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Brent Grover Publications

The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, published by
Modern Distribution Management

"This is Brent’s eighth and best book on distribution management. With an overarching topic of
strategy he has been able to integrate into it much of his best thinking and research of the past
11 years. He also openly shares stories from his own 35-year journey at practicing strategy first as
a distributor principal and now as a director of multiple distribution firms. While reading the book, be
prepared to write down all of the ‘light bulb’ ideas you will have about your own business. And then
consider doing an executive team read of it, because it is so distribution-specific, short, readable and
step-by-step prescriptive. My hat’s off to Brent for this uniquely valuable contribution to distribution
management."
- D. Bruce Merrifield Jr., distribution industry veteran and president, Merrifield Consulting

"Brent Grover’s new book is a practical and timeless guide for building a strategic plan for a wholesale distribution
company. Take it one chapter at a time, or use the full book as a blueprint for formulating a long-term plan for your company. Concise and easy-to-read, this book is the perfect primer on planning for distributors."
- Thomas P. Gale, publisher, Modern Distribution Management

Modern Distribution Management is the only specialized information business that provides high-level in-depth resources executives who are in or serve the wholesale distribution industry need to do their jobs better. With MDM's information services, you'll find fresh analysis, accurate reporting and good ideas to practice across many lines of trade. We provide original, in-depth thinking - and you won't find MDM's content anywhere else.





In Search of the Perfect Customer: Cost-to-Serve for Distributors, published by
NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

"Nothing drives profitability more than managing the cost-to-serve customers. Nobody knows
more about cost-to-serve than Brent Grover."
- Dr. Albert D. Bates, Founder and Chairman, Profit Planning Group

"Brent Grover is one of the leading thinkers in distribution management today. This book offers
managers a fresh, insightful approach to improving their business, and a practical pathway to business
success. Concisely written and full of concrete examples, this book is a must-read for managers at every level
of your organization."
- Jonathan Byrnes, Senior Lecturer, MIT, and Author of Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink

"Implementing cost-to-serve insights is critical to distributor success. No one is better equipped to write a book on
cost-to-serve than Brent Grover."
- D. Bruce Merrifield, Jr., The Merrifield Consulting Group





Strategic Pricing for Distributors: Tools and Rules for Building Higher Margins, published by NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (Washington).

"I can't put this book down!"
- Carlos Portillo, Manager, Sales and Pricing Analytics, Hirsch Pipe & Supply Co. Inc.

"How timely this work is given the background circumstances in the economy! Margin generation will be the number one issue for all distributors during this downturn, as volume increases become harder to achieve. In reading the novel in part I, I was able to draw relevant analogies to my own business and experience, thus increasing the impact of this book. The guidelines in part II served to pull it all together for me."
- Mark Kramer, President and CEO, Laird Plastics

"I think this strategic pricing book is very effective. I am sure its readers will be excited to become more proactive about developing a solid pricing strategy."
- Andre Lacy, Chairman, LDI Ltd





The Official Guide to Wholesale Distributor Financial Success, published November 2007 by NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (Washington).

The Official Guide, Brent's largest project as an NAW Institute Distinguished Fellow, is a definitive 3-volume set of guidebooks for managing a wholesale distribution business "by the numbers". Each book includes a complete glossary of distribution terms, concepts and ratios. The individual chapters include discussion questions for individual and group learning.

Volume 1 - Exploring the Fundamentals of Distribution
Volume 1 introduces the basics of wholesale distributor finance to new employees throughout the organization. An ideal training tool, the book provides a "tour" of the various distributor departments, an explanation of distributor financial reports and measurements, and the details of the distributor's "profit engine" - the strategic profit model.

Volume 2 - Distributor Manager's Guide to Departmental and Branch Financial Excellence
Volume 2 provides each department manager (sales, purchasing, operations, accounting, credit, information systems, human resources and branch management) with real-world concepts and specific action steps for managing the distribution business for profit.

Volume 3 - Distributor Executive's Guide to the Art of Top-Quartile Financial Performance
Volume 3 is intended for distributor executives and financially minded managers. The focus of the book is management initiatives to reach and sustain an industry-leading return on investment. The chapters cover topics such as strategic planning, financing growth, acquisitions, strategic pricing, the marketing function, quality programs and customer profitability analysis (CPA).






The Acquisitive Distributor: Acquisition Handbook for Distributors, published by Distribution Research & Education Foundation (DREF), National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, Washington, 2005.

"I have been involved in many distribution acquisitions for public and private companies, both buying and selling, spanning 22 years and two different lines of trade. Brent's work is an excellent primer for the smaller distributor thinking of adopting acquisition as part of a growth strategy and a useful reminder to those of us who have been down the road many times."
-Mark W. Kramer, CEO
Laird Plastics


More to the Bottom Line: Customer Profitability Tools for Distributors, published by Distribution Research & Education Foundation (DREF), National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, Washington, 2004.

"Brent Grover is the real deal. No other book to date has so totally and thoroughly looked at running a distribution business for the benefit of all of its stakeholders on the basis of customer profitability. If you have the leadership curiosity and will, then Brent's book will provide you with new strategic insights that will help you reshape your systems, people, education and, finally, your incentives."
-Bruce Merrifield, President
Merrifield Consulting Group


"The most compelling and helpful book I've ever read on how to be a high-profit distributor."
-Harry Singer, CEO
Arrow Distribution








Sick from Eating Low-Hanging Fruit? Consider Strategic Pricing, Modern Distribution Management (MDM) - August 16, 2007
Brent Grover's article argues that distributors who have addressed most of their management challenges, and are still unhappy with the profitability, need to consider a totally new approach to the way they set and manage selling prices.

Distribution M&A 2007 Update: More Buyers, New Drivers in U.S. and Overseas, Modern Distribution Management (MDM) Audio Conference - May 17, 2007 (transcript and CD recording published June, 2007)
This audio conference, presented by Brent Grover along with Jim Miller of Vetus Partners and Tom Lange of Robert W. Baird & Co., is an update of the popular 2006 program. The conference call addressed current issues in wholesale distribution industry mergers, and correctly foretold the slowdown in activity later in the year.

Succession Planning: Leaving Your Business Better, Modern Distribution Management (MDM) Audio Conference manual - June 21, 2007 (transcript and CD recording published July, 2007)
This unique conference presented a panel discussion, moderated by Brent Grover, about ownership and management succession for wholesale distributors. The panelists (both Evergreen clients) were Julia Klein of C.H. Briggs (Reading, PA) and Rick Rogers of B.W. Rogers Co. (Akron, OH) - two highly successful multi-generational distributors.

Beyond the HD Supply Factor, Modern Distribution Management, May 25, 2007.

Succession Planning: What's Next?, Modern Distribution Management, September 10, 2006.

Strategic Planning for Distributors (Part II), Modern Distribution Management, July 25, 2006.

Strategic Planning for Distributors (Part I), Modern Distribution Management, July 10, 2006.

Navigating the Distribution M&A Landscape, Modern Distribution Management, May 10, 2006.

What Sellers Should Expect (Part II), Modern Distribution Management, June 25, 2005.

What Sellers Should Expect (Part I), Modern Distribution Management, June 10, 2005.

How to Build Service Value Propositions, Modern Distribution Management, January 25, 2005.

Six Questions to Ask Your Banker, Modern Distribution Management, July 10, 2004.

How To Segment Customers, Modern Distribution Management, April 10, 2004.

Think About Your Customer Portfolio, Modern Distribution Management, March 25, 2004.

Your Family Business - Not for Sale at Any Price?, Modern Distribution Management, August 10, 2002.