Distribution Leaders Discuss UnleashWD Innovation Summit Experiences

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Wholesale Distribution leaders discuss their experiences at the UnleashWD during the webinar "What to Expect at the 2013 UnleashWD Innovation Summit." UnleashWD provides the wholesale distribution industry with examples of innovation, leadership development, business model design and leadership training.

The UnleashWD Innovation Summit has already created fresh thinking at distribution companies.

During the webinar “What to Expect at the UnleashWD 2013 Innovation Summit” Will Parsley, Business Development Manager at Carswell Distributing and Cindy Davidson, Vice President of Sales Operation at Cardinal Health discussed their experiences at the inaugural UnleashWD.

“After attending UnleashWD we know that we have to change,” Parsley said. “ And we know that the time that we have to change is less than we would hope for.”

For Carswell Distributing, the summit created what Parsley described as a “lexicon” to discuss change. Attendees had a starting point to plan innovation initiatives, and examples from outside of distribution to ignite fresh thinking. Parsley said that distributors often try to copy the best practices of other distribution organizations and to try to emulate the best practices. UnleashWD showed the path to next practices and to trying new business models.

Parsley oversees business development Carswell Distributing Company, which is a leading distributor of Outdoor Power Equipment. He is bringing a team back to this year’s UnleashWD to continue the lesson of experimenting with new business models at his company.

One of the other benefits of attending UnleashWD was the opportunity to meet with other distributors. Davidson noted that Cardinal Health, a Fortune 19 Company, faces the same types of problems as much smaller distribution organizations. UnleashWD allowed distributors to get out of their comfort zone and have conversations that they would not have in their usual channels.

“You might come up with a unique idea, spark a conversation or create a partnership that you would not have otherwise, “ Davidson said.

UnleashWD founder Dirk Beveridge closed the webinar with three reasons to attend UnleashWD and three reasons not to attend.

The three reasons to attend UnleashWD:

  •     To gauge the speed of change within your business
  •     To create new thinking within the organization to create a better future
  •     To experiment with new ways to add value

Reasons to not attend UnleashWD included the lack of industry speakers, which Beveridge said is intentional. Rather than going back to the same speakers, UnleashWD seeks out fresh perspectives. Another possible issue is the cost to travel to the conference, and the time spent at the conference. For companies that take advantage of the lessons provided by UnleashWD the investment is repaid.

The final reason Beveridge provided to not attend is the fear that the lessons of UnleashWD cannot be implemented. At Carswell Distribution, UnleashWD has already created fresh thinking and a renewed focus on hearing the voice of the customer.

UnleashWD also provided “Lift and Shift” sessions, which applies the lessons of the storytellers to the attendees businesses. Lift and Shift is the UnleashWD practice of taking the best ideas from other industries and applying them to distribution.

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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