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Distributors in the Digital Era
It’s Not Too Late. . .Do You Know Your Customers?
It’s Not Too Late … Do You Know Your Customers?-Distributors in the Digital Era #21

A few decades back, a public service announcement was aired every evening, asking a simple question: “It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” With all the disruptive changes underway in today’s marketplace, it seems that an updated message might be appropriate for distributor leaders. It could ask, “It’s not too late. Do […]

Intel from NAW Roundtables
Customers Image
Outside / In Customer Focused Culture

Outside / In Customer Focused Culture Since the beginning of commerce, distributors have always concentrated on the needs of their customers. What they want to buy, how often they want to buy, and how they like to buy are questions that keep most distribution executives up at night. With the advent of the internet and […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Distributors and Manufacturers Can Be Partners for Disruption
Distributors and Manufacturers Can Be Partners for Disruption-Distributors in the Digital Era #20

While disruption will take its slice of distributor business, many distributors will not just hunker down and make do with what is left for them. Instead, many will work to create new value for customers with an audacious goal. Innovative and entrepreneurial distributors will look at Change and see Opportunity, and they’ll seek to grow […]

Chairman's Column 2017
John Tracy-NAW
Chairman’s Column, June 2017: “Distribution Needs Its Business Leaders to Be Politically Engaged”

Regardless of which way you voted, I think we can all agree that the 2016 federal election proved the power of engagement by individuals and organizations that weren’t as politically active in the past. You could also argue that the 2008 election of President Obama was similar, although significantly different individuals and organizations got involved […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Create New Value That Is Measurable, Meaningful and Unmatched
Create New Value That Is Measurable, Meaningful and Unmatched-Distributors in the Digital Era #19

When you decide to acquire and adopt a digital tool, it is the beginning of a process, not the end. Getting results from digital investments requires you to focus on building capabilities. Without equal investment and smart coordinated planning around people, processes and digital tools, your company will fail to reap the benefits of its […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Where Does Social Media Fit Within Your Business?
Where Does Social Media Fit Within Your Business?-Distributors in the Digital Era #18

Among all digital tools, many distributors are most skeptical about the practical benefits that their business can achieve using social media. E-commerce platforms are necessary to intercept customer buying preferences and to keep pace with disruptive channels. Advanced analytics can identify opportunities and reduce inefficiencies. CRM and marketing automation tools help track progress with customers […]

Intel from NAW Roundtables
NAW Blog Post on Modern Innovative Distribution Strategies
Modern Innovative Distribution Strategies

Modern Innovative Distribution Strategies In today’s distribution landscape, firms are getting pressure from every angle. Customers are demanding that distributors provide value-added services, lower cycle time, higher inventory turns not to mention rebates and discounts. Suppliers, on the other hand, are asking the distributors to push inventory, have direct channels to customers, and every now […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Innovation Turns the Table on Amazon
Innovation Turns the Table on Amazon-Distributors in the Digital Era #17

Distributor leaders are rightly concerned that disruptive online marketplaces like Amazon are attracting customers and winning business. Many are seeking to implement state-of-the-art e-commerce platforms to have a shot at competing on a disruptor’s terms. There is another path, one that involves offering new value for customers that is not offered by disruptors. This path […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Are You Calling the Right Plays for Sales Success?
Are You Calling the Right Plays for Sales Success?-Distributors in the Digital Era #16

More and more of the time, winning at sales is not about hiring experienced salespeople and letting them do the things that have always made them successful. Rather, it’s about working together as a team, identifying the sales activities that are essential for achieving your unique goals, leveraging digital tools to help salespeople execute those […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Digital Progress Requires New Channel Partnerships
Digital Progress Requires Reinvented Channel Partnerships -Distributors in the Digital Era #15

In my conversations with leaders, I frequently find that distributors and manufacturers are adopting and using digital tools for their own benefit, but are not sharing their accomplishments and plans with each other. This reality is bad for both partners, because it can lead to distrust and declining commitment to long-standing partnerships. The way forward […]