Manufacturers who market their products through dealers/distributors began with the marketing premise of the more the merrier. For example, Commercial Tires as well as Agricultural Machinery put dealers on every corner possible. This lead to manufacturers dealing with thousands of distribution points with independent ownership. Managing these dealers was challenging at best. Driving sales through these distribution points became the focus of the manufacturer.
Today, manufacturers are recognizing that larger, fiscally healthy dealers/distributors are the key to driving sales. First, one must determine:
- How many dealers/distributors are really needed to serve the market?
- How big should a dealer/distributor be based on the size of the market in their area?
- How many sales people are needed?
- How many service techs are needed?
- What should the parts inventory be, and other similar questions?
- What are the key performance indicators that drive the fiscal health of a dealer/distributor?
Currie Management Consultants can provide the answers to the above questions. We have completed major distribution projects for manufacturers in many industries
Manufacturers that sell their products through independently owned dealers and distributors are well aware that the financial and operational health of their distribution is critical. These entrepreneurial dealers/distributors are the first to point out that with margins on new products becoming skinnier and skinnier they are having a difficult time maintaining the financial health of their operations. These sales focused dealers/distributors push back at the manufacturer and ask for price reductions. Manufacturers have cut as much cost out of producing the product as possible so, they are left wondering how to best assist their distribution.
When the complaining becomes too much, Currie Management Consultants gets the call. As experts in dealer/distributor operations we are uniquely qualified to assist manufacturers in determining the strengths and weaknesses of their current distribution network. CMC will perform an in-depth analysis using face-to-face interviews coupled with industry data to provide manufacturers with a comprehensive picture of their distribution.
Is the current distribution providing enough sales coverage?
Does the distribution have a strong aftermarket focus?
This analysis is then utilized in a dealer development effort to improve the financial and operational health of distribution. Without this distribution analysis, manufacturers may find they provide answers to the wrong problem.
Many organizations have accepted the premise that there is a natural conflict between profitability and market share. This assumption is a fundamental barrier to be overcome by all manufacturers as they manage their distribution/dealer network, and by all distributors/dealers as the market fluctuates. At some point, the requirement to create a focus, a vision and structure, with which one views the financial performance of a distributor/dealer, becomes obvious.
If there is a clear vision regarding the financial success of a distributor and the critical variables that drive that success, then those closest to the process will see an attractive economic return. We constantly need to reinforce the attractive return on investment that being a distributor/dealer offers.
To accomplish the above, Currie Management Consultants focuses on a commitment to continuous management training and review for the distribution/dealer organization. In actual practice there are three components that make up this process. They are: a single generally accepted reporting format, ongoing financial composites, and periodic seminar training.
Currie Management Consultants dealer/distributor development involves the following:
- Distributor/dealer enhancement strategies
- Establishing a vision
- Distribution point review through trading area assessments — dealerization
- Development of the strategic vision including a financial model and distribution Analysis
- Certified sales professional programs
- Dealer excellence programs
Distributor/Dealer Training Seminars
- General Management Seminar
- Sales Management Workshop
- Parts Management Workshop
- Service Management Workshop
- Rental Management Workshops