September 3, 2003 - Distribution Channel Commentary (DCC) # 37

Greetings:

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THIS WEEKíS TOPICS:

  1. CHAPTER ONE IS ALIVE, OVER-HAULED, POSTED AND CIRCULATING
  2. 2nd EXCERPT FROM "CHAPTER TWO" OF OUR FORTHCOMING BOOK
  3. HOWíS YOUR IN-HOUSE INNOVATION CAPABILITY? SURVEY TO TAKE.
  1. CHAPTER ONE IS ALIVE, OVER-HAULED, POSTED AND CIRCULATING
  2. For those of you who are back from summer vacations and thinking about how to reinvent your companyís profit power, I think I can help. Iím continuing to grind away on a book with the working title of "Reinventing Distributor Profitability". We expect the book to be published in soft cover later in the Fall.

    But, to immediately help distributors who are looking for fresh insights, we are planning to post a few chapters in advance. These postings are good, but they are not final drafts. We hope that you will read and benefit from them, but also be critics and editors.

    We posted Chapter 1, which is entitled: "Out of Crisis Comes Strategic Clarity (?)" a few weeks ago and have gotten some terrific feedback from readers. We have made significant modifications to this living document and re-posted the new, improved version at www.merrifield.com under the red star on the home page. So, please download it, print it, copy it, and share it far and wide. In return, please: give us some attribution, tell people to check out our web site, send us your comments and eventually consider buying the book.

    The first posting of Chapter 1 has already been reprinted in part in a major industry newsletter, a software vendor newsletter and a trade association convention publication. So, if any of you would like to republish some or all of the Chapterís content, the answer is yes. Just contact us for permission.

    Although Chapter 1 is a heavy conceptual read, I can guarantee strategic enlightenment for every distribution executive. We have already had a few readers share with us their "Ahaís" and immediate follow-up action steps. So, we know it has the information and power to generate new, compelling insights. Hope you benefit from it.

  3. 2nd EXCERPT FROM "CHAPTER TWO" OF OUR FORTHCOMING BOOK

Regular readers know that last week we sent out the first third of "Chapter 2" of the book which is entitled: "New Maps vs. Financial Management = Blind Spots". This week we have posted both the first and second parts of the chapter on our home page instead of sending out the Cpt. 2, Part 2 in a word file attachment. If anyone would like to skip the serial installment plan and have the entire Chapter 2 sent to them in a word file attachment, just request it at anytime from karen@merrifield.com.

Both Chapters 2 and 3 are intended to be skim-through, optional chapters for readers. It depends upon how much help you might need in uncovering historic habitual thinking that keeps you from changing. I think 99% of mature companies have some of the blind spots identified in Chapter 2.

  1. HOWíS YOUR IN-HOUSE INNOVATION CAPABILITY? A SURVEY TO TAKE.

After sharing ideas with executives on how to change their business through my speeches and writings, a commonly shared concern is that: "We just donít have the resources to do these changes."

Big gains come from big changes that will take incremental Ė time, talent and treasure Ė which isnít in most companiesí budgets these days. Now that most companies have two or more rounds of wage cuts, freezes and layoffs, execs are starting to realize that:

  • We canít fire our way to prosperity
  • Pricing power for tangible goods is not going to come back for manufacturers, distributors and retailers until the displacement of manufacturing to China has run its course.
  • We have to figure out how to identify the best niche opportunities for us to create new service value that will generate sustainable profit power

Chapter 1 of our book is a great roadmap for how to identify and pursue each distribution locationís best starting points for new value creation. It even tells you how to generally turn losing accounts into winners to free up extra time, talent and treasure. But, do you have the intrapreneurial talent on the payroll that can champion the new upside changes the chapter helps you to identify?

I strongly recommend that you go to www.intrapreneur.com and skim through the content and survey.

Thatís all for this week! Let us know what you think of Chapter One!

Bruce

Bruce@merrifield.com

919-933-7474