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FALL 2020

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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 43 No 4


64 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK PRODUCT GENIUS TECHNOLOGY TEL 1-800-FASTENERS WEB TWITTER @ProductGenius1 TRANSFORMATION IS WITHIN YOUR REACH What is the optimal digital strategy for distributors in a business environment that is continuously changing? Changes have forced industrial distributors to rethink their business strategy. Amazon has dramatically affected the game by becoming the 3rd largest B2B industrial distributor in No. America. Today’s B2B buyers are digital natives and are starting their online journey with search. So how does a distributor compete with costly and limited exposure? The industrial distributor has had the task of translating huge amounts of data from large product catalogs into online buying experiences. Up until now there has been limited options for distributors about where to start and how to strategically use digital tools that are available today such as e-commerce, social media, mobile, CRM, analytics and omni-channel solutions to gain a competitive advantage. The digitalization of the distribution channel is inevitable because change is happening all throughout the supply chain. If your business is not leading with a defined strategy, then it will become increasingly difficult to keep up with the competition. Disruption, User Experience, Customer Experience, Digital Content, eCommerce, Taxonomy, Cloud, SaaS, PIM (Product Information Management) are a few buzz words of today. How can we understand the digital jargon and convert them into a real actionable digital strategy for our businesses? While you may think that they are not relevant to your businesses, the reality is that many B2B companies are already capitalizing on these cutting-edge technologies, that are helping them drive revenue and cut costs. Supply chains are changing, technology and the internet of things will drive the factories of the future. It is important to stay educated about advances in technology no matter what stage your company is in its digital transformation. Manufacturers will look for distribution partners that can offer the best digital buying experiences. So, a pending question for distributors and manufactures to ask themselves today is, “How can our business begin to use these technologies?” What will it take to compete in today’s fast paced changing business environments? Think about the digital transformation like building a custom home. You are about to build your dream home, you would not build this dream home without a blueprint, would you? Figuratively speaking you will also require an architect, a builder, electricians, carpenters, etc. The important factor is knowing what you want and getting the right people to help execute your vision. BUSINESS FOCUS ARTICLE CONTINUED ON PAGE 146


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