Bill Wade

Bill Wade is a partner at Wade & Partners and a heavy-duty aftermarket veteran. He is the author of Aftermarket Innovations. He can be reached at

2017 Planning vs. Fading Economy Statistics

August 30, 2016

My friend, distribution guru Bruce Merrifield, recently noted that Q2 earnings for publicly traded distributors aren’t pretty, “After netting out financial tricks, most distributors are reporting lower sales and profits.” This year’s real business planning conundrum: Going forward, will you fall for the benchmarking myth and be happy with just matching the top-of-otherwise-mediocre operations, cutting costs and trying harder? If any local markets are strongly outperforming last year, CONGRATULATIONS! ...

Why Teams Are Not Cocktail Parties: Recent Research at Northwestern Finds Five Common Faults

July 19, 2016

Give me a T…E…A…M! Teams are today’s solution everywhere. Industrial distribution says team selling is the future. Harvard Business Review says it is all about sharing a strong sense of group identity. Fleet magazines tout top maintenance organizations ‘Driven by Integrity, Accountability and Pride. Each member of the team is proud of what we do!’ If only things were that simple. Nobody sets out to lead an ineffective ...

Stop Doing What You Do Well: Managers Must Learn To Be Conductors

June 23, 2016

In looking at the great leaders of history—whether they are political leaders like Julius Caesar or business leaders like Steven P. Jobs—many people probably assume they must have taken a particularly active role in running their organizations. Caesar, after all, personally led his troops into Gaul, and Jobs was famous for checking the design of even the smallest inner workings of every product at Apple. But J. ...

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