IndustryWeek today offers an endorsement of a distributor’s value; the online magazine looks at what it means for a distributor to offer true value, and also offers "nontraditional performance measurements," as provided by SKF’s Bill Moore, to judge whether a distributor is effective as a strategic partner.
Moore tells IndustryWeek that engineering assistance supplied by a distributor is one example of a value-add – it can address recurring equipment failure problems, and improve overall performance.
One metric Moore offers in the article – how prepared a distributor is to react in emergencies – anything from an equipment failure to a flood. When equipment fails or operations are compromised, what can your customers expect from you?
In current conditions, every expense made by a customer must be justified, IndustryWeek contends. If this piece is right, communicating the value you provide is more important than ever.
MDM interviewed Moore, as featured in the article, "Distribution Functions Are Shifting."In it he discusses the importance of differentiating in the market. Here’s one example he provided:
"What (distributors) are saying to their MRO customers is: ‘If you buy from me, you will benefit from my data processing expertise. I can process the information you have around your MRO purchases to help you manage your buys better.’ That’s a strong differentiator and an effective niche approach to compete against low-cost, logistics-efficient, supply-focused organizations. Some distributors are actually hiring a software person to better understand the customer’s ERP software system. This type of aggressive play can deliver a competitive edge."
Related blog from MDM: The Difference Between Value and Expectations