With industry changes, new competitive forces, and issues like a tight labor market all taking their bottom lines, the need for this type of solidarity has never been greater or more critical.
"There has been a lot of focus on the topic of distributor-supplier partnerships lately," says Maureen "Mo" Barsema, former NAED chair. "According to the latest research, we are all concerned about what that exactly means. About 50 percent of a company's partnering approach includes strategic alignment between a distributor and manufacturer, while the other 50 percent is a 'tolerated engagement.' Like it or not, this is our new business relationship model."
According to Dirk Beveridge, founder of Chicago-based UnleashWD, the recent NAED study unveiled a number of supplier-distributor partnership trends. For example, 91 percent of distributors and suppliers believe there is a need to re-imagine how they work together and how they collaborate in today's business environment. Specifically, 87 percent of distributors and 94 percent of manufacturers answered this question with a resounding "yes." And, respondents almost unanimously agree that there is a need to work better together, collaborate more, and develop deeper and more meaningful value propositions for the markets, businesses, and individuals that they serve.
The question is, how can distributors and manufacturers do a better job in this area?
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