Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

"In my opinion, this 10th edition of Facing the Forces of Change is the best one so far. With insightful commentary and practical examples, it shows how technology is transforming our business environment and our customers’ expectations. Distribution leaders across all lines of trade can use this report as a framework for making strategic decisions that will have a long-term impact on their relevance to their customers and the success of their companies. I highly recommend it."

—Kathy Mazzarella, Chairman, President and CEO, Graybar Electric Co., Inc.

Guy Blissett, Paul St. Germain

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This is the only major research study analyzing the future of wholesale distribution within multiple lines of trade.

Since its inception in 1982, the landmark Facing the Forces of Change® series continues to provide insights about the overall future of wholesale distribution and the role of wholesaler-distributors.

As this 10th edition—Facing the Forces of Change®: Reimagining Distribution in a Connected World—highlights, there is no shortage of “forces of change” that will impact distributors over the next few years and transform the industry. There is also no shortage of opportunities for distributors to embrace and leverage these forces. This 2013 study outlines

  • the economic challenges that continue to shape the business landscape — by Alan Beaulieu
  • the ways in which technological advances and the connected world are changing distributor operations now and for the next few years
  • the new role that distributors must play in this connected world
  • the ongoing need for business analytics and an advanced understanding of how they can help distributors meet their objectives
  • some of the key emerging trends that will shape business—and our lives—in the not-too-distant future
  • a look back at the previous edition to see how far we have come in understanding the forces that are shaping wholesale distribution.

This study can help you take steps to plan, prepare, and execute strategies to capitalize on the forces of change. Read and reread it. Discuss it with your top executives, managers, and other staff. Develop short-term and long-term strategies that anticipate the trends and ultimately drive business growth and customer value.

BONUS FEATURES: For the first time, NAW Senior Economic Adviser Alan Beaulieu provides a macroeconomic outlook. Insights from a broader range of industry leaders in six key functional areas: CEO, president, owner; operations; sales and marketing; finance; information technology; and human resources.


What Distributors Are Saying

“I expected to blast quickly through this latest Facing the Forces of Change report. However, the number of ideas crammed into every paragraph and reinforced with real-world distributor examples forced me to slow down and really think about what was being said and how it was potentially applicable to my business. That’s exciting, because today it is all too rare for business books to fire the imagination the way this one does.”
—Dan Blaylock, CEO, TriMark Adams-Burch Inc.

About the Authors

Guy Blissett

Guy is the author of Facing the Forces of Change®: Reimagining Distribution in a Connected World, the finest trends research study on the future of wholesale distribution. He also authored the previous edition, Facing the Forces of Change®: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy.

Paul St. Germain

While working for IBM, Paul was responsible for managing IBM’s business and strategic initiatives within the global wholesale distribution industry. He researched critical issues and trends, developed IBM’s point of view on industry imperatives; guided IBM’s industry offerings and solutions; and engaged with wholesale distribution executives to help them transform their organizations.