Distributors recognize that digital tools, such as mobile and e-commerce, are migrating into their businesses. But are they prepared to be proactive about this trend?
"There's a switch," says Mark Dancer, vice president, global channel management at Henkel and author of Becoming a Digital Distributor. "Some distributors are thinking about themselves as using information and data … to really reinvent the business model and the services they offer customers."
Dancer is featured in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing, available now.
Traditionally, distributors have been warehouses of product, possibly using digital tools to help manage inventory and similar tasks, Dancer says. The digital distributor will think of themselves as a "warehouse of information," where the information is the focus – which will then help the distributor better sell product and improve profitability.
It's about providing solutions rather than just products, Dancer says, and some distributors are already positioning themselves this way.
For example, leveraging the data and information that flows through the warehouse can help distributors serve customers better. A distributor can help customers better track and manage obsolete inventory in their locations or can provide better visibility into usage patterns to minimize emergency orders.
Access the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing here.
Becoming a Digital Distributor is available to order from NAW at www.naw.org/digital.