The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors - eBook - Modern Distribution Management

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The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors – eBook


Brent Grover’s latest book on the wholesale distribution industry, The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, is published by Modern Distribution Management. This book is a practical and timeless guide for building a strategic plan for a wholesale distribution company. It includes case studies, exhibits and end-of-chapter questions for your management team. Take it one chapter at a time, or use the full book as a blueprint for formulating a long-term plan for your company. Concise and easy-to-read, this book is the perfect primer on planning for distributors.




This is Brent’s eighth and best book on distribution management. With an overarching topic of strategy he has been able to integrate into it much of his best thinking and research of the past 11 years. He also openly shares stories from his own 35-year journey at practicing strategy first as a distributor principal and now as a director of multiple distribution firms. While reading the book, be prepared to write down all of the ‘light bulb’ ideas you will have about your own business.” – D. Bruce Merrifield Jr., distribution industry veteran and president, Merrifield Consulting

Ask the Author: Editor Lindsay Konzak Interviews Brent Grover

MDM recently featured Brent Grover in a 20-minute webcast where Brent addresses topics related to strategic planning for distributors. Click to listen to the program below.

About the Book

These days, companies are almost always focused on the Now. And the recent recession exacerbated that tendency.

Industry expert Brent Grover’s latest book will help you shift that mindset. The insights in The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors will help you and your facilitator organize a strategic planning project, gather the needed information and build a one-page plan.

Execution is the final step, and it is where many distributors fail. You will need a system to monitor results and take corrective action. This book includes what you will need to put your plan into action – a plan specifically tuned for a wholesale distribution company.

This is the first book from Brent Grover that is published by Modern Distribution Management.

Visit the book’s website,, for more information about the book, including blogs and video clips.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:
The Strategic Planning Horizon & One-Page PlanChapter 2:
Getting Started

  • The Leader’s Vision
  • Values & Gaps

Chapter 3:
Assessment of the Status Quo

  • Internal & External Environment
  • The Playing Field
  • SWOT Analysis

Chapter 4:
The Driving Force

  • Customer Intimacy vs. Product Application Expertise
  • Leadership Discipline

Chapter 5:
The Elevator Speech

  • Developing a Business Concept
  • Allocating Your People’s Time

Chapter 6:
The Compelling Goal

  • Validating Your Goal Growth Rate
Chapter 7:
Keeping Score: 3-Year Objectives and KPIs

  • Three-Year Objectives
  • Financial Key Performance Indicators

Chapter 8:
The Sweet Spot: Selecting Investments

  • Understanding Your Profitability
  • Targeting the Right Mix of Products & Services
  • Segmenting Customers

Chapter 9:
Breakthrough Initiatives

  • Options for Achieving Your Compelling Goal
  • Vetting Initiatives

Chapter 10: Mapping Out Your Business Plan

  • The Role of the Annual Business Plan
  • Base-Case, Best-Case & Worst-Case Scenarios

Chapter 11:
Monitoring & Execution

Chapter 12:
A Culture of Planning

About the Author

Brent R. Grover

Brent R. Grover is managing partner of Evergreen Consulting LLC. He serves as an adviser to the distribution channel on strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and profit improvement. Brent sold his own paper and packaging distribution company in 1999. He can be reached at

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