The following are highlights of an article authored by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales. He was a presenter at the last SPA Strategy Seminar and his recap includes a number of critical points made by presenters and attendees who openly shared a number of timely and thought provoking ideas.
Highlights from Some of the Presentations by Distribution Experts
Tom Gale (Modern Distribution Management)
- 63% of distributors has some form of e-commerce offering
- 70+% of distributors plan to invest further in e-commerce in 2014
- Only 21% see on-line only players as their biggest competitive threat
- By the end of 2014 nearly half of all distributors will have a “mobile app”
- High performing distributors have a growing edge in the analytics of their business
Jonathan Bein (Real Results Marketing)
“The Lake Wobegon Effect …where all the children are above average”
Most companies tend to overestimate their strengths in the market. According to a survey, 90% of distributors believe they offer more value than their competitors. Only a very small percentage of distributors can elaborate on their value. Most say we provide better “customer service.”
Selection of Comments from Panel Discussions of Top Distributor Leaders
Comment from a distributor who had added important gross margin increases via SPA:
“We had implemented an internal pricing process several years ago. We made a slight gain in our overall gross margin but within six months, most of the gains had slipped away. What we lacked was the deep dive metrics required to hold our salespeople accountable.”
Comment from a distributor talking about sales process:
“Before we started setting measures of success and managing against them, our sales team was like a day in the Wild West. Every salesperson ran their territory like the Lone Ranger, often without regard to how this impacted the profitability of the company. Since implementing a system with measures that can be pushed down to the sales territory level, things have started to change for the better.”
Comment from a distributor who had implemented the SPA plan about 18 months prior:
“SPA is the absolute best investment in distribution. We paid for the whole system in less than two months and the results continue to grow.”
SPA’s President David Bauder’s key business observations
David believes now is the Time to Focus on Execution in our business. He laid out the following points. It is difficult to disagree with any of them.
With the current prospects for economic recovery, a focus on execution is crucial.
- Accelerate your prioritization of high value-add initiatives
- Cancel marginal projects and terminate poor performers
Frank Hurtte’s Final Thoughts
“As a senior advisor to over 50 distribution companies, I find it hard to believe that anyone would put off exploring a plan that can deliver 500% return on investment. The SPA Strategy Seminars are eye opening and always give me pause. Further, the sessions are free to distribution leadership and conducted in a way that encourages networking. If you haven’t been to one, I encourage you to get information on SPA ‘s next Strategy Seminar.”
Upcoming SPA Strategic Pricing Conference Details
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Tel: (877) 632-7800
Click here for the complete conference and workshop agenda.
To register for one of our upcoming events visit this page or contact Sheri Morford at Sheri.Morford@strategicpricing.com or call (216)470-9748.
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