With the industry "muddling along," savvy distributors aren't simply waiting around for the economic recovery. They realize they can grow revenue and improve profitability by listening to their customers, investing in talent and technology, increasing their marketing and also keeping an eye on costs – key trends identified in the 2016 Distribution Trends Special Issue.
"Everybody’s going to wait for some crisis to react, and they’re going to be way behind,” says Mike Marks, Indian River Consulting Group. “The idea is to take a small amount of resource and be intentional rather than reactive.”
Distributors that we spoke with for the 2016 Distribution Trends Special Issue, which came out last week, understand that today's competitive landscape means they can't do things the way they always have.
That know they need to listen to customers' needs instead of trying to mimic Amazon, understand the value of existing technology while keeping an eye on new tools, and differentiate themselves through more strategic marketing efforts.
It also means they must identify threats – whether it's the talent gap, new competitors or rising HR costs – if they hope to remain competitive in today's changing marketplace.
“The world continues to change at an accelerating rate, and we’re dealing in new things,” Marks says. “Success is going to be about doing new things, not doing the same old things better. That’s where people are stuck.”
To learn more about these trends and others, access the 2016 Distribution Trends Special Issue and the 2016 MDM Market Leaders Top Distributor Lists here.