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Smart Investments: Developing Top Performers in Wholesale Distribution

Susan Levering, Ph.D.

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Successful companies approach soft, people-oriented issues as they would any other business issue: They leverage training to achieve bottom-line business results.

Smart Investments: Developing Top Performers in Wholesale Distribution, by Susan Levering, will help you to

  • identify a strategy for employee development at your company
  • engage your staff to move forward with common vision and purpose
  • ensure that your training dollars are invested wisely
  • think about how to use training and development activity to reach your strategic business objectives.

Read Extended Description »

What Readers Have to Say

"The exciting thing about Smart Investments: Developing Top Performers in Wholesale Distribution is that it provides insight into workable solutions for training and development. If your concern is survival and growth and the ability to attract and retain employees, this book will give you the tools you need to succeed. If you care about having a productive workforce and want to be part of systemic improvements to workforce development, read this book."
— Steve Cunningham, President & CEO, IMARK Group, Inc.
"Smart Investments showed me a way to assure that I was investing my company training dollars wisely and that I am able to engage all of my employees to move forward with a common vision. It is one of the few training and development books with a focus on the wholesale distribution industry."
— Bobby Cohen, CEO, Daycon Products Co., Inc.

Extended Description


Unfortunately, human resource development (HRD) lags in the wholesale distribution industry behind other businesses. With little emphasis on employee development, it is no wonder that wholesaler-distributors are not always considered as employers of choice by the workforce. The failure to develop people and meet their needs might explain the perennial challenge of finding and retaining top-quality employees.

Through a recent survey conducted by the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, the author found that wholesaler-distributors

  • spend most of their training dollars on compliance and computer training
  • adhere to a need-to-know philosophy as it relates to employee participation in training and development (T&D) activity
  • are forced to continually reinvest in training people for the same positions because of turnover
  • are less committed to investing in T&D activities when compared to businesses overall.

The value of this book lies in one thought: The goal of HRD activity is to prepare people to perform at their best. This book gives you the opportunity to work through more than two dozen Road Maps, each representing an important step in your company’s strategic planning process to identify and implement T&D functions that are smart business practices. Successful companies approach soft, people-oriented issues as they would any other business issue: They leverage training to achieve bottom-line business results. They think about and plan for HRD initiatives in the same way that they think and plan all other aspects of their business.

Smart Investments identifies five strategies used by successful wholesaler-distributors and helps you to incorporate these strategies into your planning process and make you more competitive in the marketplace:

  • Integrate training activity with business strategies
  • Form partnerships with training personnel
  • Develop a strategic training plan
  • Engage everyone in training activity and hold them accountable
  • Utilize creative solutions to overcome obstacles.

About the Author

Susan Levering, Ph.D.

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Susan is an 18-year distribution industry human resources expert. She is committed to the enhancement of human potential and productivity by helping develop people and create environments in which they can be productive contributors.

NAW Institute LogoWhy NAW Institute Publications Are Different

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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