Leading wholesaler-distributors depend on NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence groundbreaking research studies because they help solve real-world business challenges.




Order copies of Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption for everyone on your team!



Council for Research on Distributor Best Practices

Optimizing Human Capital Development

The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence and Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program maintain an alliance dedicated to further the understanding and application of best practices in wholesale distribution. This alliance operates through the Council for Research on Distributor Best Practices (CRDBP), whose mission is to create competitive advantage for wholesaler-distributors through development of research, tools, and education. Read more >

The CRDBP is organizing and operating educational consortia on important business topics for interested wholesale distribution companies of all sizes and across all lines of trade. 

Optimizing Human Capital Development

The Council for Research on Distributor Best Practices will conduct its 2014 consortium on Optimizing Human Capital Development. Following the very successful Optimizing Channel Compensation and Optimizing Growth and Market Share consortia, this initiative will conduct research to develop practical methodologies and tools to optimize recruiting, training, and retaining human capital. A two-day educational session will be developed based on the resulting knowledge, methodology, and tools. Learn more by viewing the 12-page Program Brochure below. 

Value to members

This 2014–15 consortium will investigate how distributors can optimize their human resources and provides the following value to consortium members:

  • Distributors and manufacturers will gain competitive advantage by implementing the scientific Optimizing Human Capital Development methods and using the tools developed to maximize value propositions.
  • Technology companies will gain the knowledge base, methods, and tools that can be implemented in their systems.

What is the Optimizing Human Capital Development research consortium?

The Optimizing Human Capital Development research consortium is a collaboration of multiple distributors and manufacturers to conduct research with the objective of developing solutions to a common industry challenge by pooling their resources for achieving a common goal.

Why join this research consortium?

Many times companies cannot afford to invest in some research and development due to high cost and/or lack of knowledge resources required to conduct the research. Research consortia are an economical path to low-cost, high-quality research and development that is essential to the growth of companies. Consortia also allow for the sharing of best practices and strategies among the cutting-edge organizations that invest in such efforts.

Who should join this research consortium?

  • Wholesaler-distributors
  • Manufacturers who go to market through wholesaler-distributors
  • Technology providers who serve wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers.

What are the benefits?

The consortium members will have the exclusive opportunity to

  • Actively participate in groundbreaking research in one of the most crucial and timely challenges facing the industry and receive results, methodology, and tools
  • Direct the scope of the research so that the results are actionable and sustainable
  • Have an 18-month head start on competitors in understanding and implementing the new best practices developed in this consortium as well as a far deeper understanding of the best practices from workshops conducted directly with their organizations by the research team
  • Send up to 5 people from their organizations to one of the two educational sessions delivered at Texas A&M University for no cost other than travel expenses during the 2015 sessions. The sessions will be scheduled following conclusion of the research, and these sessions alone represent a $15,000 value.


In addition to the body of knowledge resulting from this research, tangible outcomes will include:

  • An implementation strategy, tools, and methodologies for member firms to optimize their human capital development, specific to each company, based on workshops conducted with their teams
  • A one-day workshop at Texas A&M
  • A two-day educational session aimed at providing firms with knowledge about how they can apply the concepts, tools, and techniques identified in the research 
  • 5 free seats in the educational session that follows.

Consortium structure and fees

The consortium membership fee is $25,000 per company. This fee will cover attendance in consortium meetings hosted by the Global Supply Chain Laboratory at Texas A&M University, and workshops with member firms to design the research solutions personalized to their needs.

For more information about this research consortium, contact:

  • Patricia A. Lilly
    Executive Director
    NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence
    1325 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
    Washington, DC 20005
    Office: (202) 872-0885
    Fax: (202) 785-0586
    E-mail: plilly@naw.org
    Website: http://www.naw.org/crdbp


August, 2013 – August, 2014

  • Consortium Marketing and Registration

April 11, 2014

  • First Consortium Kick-off Meeting

August 15, 2014

  • Second Consortium Kick-off Meeting

March – July, 2014

  • Process Development

April – October, 2014

  • Individual Workshops

August – December, 2014

  • Best Practices and Tools Development

January – March, 2015

  • Documenting Best Practices

April / May, 2015

  • Final Meeting

August / September, 2015

  • Education Sessions

Program Brochure