Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

"We collaborated with Texas A&M on an inventory project that resulted in a successful classification of our inventory based on item-level profitability. We have already seen a significant reduction in capital employed and expect to benefit from further decreases."

—Kevin Reid, Vice President, Strategic Procurement, ThyssenKrupp Copper & Brass Sales Division

F. Barry Lawrence, Senthil Gunasekaran, Pradip Krishnadevarajan

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Aligning working capital to customer experience will maximize your bottom line.

Distributors are facing forces of change that range from non-traditional competitors like Amazon to technology to human capital to customer experience. Changing the way you go to market requires new ways of thinking, innovative business models and creative leadership.

While creating a new business model, your business must standardize your traditional business model of multiple stocking locations. The crux of distribution is optimizing working capital while maximizing profitability—known as the service versus cost trade-off. Managing working capital effectively decides the financial viability of your firm. It’s very important to understand the role of working capital not only for your existing business model, but also for the evolving new models of e-commerce and other digital platforms. Until now, distributors lacked a proven and tested strategy to perform the advanced, must-do analytics on this trade-off.

This study, based on 15 years of proven and tested research with distribution firms, reveals the fundamentals and contemporary practices to help your business design the role of inventory within your firm in this era of ever-evolving new business models. This book presents an inventory management framework, customer service metrics, a step-by-step implementation approach and a series of real-world distributor case studies. The framework not only distinguishes inventory at the SKU level, but also provides a blueprint for extending it to demand forecasting and replenishment. It concludes with a plan-of-action roadmap that provides the how-to for implementing the inventory management framework at your company.

Unlock the Power of Inventory Analytics includes:

  • 24 best practices on growth from actual wholesaler-distributors
  • 43 action steps that your firm can implement immediately
  • 33 real-world distributor examples from across many lines of trade!

Inventory management is a critical core business process that you and your team need to master so you can leverage the emerging advanced analytics opportunities in today’s digital transformation landscape. This study gives you the inventory analytics best practices, tools, knowledge and motivation to sustain this critical business process and continually improve your shareholder value.

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

“Through knowledge learned from the inventory management program, we reduced our total inventory levels by more than 20%.”

—Brent Burns, CEO (retired), ISC Building Materials

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.