Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

"The Growth findings provide valuable insight and will allow us to benchmark against best practices for strategic growth. The study validates many of our current initiatives, but also illuminates areas to target for improvement. It is well worth the investment of time and resources!"

—Bob Dill, President and CEO, HISCO

Senthil Gunasekaran, Pradip Krishnadevarajan, F. Barry Lawrence

Buy the Book and Map
$200.00 NAW Direct Member
$315.00 Nonmember
Buy Additional Map
$55.00 NAW Direct Member
$86.00 Nonmember
Buy the E-Book and E-Map
$180.00 NAW Direct Member
$295.00 Nonmember

Prices charged are subject to membership verification.

Please read our E-book process before you complete your purchase, because all E-book purchases are final.


NAW’s E-books are readable only on the Vital Source E-book Reader Platform. Please note: NAW’s E-books can’t be download to an Amazon Kindle device or Kindle app.

Upon purchase, you will receive an email with an access code and instructions for how to download the Vital Source bookshelf reader platform.

Once you redeem your access code on the Vital Source platform, the email address used to redeem the E-book will be the only email address recognized in the Vital Source platform.

Please also note: NAW E-books can’t be converted into PDFs, Word Documents or any other digital format, and they can’t be printed.

If you have questions about NAW’s E-book process, contact Patti Rausch at

Quantity Discounts

2-15 items: 15%
16-30 items: 20%
31-100 items: 30%
101-250 items: 40%
251+ items: 50%

If you have questions about quantity discounts, contact

Return Policy

An NAW publication in salable condition may be returned within 15 days of receipt for a full refund. E-books and digital downloads are not returnable or refundable.

Download the free Pocket guide

At last, you have a research-based guide to successful growth planning and execution.

Growth is imperative. Distributors that are not growing are essentially dying in slow motion. Achieving top-line growth is becoming increasingly difficult given today’s economic challenges and customer demands. That is why the path to achieving and sustaining profitable growth needs a systematic and dynamic approach.

Driving Profitable Growth: A Distributor’s Playbook to Generate–Manage–Sustain Competitive Advantage is the first research study in wholesale distribution that specifically addresses best practices in growth, and the first to examine both public and private firms and uncover a roadmap that addresses the three dimensions of profitable growth: generating, managing and sustaining. At last, distributors have a growth playbook that is based on research and analytics instead of anecdotal information!

The research combines rigorous analytics that were collected from a decade of financial data with input from wholesaler-distributors from multiple lines of trade. It reflects the current environment and determines the roadmap to the future. This study speaks to the growth planning and execution issues all distributors face in leading and growing their organizations. There is no more important time than right now for distribution management teams to read this study!

Driving Profitable Growth is filled to the brim with

    • 95 best practices on growth from actual distributors that are easy to understand and visually depicted on the accompanying maps
    • 40 ready-to-implement action steps
    • 60 real-world distributor examples from across the industry!


The two full-color wall maps, which accompany the research study, present a comprehensive collection of four growth frameworks—each vividly presenting the findings in a systematic and easy-to-digest manner.



The wall maps provide the following:

  • Framework 1 focuses on introducing the three key dimensions of growth—generating, managing and sustaining.
  • Framework 2 lists a collection of nine growth strategies and their drivers—leverage, penetrate, broaden, add, reach out, expand, build, innovate and diversify.
  • Framework 3 outlines a list of best practices required to achieve profitability and cash flow while aggressively growing the business.
  • Framework 4 presents the set of growth blind spots to avoid in your journey to value creation.

As you use this groundbreaking study and two wall maps, you’ll

  • map your current growth strategies and identify both gaps and opportunities
  • understand growth forces that you need to manage for profitable growth
  • comprehend how the trade-off between income statement and balance sheet drives profitability
  • benchmark your growth rate, profitability goals, and cash flow
  • uncover and remove blind spots in your growth planning and execution
  • develop a growth mindset, and proactively think about growth rather than react to market forces
  • discuss collaboratively about growth with your top management
  • teach new leaders about your firm’s strategies—this is a great onboarding tool!

BONUS FEATURE: The authors identify blind spots that tripped successful firms in their journey to sustainable profitable growth. This comprehensive list of blind spots provides a blueprint to save you valuable resources by not reinventing previous slip-ups.

This book is a collaboration of the NAW Institute and Texas A&M, two leaders in wholesale distribution education and training.


What Distributors Are Saying

“As usual, Texas A&M did an outstanding job of compiling best practices and strategy in a manner that is useful to the wholesale distribution audience. The Growth consortium findings provide a roadmap that will help our strategy and success in the future. Job well done.”

—Aaron Elliott, President, DW Distribution, Inc.

“The Growth research findings are truly engaging and highly applicable to the functions we perform at Ryerson on a daily basis. What I like best about this content is how the authors back up all the findings with data gathered from rigorous research and real-world examples. I highly recommend this research study for successful growth planning and execution.”

—Eric McGill, General Manager, Ryerson Holding Corporation

“The Growth frameworks provide the ultimate distribution playbook! We will definitely implement key best practices from these frameworks to leverage our growth.”

—Kevin Kampe, President, Womack Machine Supply

About the Authors

Senthil Gunasekaran

Senthil is the Co-founder of ActVantage. With 18 years of experience assisting hundreds of B2B firms, he helps distributors create, capture and innovate value by aligning people, process, technology and metrics. He also delivers executive education and speaks at industry forums. As a thought leader, he is an author of seven best-selling books on generating, managing and sustaining profitable growth, and holds a doctorate degree from Texas A&M.

Pradip Krishnadevarajan

Pradip is the Co-founder of ActVantage. He enables distributors with business transformation and helps them stay relevant in the eyes of the customer while positioning for the future.  He is recognized as an industry thought leader with 15-plus years of experience assisting hundreds of companies. He is a co-author of seven inspiring books that are consistently among the NAW Institute's Top 10 Best Sellers. He holds a Doctorate in Business Analytics.