The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Commentary: The Slippery Subject of Channel Management

Channel management is a slippery subject. The most jaded observers might argue the term has largely become an oxymoron, as stories of mismanagement and dysfunctional practices seem like commodities.

But as the lead article in this issue outlines, distributors and manufacturers are finding ways to leverage the current shifts in markets to focus and define their value. Channel participants are grappling with many complex issues -converging channels, private label brands, new product programs, new discount models.

The key emphasis today is active management. One size can't fit all. Those who gain some understanding of how customers are shifting in their sourcing needs and problems, and then build programs and policies to meet those needs, find a competitive differentiator ...

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