Distribution Channel Assessments

The automobile manufacturing and dealer community may seem like an easy target in today's business world, but a careful examination of the distribution channel framework leads to the question of how the industry had been as successful as they had for such an extended period of time. The first and most obvious issue was that the price of a car was inflated by locked-in labor concessions. A second observation was that manufacturers would pit dealers against other nearby dealers. Dealers were then pressured to accept more vehicles than they could sell. When they were unable to make money from selling new cars they turned to service and trade-ins to make a profit. At the very bottom of the chain were customers who felt trapped in high-pressure negotiations for a car that was not exactly what they wanted to buy. It is safe to say that this is not how one would sketch out the demand chain on a blank piece of paper.

If this sounds even remotely like your distribution channel, or if your channel seems more like a warehouse of lost opportunities that serve neither your company nor your channel partner effectively, then MainStream can help.

MainStream has observed that most channels are constructed from the supplier out rather than from the customer in. In other words, first the product or service is designed and then the supplier thinks about ways to get the product/service out to the customer. A common pitfall is that the chosen channel is an expedient short-term solution created without a great deal of consideration as to suitability of sales and profits.

We believe there are three key disciplines to channel management. They are:

  • mapping
  • building and editing
  • aligning and influencing

Call us today and we'll share our thoughts with you on how these three disciplines will make your channel management more effective.