UnleashWD May 22 Webinar Teaches Attendees How to Innovate their Distribution Businesses

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The May 22 UnleashWD webinar: “Catalyze a Wave of Innovation in Your Distribution Business” teaches employees from more than 50 different companies how to create a culture of innovation at their organizations.

“UnleashWD is more than a summit. It is a movement, and it starts with this group at our webinar,"Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD said.

More than 150 future innovators registered for the May 22 UnleashWD webinar: “Catalyze a Wave of Innovation in Your Distribution Business.”

Attendees learned what it takes to create a culture of innovation at their organizations. This lesson was supported by real world examples from Valin Corporation, a distribution company that continues to thrive and grow through innovation and business model design in the current economic climate.

“I can’t compliment my fellow webinar hosts enough for their contributions,” Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD said. “I know that the stories inspired the attendees to experiment at their organizations. Innovation means creating new value, which cannot be accomplished by planning alone. “

Beveridge added, “UnleashWD is more than a summit. It is a movement, and it starts with this group at our webinar. Thank you again for attending and staying on during the duration of this prep course for UnleashWD summit in Chicago.”

The webinar was the second in a series that will teach distributors and manufacturers how to create value at their businesses prior to the Oct. 29-30 UnleashWD 2013 innovation summit.

Dr. John Johnson, former head of technology innovation at PepsiCo and founder of White Space Interactive, told attendees that innovation is the single most important key to sustained results. Innovation within an organization creates engaged customers that expect excellent products, causes disruption amongst the organization’s competition and creates a company culture.

“At some companies innovation is not a process,” Johnson said. “Apple and Google are pure innovation.”

While Johnson admires the technology giants, he said that simply trying to copy their model and strategy would be a mistake. Companies need to experiment with their own models using the motto fail fast and learn cheap.

“Time is our most valuable, but most commonly wasted asset,” Johnson said. “Learning through experience is far more valuable than spending time learning through planning and research.”

Joe Nettemeyer, Valin Corporation CEO, presented after Johnson. Nettemeyer has led Valin since 2001 and has overseen 30 acquisitions since that time. Nettemeyer said that his company has been able to thrive in a disruptive economy by focusing on productivity improvement through investment in infrastructure, information technology and training. Nettemeyer identified strategic pricing as perhaps the greatest opportunity for organic profit within wholesale distribution.

Valin faces the same type of challenges as other distributors including a tepid economy, the change in generations from Baby Boomer employees to Millennials and the accelerating pace of technology change.

“Change is happening so rapidly that it is the sizzle of the day not the sizzle of the year,” Nettemeyer said.

He closed his section of the webinar by mentioning a quote from legendary former General Electric CEO Jack Welch. If the rate of change outside your company is faster than inside your company then you are headed for extinction.

Stuart Maxel, the director of continuous improvement at Epicor concluded with some tips on how distributors are using technology to drive innovation throughout the business.

The webinar is sponsored by Epicor, a market leader in distribution software solutions, with more than four decades of distribution focus. In addition to a proven track record of helping distributors reduce costs, improve service, and grow sales, Epicor delivers a number of competitive advantages to distributors.

Founded in 2012, UnleashWD is the first and only conference dedicated to bringing innovation to wholesale distribution and manufacturing. The summit gathers only once a year, but do not wait to start innovating. Visit UnleashWD.com for updates on future webinars, eBooks and other valuable information on how to innovate.

About the UnleashWD founder:

Dirk Beveridge is an expert in how wholesale distributors and manufacturers increase market share through examining and improving their relationships with customers.

For the last 25 years Beveridge has worked with more than 3,000 firms as a leadership consultant, trainer and speaker. His clients include: Time Warner, IBM, Andersen Windows, Graybar and Berlin Packaging.

He is available for press interviews, corporate speaking or consulting. To contact Beveridge, call 847-381-7797 or email info(at)unleashwd(dot)com.

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Christopher Troksa
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