For companies that sell through distribution, the world is in upheaval as nearly three-quarters of manufacturers have seen their distribution base consolidate in the last year, said Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) in a recent report.
E-commerce continues to disrupt established channels: the share of online North American industrial MRO purchases should jump from 15% to 40% by 2020.
Due to this volatile market, manufacturers need a consistent, measurable way to collaborate with their distributors, says the report, however, most are playing catch-up in a landscape defined by consolidation, digital transformation, and big data.
In order to enable effective collaboration, processes and systems between manufacturers and their dealers and distributors must be aligned. However, according to a joint MAPI/Zif Solutions study, many manufacturers are behind the curve when it comes to using data, modern digital marketing, and collaboration tools to drive channel sales.
For example, nearly two-thirds of executives have little to no visibility into the status of leads passed to distributors. What’s the cost? They’re in the dark when it comes to the return on their marketing dollars. And they’re almost certainly leaving money on the table in the form of lost sales.
The group uncovered the following barriers to driving growth through channels.