WF&FSA is a proud member of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW). NAW, through its NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, publishes a wide variety of publications, all designed to aid the distribution management team. You may view the full array of titles and select the publications that meet your needs at As a member of WF&FSA, you receive a discount on all purchases.

WF&FSA Reports

2022 WF&FSA Employee Compensation Reports

Wffsa Comp Report

Volume I & II: Cross Industry Data

Volume 1: The 2022 Cross-Industry Compensation & Benefits Survey represents the most complete, accurate, and up-to date compensation and benefits data available. Wherever possible, WF&FSA results are compared with the results of all participants. This report is designed to allow users to easily compare compensation levels and benefits policies with companies involved in wholesale trade/distribution. In addition to data on recruiting and retention; health care costs/trends; retirement benefits; vacations/PTO and holidays; sick and other leave; and sales practices, this report contains compensation-related statistics for common job titles in the industry.

Volume 2: This detailed report presents analysis of participating WF&FSA firms compared with the results of all participants via an Excel report format. Please make sure to review all tabs provided to access the full breadth of information. The first tab of the report, Corporate Level, includes data collected at the corporate headquarter level.  It represents the practices used by all locations and branches of the responding companies. The second tab, Location & Branch Level, includes data collected at a company's branch level.  It presents information on practices used at individual locations and branches of the responding companies. This report is designed to allow users to easily compare compensation levels and benefit policies with WF&FSA member companies and wholesale distribution overall.

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2023 WF&FSA Financial Benchmarking Report

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2023 WF&FSA Financial Benchmarking Report

This report presents a detailed but straightforward analysis of financial and operating characteristics of participating WF&FSA firms. Results are presented in tables and graphs designed to provide a comprehensive guide for analyzing profitability. It is organized into the following sections.

  • Executive Summary - An overview of study results including a graphical presentation of key results.
  • Detailed Results - An analysis of return on investment and financial and productivity ratios.
  • Regions - Geographic regions are examined. Participants were grouped according to regions specified by WF&FSA.
  • Trends - An examination of changes in performance over time for key results and ratios.
  • Ratio Calculation - A summary of ratio calculations.

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Management - General Distribution Topics

2017 Distribution Software Guide

SmallThe Distribution Software Guide is an one-of-a-kind compilation that serves as the primary resource for detailed distribution research in software selection projects. This Guide provides detailed vendor information and feature matrixes for Enterprise Distribution and Complemenatry Solutions. It is prepared during the last quarter of 2016 and published in April 2017, with the release of the website at


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2017 Manufacturer Software Guide

2017 Manufacturing Software GuideThe Manufacturing Software Guide is designed to assist you, the Manufacturer, evaluate, compare and analyze which manufacturing software products fit your unique processes and business operations. It is prepared during the last quarter of 2016 and published in April 2017.

Visit Compare Features Tool to see manufacturing software products side-by-side.  The online guide at includes more extensive information about each vendor, the applications and their functionality to assist you in your research project

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5 Fundamentals for the Wholesale Distribution Branch Manager, Second Edition

James J. Ambrose

This brand-new 5 Fundamentals for the Wholesale Distribution Branch Manager, Second Edition is the classic step-by-step guide to helping branch managers improve their business and leadership skills. The branch manager is the key to success for 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.

5 Fundamentals For The Wholesale Distribution Sales Manager

James J. Ambrose

This book offers a practical but powerful approach for taking your sales force to the next level. This book includes essential theories, key concepts, and real-world stories taken from the front lines of wholesale distribution. Best of all, it provides useful ideas that sales managers can apply today and be successful.

The Acquisitive Distributor: Four Keys to Success When Buying a Wholesale Distribution Business

Brent R. Grover

The Acquisitive Distributor takes the first close look at distributor M&A in the U.S., asking and answering three big questions:

  • What is so unusual about buying a distribution business?
  • What are some of the special considerations when buying an owner-managed business?
  • Why do so many acquisitions of distributors fail to meet the buyers’ expectations?

The author studied hundreds of acquisitions of distributors with two basic objectives in mind: to find the best practices behind deals that work and the worst practices behind those that don’t.

The Acquisitive Distributor will help you grow your distribution businesses by better understanding how successful acquisitive distributors operate. When you are ready to sell your company, it will help you sell it better.

The Distributor Specialist—Customer Champion, Profit Generator!

Frank E. Hurtte

Specialists are used by a supermajority of top-performing distributors. What is the definition of distributor specialist? This person is the distributor employee who supports the “front-line” sales team and other departments by playing a specific—usually product or technology-related—role in the sales process. The specialist furnishes technical support, sales backup, marketing direction, and product management within a distributor organization. Especially in today's down economy, many distributors consider the specialist role vital for their business.

Still today, distribution is broken into two distinct groups when it comes to the role of specialist—believers and the rest. The believers employ specialists in their business because they believe specialists contribute to their profitability. The disbelievers suspect the specialist’s value, question results a specialist can bring to an organization, or have yet to consider the addition of this new member to their team. Whether you’re an ardent believer or a steadfast skeptic—this book is for you.

Essentials of Profitable Wholesale Distribution©, Second Edition

Jim Olsztynski

Essentials of Profitable Wholesale Distribution provides a straightforward and highly readable understanding of the wholesale distribution business that will make your team smarter -a lot smarter.

Twice the size of the first edition, this second edition includes both brand-new and updated instructional text and all-new graphics!

Making money in the wholesale distribution business gets tougher every year. When you add the current economic slump to the equation, making money can be downright grueling in some sectors of the market! More aggressive competition, expanded product lines, tighter profit margins, and more demanding customers require distributors to work longer, faster, and smarter to survive and remain profitable. Running a successful company requires cooperative efforts from knowledgeable and motivated employees. How can you ensure that your employees are aligned with your goals for high performance and profitability? You give them the Essentials!

Facing the Forces of Change: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy

Guy Blissett

Facing the Forces of Change®: Decisive Actions for an Uncertain Economy, by IBM’s Guy Blissett, provides wholesaler-distributors with strategic insights into the key business and economic trends affecting the wholesale distribution supply chain through 2015. The four major trend areas are:

  • Analytics
  • Services
  • Technology
  • Human Capital 

Kiss Theory Good Bye


Do you want to increase accountability, consistently accomplish our objectives, have more time to plan, and help your organization run more smoothly? If your answer is yes, you should read Kiss Theory Good Bye. It is the corporate execution play book, with step-by-step guidance and proven tools and tactics you can start using today to achieve extraordinary results.

Price For Success: A Practical Guide for Improving Margins in Wholesale Distribution


A unique resource guide on pricing for distributors interested in driving higher margins. This book does a nice job of breaking the margin-management process down into manageable segments, and helps to shed light on the ‘dark science’ of margin management. It is a roadmap for any distributor looking to address profitability

Profit Myths in Wholesale Distribution


This book, by Al Bates of Profit Planning Group, has one overall goal—to change the way distribution managers think about their businesses. Some of the changes in mind-set include:

  • Replacing GMROI as a measurement tool because it almost always leads to incorrect decisions about inventory.
  • Appreciating that bad debts may not always be bad.
  • Understanding that lowering inventory is frequently a bad idea.
  • Accepting the fact that sales growth can be too fast as well as too slow.
  • Identifying why most sales force commission plans don’t work the way they are supposed to.

This book is chock-full of exhibits pertaining to a hypothetical firm. The concepts in each exhibit are applicable to all wholesaler-distributors, and you should view them in the context of your own firm. Also included with this book is a Microsoft© Excel file that allows you to enter data for your firm and then print exhibits from this book with results specifically for your firm. These exhibits should serve as a valuable tool in understanding how the conclusions in this book impact your business

What’s Your Plan?

Mike Marks and Mike Emerson, Indian River Consulting Group

Say the authors of this eye-opening book from NAW's Distribution Research and Education Foundation, there is absolutely no relationship between your sales incentive plan and your likely gain or loss in market share.

In fact, here's what matters most: setting an objective, getting management to use it in rating salesperson performance, and making sure your whole team buys in.

What's Your Plan? debunks the myths and shows you how to bring these three all-important factors into alignment. Get ready for a real "A-ha!" experience.

Mike Marks and Mike Emerson of Indian River Consulting Group surveyed hundreds of wholesale distribution executives and talked to dozens more in-depth on the phone. Their main finding is that pay plans don't - can't - operate effectively in a corporate/sales management vacuum. That may seem obvious, but the data here raise this question: If it's so obvious, why are so many wholesaler-distributors operating otherwise?

By reading this book and thinking deeply about the real-life compensation case studies presented, you can determine whether your firm has the preconditions in place to verify that your salesforce pay plan is the right one, or to adjust it as necessary so it produces the results you're seeking.

Working at Cross-Purposes: How Distributors and Manufacturers Can Manage Conflict Successfully

Mike Marks, Tim Horan, and Mike Emerson, Indian River Consulting Group

It takes a long time to develop good distributor-supplier relationships; unfortunately, it only takes a short time to destroy them.

Working at Cross-Purposes takes a look at what really drives distributor-supplier relationships, how often they go bad, and why. It can help senior distribution executives and their suppliers avoid the economic and other consequences of a core relationship turning sour by looking for a means of correcting emerging problems before they become critical. The authors explore the fallacy of “win-win” and provide readers with diagnostic tools to help distributors and their suppliers manage relationships in a way that proves beneficial to both parties.


Sales Training

Essentials of Profitable Inside Sales in Distribution

Jim Olsztynski

For many distributors, inside sales personnel are core components of their business, and more often than not, act as the customers’ first point of contact. Today, inside sales professionals are taking on greater responsibility for a company’s profitability and assuming many of the duties formerly performed by outside sales reps.

Essentials of Profitable Inside Sales in Distribution provides a real-world, in-depth understanding of the expanded role of inside sales. Increasingly today, inside sales staffs are responsible for generating sales and making sure those sales are profitable. This book is a perfect component in your company’s training program because it shows your inside sales staff exactly how they contribute to the health and well being of your company. They will learn how to make sales profitable, provide superb customer service, and develop their own expertise and image as a successful wholesale distribution professional at your company.

Marketing Plans for Growing Sales: A Guide for Wholesaler-Distributors

Scott Benfield - Available in PDF Format only

Marketing Plans for Growing Sales will help you take the shortest, most productive path to sales growth. By stripping away the jargon and confusion that surrounds most discussions of marketing, it will show you how to determine which customer segments offer the most opportunity and develop a workable strategy for penetrating those accounts. Also covered are important “non-planning factors”—issues involving services and products not directly involved in the marketing plan but which must be addressed to ensure success.

Objective-Based Selling™ in Wholesale Distribution: Four Keys to Selling More at Higher Gross Margins

Attention Sales Executives: Place a copy of this book in the hands of every front-line salesperson on your staff!

Especially in this tough economic climate, wholesale distribution salespeople need a consistent sales model that provides them with the structure to effectively use their talents and skills for increased profitability. Objective-Based Selling™ in Wholesale Distribution provides exactly that sales model. With more than 100 open-ended questions ready to use, this book will teach your salespeople how to sell more at higher gross margins!

Value-Added Selling

Tom Reilly

Value-Added Selling is a content-rich message of hope. It's both inspirational and informational. The value-added philosophy is a better view of business. Value-added salespeople are more focused on making a difference than just making a deal. Tom Reilly began his pioneering work in Value-Added Selling in 1985 when he wrote his first book on this topic. Since then, he has spread his message across continents to tens of thousands of salespeople and their managers. This new book combines the best of the old and proven with the new and innovative. In this book, Tom Reilly shares his insights and experiences of having worked with some of the best sales forces in the world over the past two decades. Reilly's creative and forward-thinking sales philosophy will shape the future for salespeople globally for decades to come.