The key to the success of any manufacturing business lies in the relationship of a manufacturer with its distributors. A distributor is the ear and eyes of a business on the ground level. But, at the same time, just as a distributor serves as an outlet through which a business reaches its customers, it doe not mean that a distributor becomes an employee of the particular business. With sales plans and targets, you may presume that way, but in reality, it has to be both ways working. Manage Distributors on the other hand have their own set of requirements, and often these requirements are very demanding. They have to look after their cash flows and profits and also their reputation in the market, which may have taken years to build.
The equation is very simple – if a manufacturer is not able to meet the demands of its distributors, they will lose them, as Manage Distributors have many options and they will shift to another.
As said earlier, it is a two-way road, and the responsibility for business growth lies both in the manufacturer and distributor, both should try and foster a healthy relationship for the success of their businesses and earn the maximum profits.
What should both do?
The Manufacturer or Retailer:
Be a part of an active participation
Distributors are always inclined to better services where they get these two things – timely payments and good communication. As a manufacturer, try and understand the procedures and policies of your distributors and suggest if you feel any modification is needed somewhere. If need be, extend more time for your distributors to pay you, and also have easy return policies with extended deadlines.
Always be supportive
Promote your distributors with tabletop shows and great deals. Share your technology, and personal approaches by visiting them more often, extend them all the support they need to flourish. After all, in their success, lies your success.
Understand that it is a two-way road
A relation can flourish when both sides make efforts. You can expect from your distributor a more focused approach with forecasted inventory based on trends and demands and have enough stock of goods to serve the demands of the market. But, remember that in exchange the distributor also expects a lot in return – like timely notification of any price increase, out of stock or discontinued goods, and more.
Better communication is the key to a better relationship. Communicate with our retailer or manufacturer in a manner where you both can work together and solve all challenges and problems.
Know your salesperson better
Know all your salesperson well. They are the ones that can make your business successful, by getting you more sales and thus more profits.
Wherever and whenever necessary, ask for help
Whatever you need for your business, ask your manufacturer. Remember that you are a business partner, and the more resources you built together with your manufacturer, the better will it be for all of you.