What distributors need to beat the competition | SpartanNash announces Q1 profit, offers in-store calorie counts | Avnet to consolidate distribution centers in Hong Kong
May 26, 2017
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What distributors need to beat the competition
Distributors need a sound e-commerce strategy and a commitment to operational excellence if they want to fend off Amazon Business and other competitors. "[W]hatever strategy is pursued, a distributor needs real-time ERP tracking of the quantity of each item in each storage location, including on receiving docks (inside and outside), and on the floor," Dick Friedman writes.
Industrial Supply magazine (May-June 2017),  Industrial Supply magazine (May-June 2017) 
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SpartanNash announces Q1 profit, offers in-store calorie counts
SpartanNash posted a profit of $15 million on revenue of $2.4 billion for the first quarter. Separately, the company has installed digital menus and listed calorie counts on food offerings at its Family Fare stores.
CNBC/The Associated Press (5/24),  Omaha World-Herald (Neb.) (5/25) 
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Avnet to consolidate distribution centers in Hong Kong
Avnet is consolidating four distribution centers into one Hong Kong-based facility. Separately, it's introducing new Pi-based offerings through Element14, which Avnet owns through its acquisition of Premier Farnell.
RTT News (5/25),  Electronics360 (5/24) 
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Operations and Technology
Diversity lacking in supply chains
A supply chain talent report from Supply Chain Insights found that while those in this career have a high level of job satisfaction, diversity continues to be a concern, writes Lora Cecere, founder and CEO of Supply Chain Insights. The need for diversity, with more women-focused programs, could help bring different views and experiences to the industry.
CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly (5/2017) 
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Sales and Marketing
Build your B2B brand voice on Twitter
Business-to-business marketers should use Twitter to identify and partner with key influencers, to converse with prospects, and to answer questions not only relating to their brand, but also to their industry in general. Understand your audience and develop a consistent brand personality, encourage employees to be active on the site, and use video to display a human side to your company.
KoMarketing Associates (5/23) 
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Signs that your sales strategy is too vague
If your sales team is not sure of what they should be doing or feels that your sales priorities are shifting too often, your sales strategy may be too vague to fully succeed, writes Tris Brown. Every sales strategy should have clear standards for accountability and collaboration, Brown writes.
Association for Talent Development (5/23) 
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The Business Leader
Get ready for a crisis -- now
Waiting for a crisis means you're too late, argue PwC experts. A proper crisis plan ensures people know their roles, analyzes how quickly and efficiently the company can respond and tests the company's response capabilities.
Strategy+Business online (free registration) (5/18) 
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When's the last time you praised an employee?
(YouTube/S. Chris Edmonds)
The monthly volume of people quitting their jobs suggests that too many employees go unrecognized for their hard work, says S. Chris Edmonds in this blog post and video. Remember that employees need regular praise and encouragement to continue doing their best.
SmartBrief/Leadership (5/23) 
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NAW Insider
Magic happens when you go from being product-focused to customer-focused
"Customer Stratification: Best Practices for Boosting Profitability" is a first-of-its-kind study that provides groundbreaking research, best practices from 68 real wholesaler-distributors, and 20 practical action steps ready to implement. Rather than focus on sales force communication, this cutting-edge research focuses on customer relationships and the value customers provide to distributors. It looks at four customer stratification dimensions: buying power, customer loyalty, profitability, and cost-to-serve. Order now.
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NAW Billion-Dollar Roundtables
The value proposition of the NAW Billion-Dollar Roundtables is the 1.5-day opportunity to network with your C-suite peers at billion-dollar wholesale distribution firms. Billion-dollar CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs, CLOs and chief HR officers come to these Roundtables to benchmark the "best-in-breed" solutions and strategies from an exclusive roundtable of distribution executives at the top of their game. Register today.
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Your playbook for reaching profitable growth
Growth is imperative. "Driving Profitable Growth: A Distributor's Playbook to Generate-Manage-Sustain Competitive Advantage" is a first-of-its-kind research study with two wall maps that examines both public and private distribution firms and uncovers a road map that addresses the three dimensions -- generating, managing, and sustaining -- of profitable growth. It provides 95 best practices, 40 action steps ready to implement and 60 distributor examples.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Memorial Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Distribution Branch Manager
NILCO LLC - Indianapolis, OH
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
Marianne Williamson,
writer and activist
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