Distributor Audit

Situtation

  • A manufacturer of equipment is attempting to grow their share of market
  • The primary sales channel is through a network of distributors, integrators and engineering firms
  • The ability of these distributors to quickly and effectively respond to requests impacts their sales performance as well as that of the companies’ whose products they distribute
  • The manufacturer’s equipment is a secondary or tertiary line for most distributors. In some cases, distributors are selling competing products
  • A preliminary test of brand specific information requests indicated that over 50% of distributors had inadequate responses

Objectives

  • Create a system to measure response time and effectiveness
  • Provide additional opportunities for in-depth communication about relevant equipment projects
  • Develop evaluation tools to gauge response quality and timeliness
  • Create feedback mechanisms to share with distributors, integrators, and engineering firms
  • Drive actionable results based upon the feedback
  • Develop plans and timing for additional audits
  • Share best practices and growth information to encourage friendly competition among distributor network

Approach

  • Determine target distributors, integrators and engineering firms for the audit
  • Identify potential avenues for placing requests
  • Develop consistent messaging for requests
  • Develop response shadowing methods
  • Determine baseline response requirements
  • Create reporting specifications
  • Conduct audits and capture data
  • Generate reports for manufacturer and their distribution network
  • Identify performance improvements, set sales goals and improvement targets

Results

  • Equipment sales increased over 200% in the first year following the audits
  • Distributor audit scores increased overall at least 1 point for all distributors (on a 5-point scale)
  • All distributor revenues rose for target equipment as well as other lines
  • Increased collaboration between equipment manufacturer and distributor
  • network