Editor's note: Industrial distributors can grow and thrive, but only if they develop services that local accounts will pay for and the competition can't easily match. This article provides a framework for developing and launching a fee-based service program.
Services that manufacturers will pay for are not the services currently being offered by most national and regional industrial distributors. Services that will sell focus on producing different customer results than services that are free. People who sell these services successfully must have a much deeper understanding of the business processes their manufacturing customers are using and the results they are trying to improve on a day-to-day basis.