4207 SE Woodstock Blvd.#429  |  Portland, Oregon 97206

Tel:503-282-2333

Article Archives

These articles are compiled works from The Distribution Team. They can be downloaded for your private use. We do ask that if you wish to republish them, please send us a note prior to use.

Now you can find us on: BLOGGER - TWITTER - YOUTUBE come join us!       Click Here to find out about UPCOMING Seminars!

NEW! Customer Service and Warehouse Layout

This article will give you inspiration on how to best layout your warehouse and improve customer service at the same time. Written by Danah Head.

 

A

 

A Distributor's Place in the Supply Chain

It seems that a goal of many people is to cut out distributors from the supply chain. Understanding what distributors do in the supply chain and why will likely save them from execution.
 

A Jack of All Trades

Thinking about investing in a flexible ERP software solution? Learn what you should, as a distributor, look at before you make the decision and what to think about if you already have made this decision and encountered some problems with an open ERP system.
 

Are you a Distributor or a Collector?

It is extremely important to remember that you should never get emotionally attached to your inventory. Are you feeling like you are more of a collector than an actual distributor? Check this article out to find out some useful hints on course-correction. 
 

Are You Hiring or Recruiting New Employees?

When you hire employees at the lowest possible wage, you get what you deserve.  This article talks about shifting your mindset to recruiting talent without breaking the bank.
 

Asking for Discounts from Suppliers

Once we have worked on internal gross margin improvement, there are strategic opportunities to ask for discounts.

 

B
 

Balancing Between Inventory Turns and Customer Service

The biggest cash asset in a distributors business is inventory. Discover ways in which you can maximize your efficiency with your inventory during this current time of economic turmoil.
 

Becoming a Broken Field Runner

The ability to adapt to a changing environment is critical for an entrepreneur.  This article discusses way to foster this same creative flexibility throughout the organization.
 

Big Data for the Little Guys

As technology advances, tools that used to be reserved for big companies are more available for small companies, and everyone can benefit from them.

Blood Sucking Inventory

When old inventory is left on the shelf, they become vampires leeching capital from your bottom line.

Branch Inventory Management Begins with Compensation

Most distributors have faced the question of expansion sometime in their career. This article deals with managing inventory through compensation practices.
 

Building a Branch Scorecard

Being able to measure performance is very important to meet goals and optimize efficiency. In this article, I offer you some tools for management to keep better measurements.

Building a Solid Bench of Talent

Do you have opportunities to expand you business?  Without promotable employees, you will have a difficult time moving forward.  This article talks about creating a program for promotion.
 

Building an Energy Reduction Plan

How green is your distributorship? Going green does not have to mean forking out more cash; in fact it can mean the opposite. Take a look at some Distribution Team insights on being more green and maximizing your greatest asset: Time.
 

Building Your Vendor Report Card

Are you running out of ideas on how to maintain and excel in your relationship with your established or prospective suppliers?
 

C

Can "Going Green" be both Personal and Profitable?

In this article, we interview a distributor who sees the "green" in going green.
 

Checklists are the Key to Preventative Maintenance

Most owners of businesses would much rather pay for maintenance than repair.  With so many critical pieces of capital equipment, how can operational managers keep track?
 

Choosing the Right Supplier

Do your suppliers understand how distributor operations really function?  This article talks about finding suppliers that support efficient distribution and net profit goals.
 

Closing Shop - Liquidating the Inventory

Most distributors wait too long to reduce dead stock.  When the economy turns and we have to close up, where can we salvage a little cash?
 

Counting the Vault: A Look at Variances

If you are you a distributor or business looking at adopting cycle counting this article asks us to improve customer service by looking at unit variances versus dollar variances.
 

Creating a Coordinated Pricing Effort

Strategic pricing is one of the most critical functions in any company. This article talks about becoming more efficient by coordinating these functions under one individual or team.

Customer Profitability

Customers are great! Customers are what every distributorship wants and needs...right? This article really expresses the difference between the great customers you want and the customers that are begging to get a pink slip. Great ideas and insight into your cusotmer base!

 

Customer Service and Warehouse Layout

This article will give you inspiration on how to best layout your warehouse and improve customer service at the same time. Written by Danah Head.

D

Developing a Culture of Change

In this article we discuss how to prepare your employees for changes in the business.  Technology changes are often difficult if the team hasn't been exposed to the bottom line benefits and the financial decisions surrounding change. 
 

Developing the Team

One of the most important tasks of any leader is to develop the people that work in the organization.  This article discusses how to go about creating a career development plan for team members.
 

Distribution Power Tools:  Customer Profitability Analysis

Not all customers are the same; some are more valuable to you as a distributor than others. This article takes a look on how to actually differentiate the good customers from the bad ones.
 

Distribution Power Tools:  The HITS Report

Learn how to get your moneys worth out of your distribution software by running product movement reports.  This is one of the best reports in wholesale distribution.
 

Distribution Power Tools:  The Inventory Obituary

Discover how by running the “inventory obituary” consistently can yield tremendous bottom line results when faced with managing your dead and obsolete inventory.
 

Do You Own a Business - or a Job?

Many business owners get trapped in the daily operations of the company.  Essentially, they are the company and have created an unsellable entity.  If an owner ever wants to retire, they need to change.
 

Don't be Blinded by the Trade Show Lights

Attending an upcoming trade show? Uncover our excellent tips to think about before you arrive to enable your company to maximize your experience.
 

Driving Sales in Accounts Receivable Management

The extension of credit has been given a negative perception.  This article explores the idea of changing the titles in A/R management to become more positive influence on sales.

 

G

Gaining the Trust of the Sales Team

Trust in the workplace can be the difference between success and failure, and there are methods to make gaining trust a little easier.
 

Getting into a Gross Margin State of Mind

Sales is for show, margin is for dough.  If you want to drive higher margins in your company, you have to change your verbiage surrounding the sales revenue.
 

Get on Board the Net Profit Train

How do you teach everyone in the company to think in terms of net profit?  This article will give you a couple of ideas on how to drive the importance of net profit with those who can make a real difference.

 

H

Help Them, Help You

As a distributor, your vendor relations are critical. This article explores some ways in which you can maximize your relationships with vendors to reduce back orders and improve fill rates.
 

Help Wanted:  Where are the Next Salespeople Coming From?

Where should distributors find new salespeople as it seems that sales careers are losing popularity?
 

How Do 2 Step Distributors Remain Viable?

In these days of improved logistics, the 2 step distributor will have to remind their customers and suppliers where they bring value to the supply chain.

 

I

Improving Gross Margins (Part 1) (Part 2)

It's easy to beat up on suppliers when gross margins dwindle.  This article talks about what distributors can do to internally shore up margins.
 

Improving Inventory Turns

Return on investment is a combination of improving turns and improving gross margin.  In this article, we talk about how to improve turns without jeopardizing customer service.
 

Incentive Compensation for the Warehouse Team

In order to make bonus programs effective, companies must break down expectations into simple and measurable criteria for their employees.

Internal Relationships

This article will help you be better at making sure your internal relationships are positive and stay that way. 

Is That Below Your Pay Grade?

Learning how to delegate tasks may be difficult, but trying to handle all the tasks of your company can be a taxing and near-impossible job. Mastery over the skill of delegation will empower your employees, and lead to better business.

Is VMI Right for You?

Vendor Managed Inventory can be a productive, yet tricky, efficiency in the supply chain.  Here is what some distributors suggested that you watch for.

It's not the Scheme You Run, It's the Players on the Field (part 1)  (part 2)

In times of prosperity, businesses like to contemplate and plan for growth. Unfortunately, there is often a lack of promotible employees. In order to realize potential, a company must invest in recruitment, retention and education like never before.

J

Just Add Value

Do you really see and feel the value of your team members? Do they feel valued by you and the company? This is an article that discusses the reality of engaging employees to increase your net profit! 

L

The Lighter Side of OSHA

When we think of OSHA, most of us think in terms of fines or punishment.  Did you know that there is a free consulting arm to this agency?
 

Liquidating Dead Inventory - Vendor Returns

Review important action steps needed when dealing with vendor inventory returns with this insightful look at how to liquidate dead inventory.
 

Liquidating Dead Inventory – Bundling Products

You know it – We know it. Dead inventory is one of the most difficult challenges we face as wholesale distributors. Explore best practices on how to “bundle” bad product with good product.
 

Liquidating Dead Inventory – Peer Networking

If you attend distributor business meetings, you have undoubtedly cultivated great relationships with your peers. Learn new ways in which you can maximize these relationships for your business and moving dead inventory.
 

Liquidating Dead Inventory – Online Resources

We all agree dead stock happens, discover best practices for using online tools to liquidate that dead inventory.

 

Liquidating Dead Inventory – The Clearance Event

As distributors, we can find ourselves becoming attached to our dead stock. Discover another vehicle of liquidation – the clearance event.
 

Listening to the Right Customers

New products are the number one cause of dead stock, yet we keep stocking those one off items for our customers.  Are we taking our advice from the right group of folks?

LOSS PREVENTION

This article discusses how the real cost of loss hits the bottom line. Danah illustrates the cost of loss depending on your gross profit. Written by Danah Head, this article is very interesting!

 

M

Millennial Sanity

This article discusses your changing relationships with the new Millennial workforce. Danah finds the joy in working with a new breed of employees. Written by Danah Head, this article is very interesting!

The Master Distributor: Your Auxiliary Warehouse

Learn how the master distributor can help your business grow and how to gain access to more product without any of those large commitments.

Mining your Distribution Data

What percentage of your distribution software are you currently utilizing? If you have no idea or think you do discover that by understanding the reporting functions of your distribution software is just one of the ways to bump up your system utilization.

 

N

Now is the Time to Sharpen the Saw (Part 1)  (Part 2)

Take advantage of this time to position yourself for the eventual change in economy.  Do the work now and you will be miles ahead in the future. Learn how to start with your business's strategic thinking with this insightful article.

 

O

Opening the Kimono

This article discusses the benefits of educating your employees about the financial side of the distribution business. Without education, they are unable to drive net profitable decisions.

 

P

The Price is Wrong!

Is your payables department encountering one of the most common challenges in distribution – Making sure that you have the current pricing from your suppliers in the software system? If this sounds familiar, check out this article for some food-for-thought to be on top of your game.

Purchasing/Investing 101

Do you know what really happens in your purchasing department? These are people who invest the company's money into sellable goods meant to allow the company to stay competitive and grow. There is a possibility purchasers and buyers should be viewed more as investors. 

 

S

The Safe Warehouse - Paying Attention to Product Placement

Most warehouse injury comes from grabbing product from an awkward position.  This article suggests that thought to self-placement can protect warehouse workers from common injury.
 

Securing the Vault

Inventory is the single biggest asset of a distribution company. Explore new ways to look at your inventory by securing your facilities a little differently.
 

Setting Goals for Dead Stock Liquidation

Most distribution companies come to a time when they need a dead stock liquidation plan. This article explains the importance of setting these goals with timetable to help ensure their success.
 

Simple Steps to Reducing the Transfers 

Do you have difficulty controlling the transfer process? Do they just happen? Managed properly, replenishment through transfer can significantly reduce surpluses at the branch level. This two part series will target the areas where you can start looking for some great solutions.
 

Skipping Cash Discounts

Cash discounts are common for distributors. Discover some consequences and some very important examples to think about when delving into the world of cash discounts for distribution.
 

Snow Blowers in the Spring?

Every distributor deals with seasonality of products. Discover how to manage seasonable product more effectively and some key forecasting secrets with this article.
 

Standard Cost Can Bring Extraordinary Returns

When many of us set up our item databases, we are baffled at the number of fields available for capturing the price that we paid our suppliers for a particular. This Distribution Team article focuses on the “Standard Cost Field”, a little known field that can generate phenomenal net profit gains.
 

 

T

 

Taking the Fear Out of Warehouse Management Software (Part 1)  (Part 2)

This article is based on a survey of wholesale distributors currently using warehouse management technology.  It looks at the functions are used and some insight on how to select software for the first time user.
 

 

Taking Time to Sharpen the Saw

A common theme in running a business is that we can become so consumed with solving the challenges directly in front of us that we are unfortunately unable to look at solving important underlying issues. Learn some practical time management tips to start delving into these extremely important issues.

Three Heads are Better Than One

Key tactics need to be in place before new items take shape in your company. Discover that by forming a committee of three will enable your business to steer clear of the many problems associated with new items.

Time Management for the Inventory Investor

Are your inventory buyers using technology to help them manage their time?  This article talks about the proper use of the review cycle feature in most modern distribution software.
 

Tips for Laying Out a New Warehouse

Learn the best opportunity for success for making your warehouse more efficient.

Tips for a Successful Inventory Count

Facing the dreaded annual inventory soon? Discover key tactics on how to prepare for this monstrous event with this insightful tip-laden article.

Transitioning the Role of the President

The time will come when a company leader must transition from being hands on to providing a vision for others to take action. There are some tools available to make the transition seamless.

 

Turning Buyers into Investors

Who spends the most money in a distribution company?  The inventory buyer.  This article talks about changing the mindset of the people you hire for this critical function.
 

 

U

Using ROI to Reduce Vendor Duplication

If you are like most distributors, duplication of vendor lines is a thorn in your side. This article delves into how to utilize a return on investment tool known as the “Turn and Earn Index” to expose weaknesses in under-performing vendor lines.
 

 

V

Variable Compensation for the Purchasing Manager

Purchasers spend the most money in your company. Take a look at the management required to start making your purchasing teams into investors.
 

 

W

 

What Every Warehouse Manager Needs to Know

There are a few common questions that warehouse managers ask or are asked. This article aims to discuss some of them and provide insight to what every warehouse manager should know.  

 

What's In a Name?

Perceptions of names are vital to distribution businesses. Explore new ways to refresh and reinvent preconceived notions about the many different roles inside a distribution business with this thought provoking article.

 

What's Wrong With These Kids?

Many older managers struggle with the newest generation of employees.  In this article, we discuss how the study of generational influences can help reduce workplace tension.
 

Working with Distributors:  Knowing Names

Discover best practices that will enable any sales representative to understand their distribution customer base more efficiently.
 

Y

You Only Coast One Way

Many of us coast our way through the work day completing tasks and assignments. In order to become smarter, we must stop obsessing over completing mundane activities and focus on solving problems.
 

 

Your Greatest Untapped Asset

 

This article deals with employee empowerment; thinking is not only encouraged, it is a condition of employment.

 

Your Products Have Changed...But Have You?

In this article we explore the problems associated with product tunnel vision.  Many distributors have products that evolve over time.  We challenge distributors to see if they need to modify the way they are buying based on a shift in product or business focus.
 

 

1-10

 

5 Keys to Making Money in Distribution

 

In theory, distribution is an easy business.  Unfortunately, we tend to complicate it with nuances.  In this article, we break down the fundamental keys to running a profitable distributorship.

10 Steps to Warehouse Efficiency

Are you a distributor who needs to increase the efficiency of your warehouse? These ten easy steps will give you food for thought to maximize that efficiency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Distribution Team Newsletter!

Subscribe Here

  • - Receive new articles first
     
  • - Stay up to date with news and events
  •  

About the Author:

Jason Bader is the principal of The Distribution Team, a firm that specializes in helping distributors become more profitable through strategic planning and operating efficiencies.  The first 20 years of his career were spent working as a distribution executive.  Today, he is a regular speaker at industry events and spends much of his time coaching individual distribution companies.

©Copyright 2015 Distribution Team  |         4207 SE Woodstcok Blvd. #429  |         Tel:(503)282-2333  |          Email:jason@distributionteam.com