Distributors from 20 Different Lines of Trade Discover Business Model Innovation Techniques During UnleashWD Webinar

UnleashWD offered the first in a series of webinars to help distributors and manufacturers create value in their businesses on May 2 during “The Key to Remaining Relevant in the Age of Disruption: Business Model Innovation for Distributors."

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“We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the attendees,” Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD and one of the webinar’s hosts, said. “We are trying to help these businesses thrive through innovation."

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 03, 2013

More than 100 employees representing distribution, software and manufacturing companies added innovation to their business models by registering for the May 2 webinar, “The Key to Remaining Relevant in the Age of Disruption: Business Model Innovation for Distributors.”

The webinar was the first 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.

“We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the attendees,” Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD and one of the webinar’s hosts, said. “We are trying to help these businesses thrive through innovation regardless of the condition of the economy as a whole.”

Businesses need to operate as hybrid organizations that work to improve their current business model while also seeking to create new markets according to Saul Kaplan, founder and chief catalyst of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF). Kaplan used the example of Apple introducing the iPod to illustrate this. At one point Sony owned the portable music player market with the Walkman. Rather than seeking to compete by taking marketshare, Apple created a new market with the iPod and disrupted Sony’s business.

“If you are not creating new business models, you are vulnerable to being disrupted,” Kaplan, the author of the book “Business Model Innovation,” said.

Kaplan asked attendees to picture the nearest Blockbuster Video—it probably no longer exists due to competition from companies such as Netflix. Netflix adopted new technologies, and rapidly disrupted Blockbuster’s business model. Blockbuster had 9,000 locations in 2004. Since then the company went through bankruptcy and the number of locations has dwindled to less than 500.

Organizations need to be more comfortable testing new business models in the marketplace, and they also need to be able to handle failure according to Kaplan. Business models do not last as long as they used to, which means that even market disruptors such as Netflix are vulnerable to the next innovation.

Kaplan will provide further information on creating value through innovative business models for distribution companies during his presentation at UnleashWD 2013.

Charles Brunson, the Chief Bean Counter and CEO at Capital Coffee Systems provided a real world example on creating value through innovation during the webinar. After the housing market crash in 2008, Capitol Coffee Systems had to review its business model in order to remain relevant in a volatile market.

The company created new value by investing in a web presence and a cloud-based ERP/financial suite built for distributions companies before their competitors. Capitol Coffee Systems also took over all aspects of their clients’ break rooms by providing a concierge service that went past coffee to provide whatever drinks, snacks or office supplies their customers wanted. This innovation not only created new revenue for Capitol Coffee Systems but also improved their customer service.

NetSuite sponsored the webinar. The NetSuite Wholesale Distribution Edition automates and streamlines business processes, to cut costs and grow profits. NetSuite combines customer-facing sales force automation, marketing, and customer service processes with inventory management, fulfillment and accounting.

Companies interested in sponsoring UnleashWD 2013 should inquire through the sponsor page. UnleashWD is the only innovation conference for wholesale distribution and manufacturing.

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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