October 28, 2021
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Graybar Electric earned $74.3 million in the third quarter, a 115.4% increase from the year-ago period. Net sales were $2.31 billion, up 23.2%.
Full Story: Modern Distribution Management (tiered subscription model) (10/26) 
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Working with Square Roots, Gordon Food Service has launched an indoor farm at its Michigan headquarters. The site, which can grow an assortment of up to 50,000 plants at a time, is Square Roots' second in the state and part of a strategic initiative to ensure food can be grown all year, in spite of local climate limitations.
Full Story: Progressive Grocer (10/26) 
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KPIs Every Distributor Needs to Track
Distributor margins are squeezed by customers and suppliers, forming a constant challenge to differentiate yourself. Here are five key distributors' KPIs to increase revenue, buy smarter, and increase profit for your business
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Operations and Technology
Distributors should work with specialized staffing firms and provide career development opportunities to find quality shift workers, writes Derek Jones of Deputy. "[P]roviding the right working conditions and adequately organized working schedules can be the edge you have over your competitors," Jones writes.
Full Story: Modern Distribution Management (tiered subscription model) (10/26) 
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B2B companies increasingly want advanced digital tools to promote efficient procurement processes and reduce operational costs, writes Todd Heimes, director of Amazon Business Worldwide. "Features like analytics tools, spend visibility, guided buying, multi-user accounts, and spending limits have been elevated from nice-to-have to must-have," Heimes writes.
Full Story: Digital Commerce 360 (10/25) 
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Shoptalk Returns to Vegas This March!
Shoptalk brings together 8,000+ professionals from the biggest brands like e.l.f. Beauty, Maui Jim, Olaplex & more. Qualified retailers and brands can attend for free!
Get your pass now.
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Sales and Marketing
Use pain points to understand your customer's needs
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Salespeople must be able to determine a prospect's pain points -- including financial, productivity and positioning -- to better understand what's needed and provide real solutions, writes Dan Tyre. For best results, use the customer's language when discussing these challenges, include all key stakeholders in related conversations and use pain points as the context for discussing the solutions being offered.
Full Story: HubSpot (10/18) 
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Business-to-business technology purchase decisions typically involve three job functions, consider two to four vendors and occur every one to three years, according to a Trust Your Decisions study from Dow Jones' WSJ Intelligence and B2B International. Thought leadership, videos and case studies are cited as the most useful content by B2B buyers, who say marketing and advertising messaging is important at each buying stage, and 68% think content is more trustworthy if it's published in business and trade media rather than on a brand's website.
Full Story: MediaPost Communications (free registration) (10/25) 
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The Business Leader
Most companies struggle to execute business ideas and won't improve because executives underestimate their lack of success, their biases and the complexity of the organizations they lead, write Eric Colson, Daragh Sibley and Dave Spiegel. They offer a guide to better, more systematic experimentation that includes ending poor-performing experiments rather "than unknowingly providing on-going support to an idea that is doing nothing or actually hurting your metrics -- which is what happens most of the time."
Full Story: O'Reilly Radar blog (10/26) 
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NAW Insider
Live NAW Webinar: An Integrated Strategy for Distributors
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Many distributors experience the paradox of watching marketplaces grow sales at explosive rates while seemingly seeing no sales erosion to Amazon Business, etc., themselves. How can this be? What is the nature of the threat? When will it affect you? Most importantly, what should you do about it? Discover the answer to these questions and more on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. ET by registering today!
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Brand-New NAW Series: The Distributor's Playbook to Artificial Intelligence
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This 4-part series will take you from AI-unsure to AI-adopter through a riveting compilation of live webinars, thought-provoking articles and actionable whitepapers! You will gain the intel you need to formulate new strategies and ensure that your company thrives through this era of technology transformation. Register for this month's upcoming webinar "Understanding AI and How it Works" and learn the basics of Artificial Intelligence and how to understand business conversations about it.
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Join CEO Discussion on the Future of the Distribution Salesforce
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Join NAW for an industry-wide virtual event for distribution CEOs on Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 2-3:30 p.m. Tailored specifically to CEOs of distribution companies with annual sales up to $80 million, the discussion will focus on the future of the distribution industry salesforce during a period of rapid post-pandemic change. NAW Institute Fellow Brent Grover will lead the discussion -- you don't want to miss out! Register today!
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