April 20, 2021
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Top Story
Distributors should shift their focus after the pandemic to providing innovative solutions for customers, says National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors fellow Mark Dancer. "If you've developed digital capabilities around your website or digital marketing, acting on those with your customers can create benefit for your customers," Dancer says.
Full Story: Modern Distribution Management (tiered subscription model) (4/16) 
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Order your copies of Mark Dancer's just-released e-chapter for NAW: "Distribution Leans In: Stories of Resiliency and Innovation During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
Getting retail back to business [now on-demand]
How are retail companies faring after making adjustments based on the pandemic, and what is on their agenda as they move forward into this new era of retail? Watch on-demand as SmartBrief, Hallmark and Farmgirl Flowers discuss where their businesses are picking up and how their goals have evolved over the last year. Watch now.
Operations and Technology
Supply chain professionals need to look beyond conventional demand sensing and scenario planning and embrace other strategies to ensure processes are agile enough to adapt to marketplace volatility, writes Jason Tham of Nulogy Corp. He recommends digitizing extended networks and streamlining collaboration to provide more visibility, among other techniques.
Full Story: Supply & Demand Chain Executive online (free registration) (4/15) 
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E-commerce has changed sales operations and invited competition from manufacturers, and distributors need to optimize e-commerce platforms and experiences for the best results, says Kelly Squizzero of Infor Distribution.
Full Story: Industrial Distribution (4/15) 
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Sales and Marketing
C-suite level "seeker/sharer" personality types can disrupt business-to-business lead nurturing campaigns as they research and share thought leadership content but often won't be the likeliest prospects to convert, warns Carbon Design CEO Scott Gillum. B2B marketers should find the "doers" behind the "seeker/sharers," Gillum advises, while also explaining how "status quo seekers" can lead marketers down the wrong path.
Full Story: The Drum (free registration) (4/16) 
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Most of the time, the best approach with a new sales prospect is to discover the prospect's challenges and focus on helping them overcome those challenges instead of rushing to talk about how great the solution being offered is, writes Bob Apollo. "Before we succumb to the 'itch to pitch,' we need to qualify the opportunity in both their terms and ours," Apollo writes.
Full Story: Inflexion-Point (UK) (4/16) 
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The Business Leader
Time management skills have work benefits in terms of productivity and job satisfaction, but they have somewhat greater effects on overall feelings of well-being, according to a meta-analysis. "Though time management can make people’s lives better, it is not clear how easy it is for people to learn how to manage their time adequately," especially people without abundant resources, the authors write.
Full Story: British Psychological Society Research Digest (4/15) 
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People's thinking is shaped by what they know, risk, timing, busyness and how much support they feel, but there are techniques for thinking creatively even with those influences, writes Jeffrey Phillips. "Could you put aside all of your 'but what about' statements and simply look at an opportunity or problem with a fresh perspective to get better thinking or ideas?" he writes.
Full Story: Innovate on Purpose (4/15) 
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NAW Insider
New! "Distribution Leans In: Stories of Resiliency and Innovation During the COVID-19 Pandemic"
How have distributors been innovating their business during the pandemic? Find that out and much more from 10 distributors who tell their stories and share ideas for both surviving and thriving in a drastically changed business environment. Author Mark Dancer shares up-to-the-minute ideas and insights from distributor leaders based on their experiences and lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic. Order this just-released e-chapter, "Distribution Leans In: Stories of Resiliency and Innovation During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
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Half day in virtual class and half day working for your company
The NAW Virtual Distribution Leadership Program is June 7-18, but this isn't a 2-week commitment of time. Rather, this virtual course will allow your leaders to conduct their day job and expand their skills and knowledge at the same time. No missed work and no travel time. Become a smarter business leader, plus, learn how other distributors operate, solve problems and drive solutions. This course builds competence and confidence for everyone from emerging leaders to seasoned veterans. Register your team today!
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Best practices in the pandemic and beyond
Decreased business activity, staffing during social distancing, and mail delays laid bare the need to update all B2B accounts receivable processes. Download the new, informative whitepaper, "Pandemics, Plans & Pivots: The New Demands on A/R and B2B Payments" from NAW's trusted partner Unified Payments Group for best practices to reduce DSO and costs.
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It is so easy to exist instead of live. Unless you know there is a clock ticking.
Anna Quindlen,
writer, journalist, columnist
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