Category Archives: Distribution Strategy

157. “Only The Paranoid Survive” 2.0

Andy Grove’s Book and Quote

Grove was a founder of Intel, and its CEO from ’87 to ’98. He wrote an acclaimed book on what he had learned: “Only the Paranoid Survive”, published in ’99.  His summary quote:

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155. Your Lake-Woebegone Service Value

“SERVICE IS VITAL; OURS IS GOOD!”

Most distributors know/believe this phrase. But, are you living in Lake Woebegone where everyone is above average? We all practice some degree of the “self-enhancement bias”. It’s good for our species’ happiness, sanity and survival.

But, if competitors have “good service” too, what’s the tie-breaker? Isn’t it meeting a “price”? Then, won’t you get commodity returns, and struggle to attract and keep new young talent?

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151. Share the Secret: “Profit” Is a Clean Word!

PROBLEM:

Many distributors do not share general financial numbers with all employees on a regular basis. So, new plays and innovation metrics (based on insights from customer and SKU net-profit analytics) can’t be pursued. Too bad! All stakeholder groups would benefit enormously. 

WHY NOT SHARE?

In many of my presentations over the years, I’ve asked roomfuls of distributor principals:

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152. Don’t Misapply: “Keep It Simple Stupid” (KISS)

“Bruce, KISS It!”

For years on the distribution speaking circuit, Polished Pleasers have advised me to: “Make your message simple, appealing, dumbed-down – with memorable sound-bites or key distributor folks won’t listen. Your advice on service-value innovation for net-profitable customers and customer niches is too complicated.  Tell them what they want to hear. (Be an edutainer!)”

Some distributors (along with my own turnarounds) have pursued what I preach for great results. Wins keep you going! But, many distributors are still not suffering enough (yet) to want to upgrade their simplistic, operating, financial beliefs.

The intent behind KISS was not to adopt simplistic notions for success. Simplistic always yields weak, commodity, follow-the-herd returns! What was KISS’s intent? How did it get distorted? What should you do about it? Read on!    

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150. Increase and Improve Your Beliefs

Humans are Belief Inventors

Human brains evolved to survive as a tribe in a hunter-gathering world. We accumulated both practical and magical beliefs through experience. If belief-guided actions worked (we didn’t die or got lucky), then we kept doing them. (Lucky Charms v Gremlins!)      

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149. What Distributor Roll-Ups Will Become Zombies?

Private Equity (PE) Distributor Roll-Ups: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

PE Good News:

In ’08: The Central Banks rescued PE firms from their over-paid, over-leveraged ’07 deals. By lowering interest rates to near-zero for 10 years good things happened:

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