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Posts By April Nowicki

Adapting to the new business demands of a new generation of employees and customers requires a change in mindset, according to Dirk Beveridge, author of Innovate!: How Successful Distributors Lead Change in Disruptive Times.

This article includes:

  • The need for a culture of innovation
  • Engaging millennials in the industry
  • Bringing social media to distribution

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  • 7 Key Investments to Grow Online Revenue
  • How Leaders Can Drive Company Culture
  • Operations as a 'Lever for Innovation'

Today’s business world is filled with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Distributors that don’t change may find themselves unable to compete in the new environment, according to Dirk Beveridge, author of Innovate!: How Successful Distributors Lead Change in Disruptive Times.

This article includes:

  • Why innovation is more important now than ever before
  • Why innovation can be a challenge
  • The goals behind innovation

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  • 7 Key Investments to Grow Online Revenue
  • How Leaders Can Drive Company Culture
  • Operations as a 'Lever for Innovation'

The culture of a company is one key to its success, and changing leadership can create a challenge to developing that successful culture. Joel Trammell, author of The CEO Tightrope, discusses how distribution company executives and leaders can influence company culture to obtain the most useful ideas and criticisms from their workforces.

This article includes:

  • Initial steps for defining a company's vision
  • How to avoid the disconnect between upper management and line-level employees
  • Ways to ensure employees are all on the same page

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  • Redefining Competitive Advantage
  • Bridging the Value Gap
  • Operations as a ‘Lever for Innovation’

This article is a part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The article looks at how training programs are helping employers hold on to their most skilled employees, and increasing the potential of others.

The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

Supply chain optimization is a goal with so many moving parts, it’s sometimes difficult to nail down what places to begin addressing potential changes. In this article, industry experts simplify the options and set the stage for an efficient, long-term process for freight movement.

This article includes:

  • Challenges to mitigating shipping costs
  • The role of technology in improving shipping efficiency
  • How distributors can use shipping to differentiate

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  • Differentiate to Combat Disintermediation
  • 2014 State of Distributor Marketing: Distributor Marketing Shifts to Digital
  • Disasters Can – and Will – Happen

Disasters touch every sector of the industrial distribution industry every year, costing millions, destroying businesses and affecting the supply chain. Incorporating an emergency preparedness plan can greatly influence the outcome of a disaster, as can the methods undertaken to recover from one.

This article includes:

  • Case studies from two companies that suffered losses from fires
  • Steps to take to initiate an emergency preparedness plan
  • Valuable resources that your company probably already has

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  • Distributor Marketing Shifts to Digital
  • Technology-Driven Value?
  • Construction Drives M&A Activity in August

Baby boomers are retiring, and sales managers are recognizing that their current management styles may not be quite as beneficial as they could be. Adopting a strong philosophy and vision for leading a sales team is the first important step to take when shifting a management culture.

This article looks at reasons why the change is happening and what sales managers can and in some cases, should be doing to improve their management styles.

This article includes:

  • Why sales managers should consider being proactive, not reactive
  • Important first steps to take when shifting a management style
  • How technology tools can help (and hurt) the sales team

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  • Commentary: The Trouble with Rebates
  • Interview: Operations as a 'Lever for Innovation'
  • U.S. Economy: Out of 'Surviving' and on to 'Thriving'

Too many companies do not consider operations to be a source for innovation, but this area is ripe for developing innovative strategies for distributors, according to Karan Girotra, co-author of The Risk-Driven Business Model and professor of technology and operations management at the international business school INSEAD. Girotra recently spoke with Associate Editor April Nowicki about how to create a culture of questioning an existing business model, improving decision-making structure and empowering everyone to innovate.

This article includes:

  • How to change the decisions made in your company
  • Why to change those decisions
  • Innovative operations strategies for better management and return

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Commentary: The Trouble with Rebates
  • Who's My Coach? The Changing Role of Sales Managers
  • U.S. Economy: Out of 'Surviving' and on to 'Thriving'
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