A new edition of the classic book for helping distribution branch managers improve their business and leadership skills is now up in the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) bookstore. 5 Fundamentals for the Wholesale Distribution Branch Manager, Second Edition is a step-by-step guide to handling a key position for the success of every wholesaler-distributor, according to author Jim Ambrose. “If winning means profitable market share and profitable market share growth, then developing the branch manager is essential to a company's success,” he says.

Ten years after the first edition was published, so much has changed in distribution branch management that it was time to update it with a new edition. The traditional advancement track from inside sales to outside sales to branch manager is no longer assumed. The branch manager who comes up that track with no business and leadership skills has really struggled as companies push even harder for improved performance at the branch level. Regardless of organizational structure, the branch manager — who Ambrose calls “the CEO at the market level” — must possess the 5 Fundamentals in this book if the company is to remain profitable and provide the best value for customers in today's new market landscape.

According to NAW, the book offers down-to-earth guidance in:

  • Acquiring a “5,000-foot view” of your market so you can quickly adapt your business to take advantage of opportunities and prevent losses;

  • Becoming a great communicator and leader so you can energize your team to move your business toward higher profitability;

  • Building strong teams and solving problems so you can give your branch employees the tools and motivation to beat your competitors;

  • Improving the productivity of your outside sales force by focusing them at the right accounts to grow your market share; and

  • Developing a sound understanding of accounting basics, financial analysis, and financial reporting processes so you thoroughly know your business — especially critical in today's still tough economy.