Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change Series

PROS is proud to sponsor the recently released research for NAW’s just-released Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series revealing a powerful new opportunity for distributors — the future of business is up for grabs! There is a race to leverage technology and human-centric forces of change to help business customers reinvent how work is done and how individuals and organizations learn. 

As disruptive solutions and pioneering services help customers reimagine their business, sourcing preferences will also shift. Loyalty will migrate to the providers that best enable the future of business for customers. Winning is about working with customers and leading them to the future. Winning is about finding your way in the age of B2B innovation.

We have worked with the NAW to launch a series of webinars and podcasts to help usher in the age of B2B innovation and to explain how Innovate to Dominate can help. To stay in-the-know on this Innovate to Dominate Series, sign up here.

In our first webinar, “Welcome to the Age of B2B Innovation,” I was joined by the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence fellow Mark Dancer and Mike DeCata, President and CEO of Lawson Products. Mike explained how his company is unlocking the potential of Lawson’s teammates by stripping away value-killing activities. Lawson is reinventing what it means to be a local distributor by placing products at customers ahead of demand, and by offloading customer jobs to improve productivity and offset labor shortages for mechanics and drivers.

Mike went on to explain how to integrate data analytics and human-centric innovations. Lawson is a heavy user of heat maps for understanding usage patterns. A disruptive communication tool is used to create real-time knowledge sharing among salespeople. Lawson’s process emphasizes continuous incremental improvements, applied across every function from sales to operations to human resources. Over time, steady process leads to big changes. The full conversation in the webinar is a must-listen and is available here.

Your plans and processes may be different, and asking the right questions is essential to plot your course. In the work on NAW’s Innovate to Dominate, leaders shared their most important questions and they found answers. More importantly, Innovate to Dominate provides an innovation roadmap for every distributor.
They identified 10 of the most important questions and will explore them in a series of upcoming posts on the NAW Blog Distributing Ideas:

  • How can your company enable the future of business for customers?
  • What is the value of local in the digital age?
  • How will you run your business when the value chain runs on data?
  • Do you know how to win by being human?
  • Is your company a leader in your communities?
  • Why should you create an innovation ecosystem?
  • What is your plan to reinvent your culture?
  • Are your leaders skilled at storytelling?
  • Do you have a plan to dominate?
  • Can we start a movement?

We continue to work closely with the NAW and help with their commitment to the cause of helping distribution set the standard for B2B innovation and supporting every distributor’s efforts to not only survive, but thrive in the digital age. Please share your ideas for distribution and stories of innovation with myself at rblatcher@pros.com or with Mark Dancer at mark.dancer@n4bi.com.

About the Author

Richard Blatcher

Richard Blatcher, Director, Industry Marketing & Business Intelligence at PROS, manages the global go-to-market strategy for PROS in its strategic industries. He has over 30 years’ experience in the industry originally based in Europe moving to the US in 2010. He spent the first part of his career in media, publishing and direct marketing managing the delivery of marketing and sales enablement services to many manufacturing and distribution blue-chip enterprises. He has also held EMEA and Global Marketing roles for $2Bn+ software company Autodesk including being responsible for launches of market disrupting SaaS software solutions into the market.

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