Optimizing Distributor Profitability: Best Practices to a Stronger Bottom Line

In an era where gross margins have been squeezed, distributor profitability and return on investment (ROI) depend on the ability to adopt and implement powerful best practices. Aligning people and processes on a common profitability improvement roadmap is the key to success and the starting point for building sustainable competitive advantage. However, many firms struggle with implementation, often adopting different variations of the same practice over and over again and failing to map processes to financial results.

Texas A&M University's Global Supply Chain Laboratory has worked in a long-term partnership with the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence to document distributor profitability best practices and tie them to financial results. In this session, Dr. Lawrence will explore how to:

  • Understand the difference between common, good and best practices for increased profitability
  • Identify the links that connects process to profitability
  • Understand the financial and shareholder impact of best practices
  • Use best practices to improve ROI

When it comes to profitability and ROI, the difference between common practices and best practices is so significant that every distributor needs to consider how to improve execution.


Dr. Barry Lawrence teaches logistics, supply chain management (SCM), distribution information systems, and distribution strategy at Texas A&M . He is a frequent speaker for distribution associations and companies on topics ranging from optimizing growth and market share to inventory, transportation, and information systems for distribution channels. Barry holds a Ph.D. in information and operations management from Texas A&M, an M.B.A. from Texas State University and a B.B.A .in finance from University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 12 years of industry experience in sales and retail business before joining Texas A&M.

Eric Petty is a Director of Market Strategy at PROS with a primary focus on pricing effectiveness solutions including Scientific Analytics™ for pricing and Price Optimizer™. He has broad experience managing worldwide pricing projects with cross-functional impact that has resulted in greater efficiencies and improved price performance.

About NAW and the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence

NAWThe National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) was created in 1946 to deal with issues of interest to the entire merchant wholesale distribution industry, thereby freeing affiliated associations to concentrate on the concerns specific to their lines of trade. NAW is a federation of about 100 wholesale distribution associations and thousands of individual firms that collectively total about 30,000 companies. Learn more:

The role of the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence is to sponsor and disseminate research into strategic management issues affecting the wholesale distribution industry. The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence aims to help merchant wholesaler-distributors remain the most effective and efficient channel in distribution. Learn more:

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Optimizing Distributor Profitability: Best Practices to a Stronger Bottom Line