Why Product-Centric Distributors Need to Refocus on People Right Now

Kendall Fisher, Global Video and Podcast Producer/Host

June 29, 2020

Wholesale distribution(opens in new tab) has historically been known as a product-centric industry, but Dirk Beveridge says COVID-19 will change that.  

Beveridge is the Founder of UnleashWD(opens in new tab), a strategy, design and innovation firm that helps distributors become nimble and transformative leaders. He previously joined the NetSuite podcast with six tips for distributors(opens in new tab) as the economy reopens. This episode dives deeper into that conversation, hitting on several tactical and strategic ideas distributors should consider as they adapt around new business rules that emerge from this pandemic—a big part of which, Beveridge believes, is a shift around the human spirit.

“Purpose and meaning are going to become imperatives in terms of attracting customers and employees,” he states. “We are such a product-oriented industry. I think this pandemic is going to shift that.”

 Beveridge says safety will be a top priority(opens in new tab) for retaining employees, customers and suppliers. But more than that, he believes the top companies and leaders to emerge from this pandemic—not only in wholesale distribution but everywhere—will be those who are capable of connecting to the core of what makes a company successful: People.

“Companies don’t change, transform and innovate,” he says. “People do.”

This is especially notable as the $6.9 trillion industry of wholesale distribution currently supports more than 415,000 individuals (and their families) in the United States with an even greater opportunity to attract talented individuals who were recently laid off. 

“The greatest leaders that come out of this are going to refocus on people, refocus on humanity, refocus on that human spirit and find the right ways...to inspire, to help people imagine a better tomorrow,” Beveridge explains. “Because I think that’s what we want as human beings right now.” 

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcasts(opens in new tab), Spotify(opens in new tab) or YouTube(opens in new tab).  

Find more tips and advice for distributors as the economy reopens here(opens in new tab)

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