The Importance of Service Differentiation - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

The Importance of Service Differentiation

Successful suppliers will be those who radically differentiate their service offerings and relationships with customers.

Recently, IMI's sister company Modern Distribution Management hosted a webcast with Jonathan Byrnes, an authority on profitability management and contributing author to MDM through his blogs. Jonathan’s life work has been about helping companies, including many distribution companies, drill down and fully tap the reservoirs of profitability that exist today in good companies.

The focus of the program, the second in a quarterly series on profitability, was on supply chain finance, and why successful suppliers will be those who radically differentiate their service offerings and relationships with customers.

How do you do this? As Dr. Byrnes outlined, this critical shift requires segmenting customers and getting out of the “one-size-fits-all” mindset. So many distributors don’t allocate their resources based on account potential. Instead, they have developed such a strong service ethic over decades that the “fire hose” gets directed at every account, regardless of size, fit or potential.

The point is to not reduce service to certain customers, but to create very clear definitions of customer service for specific segments. And it starts with something we've talked about before: listening to what your customers are really saying.

Once the customer relationship definition is clear across departments, it opens the door to a much more strategic and efficient use of resources with existing customers, as well as positioning to exploit opportunities for growth.

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.