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Advice from Automotive Suppliers: Communicate Internally & Externally

The U.S. automotive industry is struggling, and that means anyone in the automotive supply channel is likely struggling, as well. I recently spoke with distributors and manufacturers in the channel for an article on the impact they see down the line.
 
Mike Hamzey Jr., vice president and legal counsel for R.M. Wright Co. in Farmington Hills, MI, provided some advice when thinking about how to survive the crisis: Do what you have to do, but don't alienate your customers. There will still be options when all is said and done; we're not the only distributor in town."
 
Keep the lines of communication open, not only internally but externally as well. Your customers are aware of economic conditions, and they'd prefer not to be surprised when you need to change terms of ...

The U.S. automotive industry is struggling, and that means anyone in the automotive supply channel is likely struggling, as well. I recently spoke with distributors and manufacturers in the channel for an article on the impact they see down the line.
 
Mike Hamzey Jr., vice president and legal counsel for R.M. Wright Co. in Farmington Hills, MI, provided some advice when thinking about how to survive the crisis: Do what you have to do, but don’t alienate your customers. There will still be options when all is said and done; we’re not the only distributor in town.”
 
Keep the lines of communication open, not only internally but externally as well. Your customers are aware of economic conditions, and they’d prefer not to be surprised when you need to change terms of sale. “You just need to talk and try to understand what each other is trying to do,”Hamzey says.
 
And, willingness to help customers during the downtime could benefit you when the economy returns to “normal”by building that sense of loyalty.
 
The article on how distributors and manufacturers in the automotive supply channel have shifted strategies to strengthen their position in a tough time is featured in the Dec. 10, 2008, issue of Modern Distribution Management.

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