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Facing the Forces of Change®: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy – available as an e-book

Guy Blissett


The Facing the Forces of Change® series remains the only major research study to analyze the future of wholesale distribution within multiple lines of trade. This series provides insights about the overall future of the wholesale distribution industry and the role of wholesaler-distributors.

Facing the Forces of Change®: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy, by IBM’s Guy Blissett, provides wholesaler-distributors with strategic insights into the key business and economic trends affecting the wholesale distribution supply chain through 2015. The four major trend areas are:

  • Analytics
  • Services
  • Technology
  • Human Capital.

Building upon a tradition of excellence since this series began in 1982, this latest report provides you with

  • Provocative questions to discuss with your executive team as you look to assess and prioritize business and investment opportunities
  • Deep-dive discussions of innovative and differentiating technologies and tools to better inform your investment decisions
  • Expert perspective on key trends within the wholesale distribution industry and recommendations on how to turn those trends to your advantage
  • New approaches to organizing and managing your business in light of the new economic environment
  • Specific recommended actions for short-, medium-, and longer-term planning horizons
  • Examples of leading practices in the areas of human capital, analytics, information technology, and services.

Our latest edition takes fully into account the economic turmoil of the past two years and discusses trends, implications, and opportunities for wholesaler-distributors. Use this report as the starting point for more substantive discussions with your management team—from your managers to your C-suite executives. These major trends are designed to pull you away from your company’s current events and consider the more complex issue of fundamental change at your firm over time.

Read Extended Description »

What Readers Have to Say

"I will give a copy of 'Facing the Forces of Change' to each member of our Board of Directors and of our Supplier Advisory Council. We will use this report during our Strategic Planning session on the first day of our upcoming strategy meeting. "
— Mike Smeaton, President, Safety Marketing Group
"Midwest Sign has been an NAW Direct Member since 1981. Through the years, we’ve read and benefitted from many NAW Institute publications — none more so than Facing the Forces of Change. I just ordered five copies of the new Facing the Forces of Change report. My executive team and I will read it and then we'll discuss how the industry trends in it might impact our company’s Strategic Plan. We do a complete update of our Plan every three years and we revisit it each year in between. The visibility we get from Facing the Facing of Change into what other wholesaler-distributors are doing is of great value as we work on Midwest Sign’s Strategic Plan. Past editions of Facing the Forces of Change have given us insights regarding private labeling, e-commerce, and distribution’s central role in the supply chain. That’s why Facing the Forces of Change is required reading at Midwest Sign and Supply."
— Jim Fisher, President/COO, Midwest Sign and Supply
"The latest 'Facing the Forces of Change' report is a ‘must read’ for management teams who understand that having an accurate picture of what’s coming gives a company a strategic edge. This is true always, but is especially important in these very uncertain times. Facing the Forces of Change provides a valuable way to achieve this edge. Our management team has used these studies to great effect over many years."
— Andre B. Lacy, Chairman, LDI Ltd
"It is difficult to ‘write large’ and yet remain relevant in an industry where we all too often look at ‘transactions’ rather than at ‘strategy.’ I enjoyed reading the latest Facing the Forces of Change edition, because it made me really think about my business and the course it’s taking. I will definitely use this book with my management team in our strategy planning efforts over the next few years."
— Mark Kramer, President and CEO, Laird Plastics
"Never has the title ‘Facing the Forces of Change’ deserved our attention more. This latest edition challenges you to look at your business as we all deal with the ‘new normal.’ We need to think thoughtfully ahead about changing our margin mix through service, and focusing on the importance of data, the proper role of employees, and the mega shifts brought on by new technology. As you look around the corner while fighting the day-to-day issues, this is one book you need on your nightstand to help you ask the right questions."
— Dave Griffith, President and CEO, Modern Group Ltd

Extended Description

This latest edition, Facing the Forces of Change®: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy provides wholesaler-distributors, suppliers, customers, and others with strategic insights into the key business and economic trends affecting the wholesale distribution supply chain through 2015. It also describes innovative strategies and tactics that wholesaler-distributors can use in response to these trends.

About the Author

Guy Blissett

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Guy is 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.

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NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence conducts research into strategic management issues affecting the wholesale distribution industry. Our research is conducted with best practice wholesaler-distributors, and we publish leading-edge research studies with practical application for wholesale distribution firms of all sizes and across all lines of trade.

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