The last decade has been one of high economic drama. The conventional value chain model in industrial sectors has been turned inside out. The need to compete globally has put pressure on the entire sector to lower prices and do more for less, just as the global economy went through some very turbulent times. Outsourcing, reshoring, and increasing competition from manufacturers to gain more share of the end-customers’ spend has put the squeeze on distributors.
In the broader markets, a new generation of customers, employees and management ideas are changing ‘how things are done,’ borrowing techniques from both consumers and industrial sectors. We are witnessing some of the most powerful new technologies that have quickly established themselves and become table stakes, even for traditional businesses.
Let’s look at several companies that exemplify this new breed. But first, we will share with you the results of research and these interviews reviewing the major forces and trends driving change in the distributor’s model. In our research, we asked executives what they saw as the most significant trends, and therefore, what initiatives they were engaging in to modernize the business.