While Amazon is increasingly competitive in the business-to-business space and is even exploring value-add services, B2B distributors should realize they can work with Amazon without giving up their identity, says Applico CEO Alex Moazed. "What electrical distributors that really want to be on the forefront should be trying to figure out is, 'How do I sell on the other marketplaces?' " he says.
The internet of things, cybersecurity and other technology trends are creating challenges for companies in the security sector, says Anixter executive Jarod Booth. "Anixter is investigating several options to harden our security offering with unique hardware and software upgrades that differentiate our customers, add value for the end user and reduce commoditization," he says.
Walmart sees good grocery delivery as a key component to fending off rival Amazon for market share, leaders say. The retailer, and many others, are relying largely on smaller outside firms to go the last mile as they build their delivery networks, which has caused hiccups along the way.
When inventory accuracy is improved, it can help avoid sales of nonexistent stock, dissatisfied customers and stock becoming obsolete or unsellable, writes Matt Yearling. Digital inventory technology can help reduce these risks by increasing inventory awareness.
Michael Jaccarino outlines a dozen common mistakes that business-to-business marketers should avoid, including attempting to appeal to everyone, being too dependent on data and not running campaigns across multiple channels. Other errors include failing to live up to brand promises, ignoring or copying competitors, and pulling campaigns too soon.
Sales leaders can help their teams overcome rejection by encouraging them to learn from their setbacks without internalizing the experiences, writes Damon Crone. Sales representatives should be encouraged to seek support from their colleagues while always focusing on the next opportunity.
Finding the right carrier is easy with these helpful tips from Emerge. Learn how to ask the right questions and how to spot red flags when seeking out new freight providers. These seven tips will arm you with the right tools to make sure insurance is valid, rates are solid and more. Learn more.
Are you doing all you can to reduce your freight spend? It could be as simple as learning a few new tricks of the trade. Emerge President, Grant Crawford shares five strategies the experts use to save along with some insights on the benefits of utilizing a Private Freight Marketplace. Learn more.
Many organizations have people working across all hours, so try to schedule meetings during shift overlaps, place talented people on all shifts and create forums for idea exchanges that don't depend on everyone being physically present, write Karin Hurt and David Dye.
Executives can counteract the negative default perceptions about them by connecting personally through work groups, town hall meetings and other gatherings, writes Scott Eblin. He recalls how he once led a book study that prompted an administrative assistant to marvel that "not all vice presidents have green blood and horns."
April 1-5 is Session 3: Distributor Capability Development at Texas A&M University, one of the three sessions that make up the NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management. If a top priority for your business is to improve business management, supplier relations, and sales force and human capital development, then your key leaders in these critical areas should attend this session. See the program outline, and register your leaders before the last seats are gone.
Take your seat at the NAW Large Company Roundtable, a two-day opportunity to network with your C-suite peers at large-company wholesale distribution firms (large company=sales of $100 million to $1 billion). Large-company CEOs, chief financial officers and chief operating officers come to these roundtables to benchmark the "best-in-breed" solutions and strategies from an exclusive roundtable of exceptional C-suite distribution executives. Register today.
The digitalization of the distribution channel is inevitable, because change is happening up and down the value chain. If your business is not leading, then you must at least keep up. Top-selling "Becoming a Digital Distributor" is your road map to strategically use digital tools -- e-commerce, social media, mobility, CRM, advanced analytics and multichannel solutions -- to gain a competitive advantage. Download a free Pocket Guide.