Mack sizes up how retailer-supplier partnerships can align better, navigate changes

In a recent DSN webinar, Mack Elevation managing director Dan Mack examined how retailers and suppliers can close the gap in expectations and come together to navigate a changing retail landscape.
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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How do retailers and suppliers close the gap between what each of them is looking for in a business partnership? That was the focus of a webinar held Wednesday by Drug Store News, hosted by Mack Elevation managing director Dan Mack, who also looked at how to help partners align amid a shifting retail landscape. 

“When I look back at the last 12 months, I keep asking ‘wat has changed?’ and in some ways, nothing has changed,” he said. “But in the same breath, I’d say a lot has changed because the depth of change is bigger and it’s being declared with even more urgency and stress — and I’m hearing it on both sides [from retailers and suppliers].”

a man sitting at a table posing for the camera

Mack noted that one of the critical areas where companies can succeed is simply noticing a shift in the industry and adapting to meet it. Many companies, he said, fall victim to their own biases — desirability bias and confirmation bias. 

“That’s how I’d like to start the conversation around partnership — we need to challenge biases,” he said. “Now more than ever, you have to question how you go to market, how you show up and how you relate as a leader. You have to be open to rethink your mindset and rethink behaviors.”

Throughout the webinar, Mack shared some of the insights he has learned from his work with scores of suppliers and more than a dozen executives from 10 retailers, centered around areas where they can come together to meet both parties’ goals. He also outlined the characteristics of elite partners and how they can help retailers tackle changing expectations and demands head-on. 

He also answered questions from DSN publisher and EnsembleIQ senior vice president John Kenlon, as well as those from attendees. 

The full webinar, "Are Suppliers & Retailers Aligned Today?" is available on-demand here