth about the Coronavirus is that extreme, unexpected events are becoming an essential new requirement of effective supply chain planning. In the current crisis, distributors are doing the crucial work of delivering critical products to essential businesses. As the virus peaks, distributors will play a leading role in rebooting our economy. As industries [...]

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Sabotage Outsider Disruption by Turbocharging Communities – Distributors in the Digital Era #77

Distributors may avoid outsider disruption by being human, but only if they make concrete plans to work with customers where they live and work — in communities. A new mindset is required. Segmenting customers is about selling. Serving communities is about collaborating. Relationships are built on trust, and at its core, building trust is a [...]

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How Will You Win by Being Human? – Distributors in the Digital Era #76

“Technology is capable of doing great things. But it doesn’t want to do great things. It doesn’t want anything. That part takes all of us.” — Tim Cook, CEO, Apple I found Tim Cook’s insight on the promise and limitations of technology in an article by Gerd Leonhard with a critical message for distributors: “2020 [...]

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How to Succeed in a Customer-Driven Digital Value Chain – Distributors in the Digital Era #75

Are you ready to participate in a digital value chain driven by customer demands for the virtual ordering of products and services, which provides for instant transparency and ever-increasing benefits while at the same time lowering costs? In a recent Forbes article, George Bailey, Managing Director of the Digital Supply Chain Institute, predicts that new [...]

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What Is the Value of Being Local? – Distributors in the Digital Era #74

As distributors rush to put up e-commerce platforms that can sell anywhere and anytime without human interaction, they are reinventing their business as one that is digital, virtual and data-driven. But, like a retail mall decimated by online shopping, distributors have failed to reposition their most crucial core offering. Distributors are inherently local businesses staffed [...]

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How Can You Enable the Future of Business for Customers? – Distributors in the Digital Era #73

Our research for Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing of Forces of Change® Series revealed a massive new opportunity for distributors: the future of business is up for grabs! Every customer of every distributor in every line of trade is working to understand how their business can survive and thrive in the [...]

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