William McCleave, Author at Modern Distribution Management

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Posts By William McCleave

While many distribution owners and managers are making their companies more “user-friendly” with better web tools, they aren’t investing at the same pace in the most critical part of their future – their employees. Here are four tips for talent development that will differentiate your company and strengthen its position against the threats that keep emerging daily.

This article includes:

  • Talking with employees about retirement plans
  • Building "expert systems"
  • Rethinking your talent acquisition strategy
  • employee management

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  • Millennials in Distribution: ‘No Magic’ in US LUMBER’s Strategy
  • Endgame Strategy: A Must for Distributors
  • Grainger’s Pricing Initiative, pt 2: The Quest for Optimization
This article presents the findings of a two-year industry study looking at where distribution industry managers blunder and what they could do better.

This article by William McCleave includes analysis of:

  • Which characteristics cause managers to blunder most
  • The best and worth characteristics of managers
  • Where managers should focus for possible improvement

Subscribers should log-in below to access. Not a subscriber? Subscribe below and you'll also get access to the following related articles:

  • Protecting Your Knowledge Base
  • The Hiring Disconnect in Distribution
  • Re-evaluate the Human Capital in Your Company

In 2002, MDM Publisher Tom Gale and industry expert William McCleave of W.R. McCleave & Associates, conducted a research project on distributor differentiation. The research resulted in solid advice and case studies about how distributors could compete against their rivals over the following decade. Nearly 10 years later, the advice offered in that report is still relevant. This article takes the concepts outlined in the book resulting from that research – Stand Out from the Competition – to another level, detailing how distributors can leverage technology, treasure, talent and technique to differentiate over the next 10 years.

From our original research and the resulting book on how to stand out from the competition, we found there are at least four dimensions for differentiation: Position, Pitch, Performance and Proof – the Four Ps.

These four dimensions are inextricably linked in the distributor world, and each still holds opportunity for creating compe...

MDM and Dr. W.R. McCleave, PE, recently surveyed readers on how they are responding to changes in the economic environment as it pertains to profitability in 2009. This article is an overview of those results. McCleave advises readers to reflect on the results and act accordingly with respect to their own situations. More than 250 industry executives responded to the survey from more than a dozen distribution sectors.

In a nutshell, the idea that resonated throughout the survey results was: Now is the time to act. As one respondent wrote, Climb into bed with your income statement, and act now. Responses to the profitability survey indicate that distributors and manufacturers are indeed responding to the new market conditions. ...

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