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

Lean Works for small distributors and even branches

March 14, 2017

Lean manufacturing (originally developed in Japan) has helped factories throughout the world reduce inventories, lower labor costs and increase overall efficiencies. The same concepts embraced by lean manufacturing practitioners can help even smaller distributors achieve the goal of effective inventory management. Effective inventory management allows a heavy-duty distributor to meet or exceed customers' expectations of product availability by managing the amount of each item to maximize net ...

Good Decade Ahead: Economists Are Never Wrong

March 2, 2017

Economists are like weathermen. Neither gets fired for bad forecasting. They rarely agree with each other, and I always believe their rosiest outlooks. So I happily listened to ITR Economics President Alan Beaulieu as he spoke to attendees last month at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Summit in Washington D.C. “The U.S. economy will grow a strong 3.7 percent this year, and that expansion will extend into the first half ...

Data-based strategies work. Period.

February 10, 2017

Breaking out of the commodity mindset Data from the past 15 years of trade association PAR reports show 90 percent of distributors have averaged poor pre-tax returns on total assets (ROTA). The same top 5 percent of distributors average 3-4 times the returns of the bottom 90 percent.  Same channel, same commodities, just much better results. But, the bottom 90 percent aren’t slackers. We can assume these participants are: ...

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