Phillips Pet Food & Supplies on July 2 is opening a distribution center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, its 15th in the US. Phillips will also expand its Nature's Variety and Freshpet offerings on the same day.
One year after its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Amazon has just begun to drive change and innovation across the grocery sector, analysts agreed. "The deal has served as a pointed wake-up call to brick-and-mortar grocers that they could no longer ignore the threat of e-commerce generally, and Amazon specifically, to their businesses," said Ken Fenyo of McKinsey Fast Growth.
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Business-to-business e-commerce retailers can use blockchain to process secure payments, reduce transaction costs and replace physical orders with digital versions, writes Oro CEO Yoav Kutner. "Blockchain technology could also reduce friction points for B2B businesses that handle high-value, high-volume orders that involve multiple layers of suppliers and distributors," Oro writes.
Distribution marketing can be more challenging than other types of marketing because distributors often prioritize sales in terms of attention and funding, writes Tessco Technologies' Jim Markisohn. Redirect marketing's efforts toward value-generating activities that improve the sales team, he argues.
Business-to-business distributors have been disrupted by the likes of Amazon and Google, meaning customers require less contact with sales teams, writes John Gunderson. Distributors need to be using analytics and metrics to improve customer communication, he argues.
Saying "thank you," whether privately or publicly, is the easiest way to improve relationships and culture, writes Joel Garfinkle. "Both those higher up and those high-performers you'd like to attract to your team will remember how you praised others," he writes.
Plante Moran encourages innovation through a culture of experimentation and easy access to leadership, particularly in IT, says Chief Information Officer Paul Blowers. "There is no shortcut to get to a caring, inclusive, growth-oriented culture -- you have to talk about it, believe in it and live it out every day," he says.
Increase margins up to 3% and eliminate transaction fees
A Supreme Court ruling allows wholesaler-distributors to keep 100% of every sale when their customers pay with credit cards. Learn how to encourage your customers to choose no-cost payment options from the experts at Unified Commerce, NAW's digital payments partner. Register for this informative webinar or call 888-834-1850 for more information.
Replay this highly rated NAW Executive Summit panel video
The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Distinguished Fellows were featured in a panel discussion at the NAW Executive Summit in January. The four Fellows shared their recommendations to help distributors in today's digital transformation landscape. Take a few minutes to replay this highly rated NAW Executive Summit session. This video and several others are featured in NAW's Annual Report. Read our Annual Report.
A must-read: "CEO Insights on Innovating the Distributor for the Digital Age"
Fortune favors the prepared, and preparation is all about capabilities. Find out what more than 100 distributor CEOs and more than 50 manufacturers, customers and experts on innovation, technology and organizational change say about what progress has been made toward becoming a digital distributor, and what strategic solutions and capabilities are needed for competing in the digital age. Take a quick look at this 53-page electronic research report by reading the table of contents and introduction. Order your copies.