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There are subtle and not-so-subtle distinctions between 'want' versus 'need' versus 'willing to pay for.' Customers may not know what they need. That's part of the problem in defining 'value-add' for distributors. And value-add has very different meaning to specific customers.
A group of distributors and manufacturers wrestled with these issues at a roundtable discussion on added value at the annual meeting of the Fluid Power Distributors Association last week. The session was sponsored by an ongoing FPDA value-add special interest group.
In a recent FPDA survey on value add, distributor respondents said 43 percent of their customers realize that distributors are providing value-added services and that value-add business represents 25 percent of their business sales. That may ...