Stump the Consultant: How Can Distributors Prepare for the World of AI?

Written by Mike Marks on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Posted in Digital Distribution, Business Strategy, Distribution

Stump the Consultant How Can Distributors Prepare for the World of AIMore and more, we’re seeing industries move toward integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into operations structures. That said, it’s essential for distributors to develop literacy and understanding of how to leverage this kind of technological advancement.

First, consider developing a blueprint for how to gather, store and apply data beyond just transactions. This includes recording and organizing all data using a disciplined, quantitative approach. It’s one thing to collect data, but being capable of analyzing information and applying new findings is the greater challenge.

Companies who move in this direction can set up simple data tools or bring on a contract data scientist. Data scientists can bring important insight when it comes to understanding how and where people spend their time (and money), ultimately informing better business decisions.

With the world changing every day, taking an intelligent approach toward collecting data can help move the company in the right direction while keeping pace with the latest trends.

In this video, Mike Marks talks about how distributors can prepare for the world of AI:

About the Author

Mike Marks

Mike Marks

Mike Marks co-founded IRCG in April 1987. He began his consulting practice after working in distribution management for more than 20 years. Over the years, his narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships within virtually every business vertical in construction, industrial, OEM, agricultural, and healthcare.

Mike has led project teams that improve market access by aligning resources to growth opportunities serving manufacturers, dealers, and distributors. Clients have ranged from small privately owned firms to many of the industry’s market share leaders. Ownership structures have included owner-operators, private equity, ESOPs, and publically traded firms. Mike is proud of the teams work and the confidence clients have shown with additional project work.

He has written extensively, and is frequently quoted on many industry issues. He has substantial board experience on both public and private distribution firms. His contributions to the field include serving multiple terms as a Research Fellow with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, permanent faculty at Purdue University’s University of Industrial Distribution, eight years as Graduate Adjunct Faculty in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A & M University, and rendering several precedent-setting expert opinions in contract disputes between manufacturers and distributors.

Prior to forming IRCG, Mike held the position of Executive Vice President at Lex Electronics, an $800 million vertically integrated electronics distributor in Stamford, CT. Mike’s path to management in his early career was through increasing responsibilities in sales and sales management. He also completed a tour of duty as a manufacturer’s representative.

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