5 Rules Wholesale Distributors Must Break - NOW!
If We Don’t Change - We Die!
While we know our businesses must change, many distribution businesses are at risk. Some suggest that less than 10% of the total distribution population is prepared for the future. That we have our blinders on. That we’ve stayed too complacent.
In the last 25 years while the world, technology, and our customer’s needs have evolved dramatically, the business of distribution looks much the same. As we wrote earlier, we are standing on a burning platform.
Most distributors are working off old business models. The way they create, deliver and capture value is rooted in the industrial era before big data, global markets, 3D printing, the internet, mobile, millennials, disruptive technologies, and well, the world of today.
Remaining relevant in today’s super sonic world - must be the priority of every wholesale and distribution leader.
And if we are honest - those industry meetings we have religiously attended the last 25 years have stopped being the change agent they once were.
You can’t expect the catalyst for change to come from a vehicle that hasn’t changed in decades. I’ve been asking distribution leaders what they think of the typical industry meeting they and their people attend. It’s not a pretty picture.
- “Going to an association conference is like sitting at my grandfathers dinner table. It’s stuck in the 1950s.”
- “There is not much on how to improve your business.”
- “When I walk away from these conferences my only take away is that it was one place to go where I could meet and socialize with my channel partners.”
- “I’ve stopped going because there was no furthering of my thought.”
One distributor who attended his trade association’s annual meeting this past month posted some strong and telling views of the state of these meetings:
“The association is not going to convince me of their value with tribute bands. They appear to be confused about what adds value to their members and think throwing a good party is a key component. I already belong to a country club and don’t need an industry equivalent. Until the association gets down to business and figures out how to create a value proposition that makes their members more successful and profitable they will continue to lose the hearts and minds of the industry.”
Making Distributors More Successful & Profitable - Let’s Break The Rules!
How can you expect to change, if you don’t break the rules?
So let’s break the friggin rules!
If the current structure of industry gatherings are no longer providing the spark for innovation and transformation - let’s break the rules.
The value of these annual conferences has degenerated as a money maker for the association rather than delivering a value proposition that makes the industry more successful and profitable.
The last thing the industry needs is another meeting.
But what we do need is a catalyst for change. And Unleash:WD is the single strongest catalyst of change for wholesalers, distributors, and their channel partners in the last 25 years.
Unleash is a first of its kind summit for the distribution industry. This ground breaking summit was designed by bringing the voice and experience of forward-looking CEOs and industry leaders to the forefront. Industry leaders who break the rules and challenge others to do the same.
If we expect change we have to break the rules. And break the rules we are doing.
5 Rules Unleash Is About To Break
From Industry Gurus To No Industry Speakers
We started breaking the rules with the question: “What if we had an industry event with no industry speakers?”
To drive new thinking we need to be exposed to those from outside of wholesale and distribution. Our inspiration came not from the latest in supply chain management but from Steve Jobs who once said: “It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best humans have done. And then try to bring those things in to what you are doing.”
During Unleash, we’ll look to 24 of the world's most provocative and inspiring people on the planet to bring a fresh and innovative perspective to our business, industry, and our world.
From Keynotes, Lectures, & Panel Discussions To Storytelling
We’ve all been to too many conferences consisting of as one industry blogger recently put it, too many “unfocused meetings, second tier speakers ... with 110 slides that no one could read.” Death by PowerPoint, panel discussions and recycled lectures have become the norm.
Unleash, on the other hand, in breaking this pattern will be the new inspiration of change acceleration. And we’ll do this through storytelling. As TED has shown and Business Innovation Factory chief catalyst Saul Kaplan describes, “People must be inspired and emotionally vested in cocreating a new future. Without inspiration businesses don’t change. Sharing stories is how to create a network of passionate supporters that can help make new business model ideas a reality.”
From Best Practices To Next Practices
It’s time we rethink old habits that made us great in the past. Best practices of other distributors is fine for incremental change. In today’s world however, incremental change is not going to secure our future.
Unleash will go beyond best practices within wholesale distribution and look to the innovators and creators in the world of technology, start-ups, finance, and others. We’ll explore next practices to bring to our organizations, allowing for relevancy of our business model as we lead our teams forward.
From Like Businesses & Titles To Like-Minded Individuals
For decades we’ve gathered within our silos. Fastener distributors go to fastener distributor meetings. Electronic distributors go to electronic distributor meetings. CEOs of billion dollar companies go to CEO of billion dollar company round tables. Supply and logistics professionals go to supply and logistics conferences.
Unleash believes that the big ideas and innovation are born and created in the intersections between these silos. Unleash will bring together 300 like minded early adopters of change without regard to industry segment or title. Inspired connections will spark new conversations and new understanding of what’s possible.
From What Will We Do Differently To Design For Future Relevancy
We have to change the conversation! As the rest of the organization is concerning itself with how to tweak current processes and systems for efficiencies, the real leaders of the business must be focused on what’s required to get the organization to think differently.
Our two day immersion into what’s possible will spark creative and innovative thinking for you and your business leaders to begin designing the future of your business.
From Assuming Our Business Model Is Strong To Finding New Ways To Create, Deliver, And Capture Value
It’s time to change our thinking from how to we ride out the trend of disruption, to how do we become the disrutper. Rather than being disrupted, Unleash is all about you and your organization becoming the disrupter.
To disrupt, you’ll need to find new ways of creating, delivering, and capturing value. You’ll leave Unleash with a new commitment to innovation and transformation.
Join Us As We Break The Rules
Plan on joining us as we break the rules. When you do, you’ll be surrounded by 300 like-minded leaders who will immerse themselves and find:
- A catalyst that leads to a new call to action.
- A vehicle to spark new ideas to get spirited and inspired movement within their businesses
- A new intellectual challenge catalyzing innovation for value creation.