The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) has recently published its newest installment in its highly illuminating and influential series, Facing the Forces of Change. The 11th installment (Navigating the Seas of Disruption) is a deep dive into the wholesale/distribution industry. The report is full of very powerful insights from among the best and brightest industry leaders on how to navigate the market forces in the coming years. In a highly competitive marketplace, anticipating changes and trends is an invaluable tool that can help you reach and maintain a position on the cutting edge of the industry.
The major themes in this study include:
- A macro-economic look at the years to come – This overview is provided by Alan Beaulieu from ITR Economics. He recently presented on his economic forecast at a seminar we hosted. See a recap of his presentation here, and find more about Alan’s work at ITR here.
- Six primary industry disrupters at work today – Technology is driving changes in service expectations. In the coming years, successful distributors will need to understand how these forces affect them to continue exceeding customers’ expectations.
- Leveraging relationships in a customer-centric world – Companies need to know themselves, their customers, and the competition to minimize the effect of disruptive forces. The very nature of the distributor-customer relationship has changed greatly.
- Using a changing workforce – The rise of the Millenial and “Gen-X” generations in the workforce create a varied and complex workplace. Implementing employee engagement strategies and innovative recruitment programs can help make the most of the new landscape.
- Ways to compete with advancing technology – The importance of a good web presence, the competitive advantage of analytics in today’s data-driven world, and advanced connectivity solutions provided by the Internet of Things all provide opportunities for forward-looking companies to take a lead, both with their customers and suppliers.
- Developing trends in the industry (where we’re headed) – some trends are in their infancy, while others are reaching a tipping point of influence in the marketplace. These include robotics and industrial connectivity, 3D printing, 3D scanning, driverless vehicles, drones, virtual reality, and blockchain databases.
On March 2, Barnes Dennig will be hosting a roundtable to discuss these trends and how business leaders can make the most of the years to come. Please join us by registering here.
The “seas of disruption” that are facing the wholesale distribution industry present daunting challenges, but they also provide even greater opportunities. Taking charge with bold, insight-driven moves is the best way to not merely survive, but to thrive.