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12/04/2023

041. Leveraging Big Data and Analytics in Distribution (afternoon)

Instructor: J. Michael Marks

Level of Complexity: Intermediate
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Distribution has grown and evolved upon a foundation of industry experience and the tacit knowledge in the heads of distribution staff. This foundation has been the basis for decision making and resource allocations for years. Over the past ten years the costs to create big data have dropped significantly along with an explosion of new tools to make it available to even a small distribution business. The core concept is that having better uncovers patterns that can significantly improve how a distributor allocates their resources to both opportunities and threats. Given that competitive intensity in only going to increase going forward the ability to be more effective lowers costs improving profits. If practice getting the data and the technology tools are often the easiest parts. There are always challenges with change, many are challenged to understand the linkage of actions to results, and it represents the death of data free discussions. The session will examine alternatives to create these capabilities, how to fit the function into a distributor organization structure and how to balance outsourcing some capabilities with building internal ones.

Many distributors have invested and developed some big data capabilities but have failed to translate these efforts into commercial results. Participants will learn about the traps to avoid and how to prepare the organization to actually use the new insights. The session will provide several specific examples of what excellent looks like for a distributor.

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Facing the Forces of Change: Reimagining Distribution in a Connected World

Guy Bissett

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Facing the Forces of Change® is the only major research study analyzing the future of wholesale distribution within multiple lines of trade. Since its inception in 1982, the landmark Facing the Forces of Change® series continues to provide insights about the overall future of wholesale distribution and the role of wholesaler-distributors. 

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