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
Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.
Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:
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
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
The way customers define value added in the marketplace keeps shifting as they gain more knowledge and control of sourcing options. Distributors that want to serve the needs of these customers must evaluate two components of what it means to be a successful value-added supplier: 1) the capabilities to perform additional services beyond traditional distribution functions, and 2) the ability to demonstrate those value-added capabilities. This article provides a method to analyze a company's relative competitive position based on these value-added components.
Not long ago, a distributor described how it had wrestled with pricing an innovative product solution at what it considered a slight premium. The customer quickly and cheerfully accepted the distributor's ...
Take care of the customer and the rest will come. That's one of the keys that Sonny's Enterprises found to differentiate in a competitive industry. The company's execution of that principle is a rare lesson in creating a bulletproof vertical market position. Sonny's is a manufacturer of car wash systems and equipment, as well as a distributor of parts, supplies, accessories, and detailing products for the carwash industry.
'We are positioned and ready before the customer knows what he wants,' says Paul Fazio, president of Sonny's Enterprises Inc., Tamarac, FL. That's a tall statement for any company to make, but this one has the industry roots, wings and results to make it stick.
The founder of Sonny's was a car wash operator for 29 years before entering the distribution and '
This article is an excerpt from the book, Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company.
How would you like to source product in 12 different countries, bring it to one location and sell it within seven days at a profit? That's a snapshot of how product moves through the wholesale flower channel.
"We're a logistics company that happens to be in the flower business," says Bob Wilkins, CEO of Delaware Valley Wholesale Florists. That description fits a company with the tagline, "We deliver freshness." Consider that this $75-million company with 400 employees moves well over $1 million of perishable products each week into a market area that serves Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York City and the surrounding ...
Beerman Precision, New Orleans, La., is a $10 million power tool distributor with a distinct twist. Less than half of its annual revenues comes from product and accessory sales. A complete array of services around all its products'repair, parts, service and rental'positions the company as a power tool specialist with deep expertise in its chosen field of competition.
This article is an excerpt from our book, Stand Out from the Competition! Four Pathways to Differentiate Your Wholesale Distribution Company.
A better description might be to call Beerman a power-tool support specialist that sells what it services. Its parts business accounts for about a third of sales; the rental business is about 20%. Repairs are less than 10% of sales but a key piece of the ...