Electronic sales increased at a rate 2.3 times higher than overall US distributor sales in 2018, but just 40% of distributor sales are done electronically, according to a Digital Commerce 360 B2B report. The number of total distributors has declined since 2015 even as overall sales are up.
US Foods has earned conditional approval for its acquisition of the Services Group of America, according to the Federal Trade Commission. US Foods will have to sell distribution centers in three states to finalize the deal.
ERP: The backbone of customer service In the manufacturing and distribution industries, ERP drives positive customer interactions, creates a competitive advantage and builds loyalty. Learn why savvy manufacturers and distributors look to ERP to deliver the best possible customer experience, and why now is the time to explore cloud ERP adoption. Get the report.
Distributors that use commercial analytics tools have a sizable advantage over those that don't, writes Randy MacLean of WayPoint Analytics. "Advanced analytics give you the tools to turn the tables, giving you clarity and confidence in the decisions you need [to] make every day, so you can change things to get onto higher ground, and get your customers and profits back," MacLean writes.
Amazon's entry into the business-to-business world with Amazon Business shouldn't strike fear into the hearts of B2B marketers, but instead means they have to concentrate on providing a customer experience that not only offers seamless buying but also gives support with expert knowledge, Geoff Webb writes. "Meet the customer where and when they want, with the knowledge, training, advice, and tailored offer they need to solve their unique problem, today," he writes.
Omer Wilson, marketing operations chief for Asia-Pacific at Digital Realty, talks about maintaining a consistent business-to-business brand voice across regions and how mobile and multi-platform messaging is becoming increasingly important to engage B2B decision-makers. "You might start on Twitter, then Facebook to a lesser extent, then they've switched to LinkedIn, even if it's a Saturday or Sunday, and then we'll target them there," he says.
Respecting people in certain situations and not others is the mark of an unethical, irresponsible leader, writes Linda Fisher Thornton. "When you see leaders using selective respect, call it what it is -- unethical leadership," she writes.
Acceleration Partners CEO Robert Glazer deliberately schedules time for productivity and guards it against distractions. "You'll see that in people's calendars and you know it doesn't mean 'hey, you can have this time from me,' it means, 'hey, I'm actually doing the stuff that I needed to deliver to everyone,' " he says.
According to NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow and Author of NAW's "Innovate to Dominate," Mark Dancer, "Distributors have a massive opportunity to help lead the way for customers and suppliers. If successful, distribution leaders will not only modernize their business model for the digital age, but they'll become a driving force for revitalizing the value chain and strengthening the entire business sector of our economy." Read his blog post.