Today's Changing Channels

Virtually every channel of wholesaling and distribution is undergoing change and consolidation bringing manufacturers and distributors new problems and opportunities.

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Feature Article:

Today's Changing Channels

by Jim Kahmann

demoVirtually every channel of wholesaling and distribution is undergoing, or has undergone, change and consolidation. There may be fewer competitors, but they compete differently than they have in the past... learn more

 

Today's Changing Channels

Today's Changing Channels

Virtually every channel of wholesaling and distribution is undergoing, or has undergone, change and consolidation. With these changes, both manufacturers and distributors are experiencing new problems, questions, shifting relationships, different customer demands and entirely new ways of doing business.
Channel Distribution Strategy, Jim Kahmann

Long Term Survival

Distributors who survive these changes encounter rapid growth in a consolidated channel. There may be fewer competitors, but they compete differently than they have in the past. The distributors are faced with challenges (usually from the customer), which require an ever-increasing level of sophistication if they are to deal with them successfully. Often, these new market requirements demand that the distributor more closely align himself with the customer, causing a major shift in the balance of relationships between the distributor and his manufacturer/suppliers. This new alignment also demands that the distributor play a more visible and demanding role as a problem solver for the customer.
Channel Distribution Strategy, Jim Kahmann

The Manufacturer's Challenge

The manufacturer also has a set of difficult choices. In addition to his traditional channels of distribution, he now has several new choices ranging from sophisticated national integrated suppliers to quick response catalog houses with extensive databases. The manufacturer is puzzled by how to respond to the new dynamics of the channel to meet the changing demands of his customers while not alienating his existing channel partners.
Channel Distribution Strategy, Jim Kahmann

Compelling Needs:

  • The distributor needs better people, technology and processes. The customer is demanding more from the distributor, requiring skill sets and experience that are currently in short supply.
  • The manufacturer needs more effective ways to build interactive flows of communication and information, both with his distributors and his customers.
  • Both manufacturer and distributor need to upgrade and train their sales people.
  • Both parties need help in developing and delivering clear and concise communications programs.
  • Both need coaching and objective consultation to help them deal with the dynamics of their business.
Channel Distribution Strategy, Jim Kahmann
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