Author: Mark Dancer, NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow

Distributors in the Digital Era
Are You Making the Necessary Capability Investments?
Are You Making the Necessary Capability Investments?-Distributors in the Digital Era #27

Across all of our research about getting results from digital investments, one essential requirement for success stands out: Successful use of digital tools requires proactive development of people and process capabilities. Digital tools change the way that work is done, and if a company’s people do not have the necessary knowledge and skills, guided by […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Are Digital Tools Making Your Business More Competitive?
Are Digital Tools Making Your Business More Competitive?-Distributors in the Digital Era #26

Adopting and using digital tools are becoming an essential capability for achieving business results. Distributors in the lead have turned the corner on creating an actionable digital vision and are driving improved customer experiences and business profits. Many distributors are making significant investments and learning how digital tools can drive results for their business. Distributor […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Are You Facing a Crisis of Confidence with Your Suppliers?
Are You Facing a Crisis of Confidence with Your Suppliers?-Distributors in the Digital Era #25

Our ongoing research of distributor CEOs and manufacturers has revealed a troubling disconnect between distributors and their manufacturer partners. Findings are preliminary, but while distributors are confident about the strength of their digital vision, suppliers are not convinced. This “digital divide” is important, because if the value of distributors declines, manufacturers may diminish funds allocated […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
What can distributors learn from Amazon’s acquisitions?
What Can Distributors Learn from Amazon’s Acquisitions?-Distributors in the Digital Era #24

Amazon’s intended acquisition of Whole Foods Market has caught the attention of many distributors. Much of the discussion has focused on the changes that Amazon will bring to retail channels and the distributors that serve them, but there may be other implications for all distributors. Acquisitions are common in distributor-intensive value chains, with consolidators buying […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
Getting in Front of Digital Disruption
Get in Front of Digital Disruption-Distributors in the Digital Era #23

In my ongoing research and discussions with distributor leaders about digital tools and the threat of disruption, I continually hear that Amazon is thought to be making inroads among business customers, but that the impact in their own business is small and can’t be measured. These leaders are not in denial about change; in fact, […]

Distributors in the Digital Era
SPECIALIZE and Beat Disruptors at Their Own Game
SPECIALIZE and Beat Disruptors at Their Own Game-Distributors in the Digital Era #22

To successfully defend against disruption, distributor leaders must avoid an “us versus them” mentality. Disruptors don’t compete on new terms that are different than yours. Rather, they redefine the terms that all businesses—yours, theirs and others—must acknowledge in their own strategies, tactics and business models. Successful leaders recognize the changing battlefield for what it is, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]